• W. Austin Gardner

Ignoring God doesn't work out!


Amos 6:1 Woe to them that are at ease in Zion, And trust in the mountain of Samaria, are named chief of the nations, To whom the house of Israel came! 2 Pass ye unto Calneh, and see; And from thence go ye to Hamath the great: Then go down to Gath of the Philistines: Be they better than these kingdoms? Or their border greater than your border? 3 Ye that put far away the evil day, And cause the seat of violence to come near; 4 That lie upon beds of ivory, And stretch themselves upon their couches, And eat the lambs out of the flock, And the calves out of the midst of the stall; 5 That chant to the sound of the viol, And invent to themselves instruments of musick, like David; 6 That drink wine in bowls, And anoint themselves with the chief ointments: But they are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph. 7 Therefore now shall they go captive with the first that go captive, And the banquet of them that stretched themselves shall be removed. 8 The Lord God hath sworn by himself, saith the Lord the God of hosts, I abhor the excellency of Jacob, and hate his palaces: Therefore will I deliver up the city with all that is therein. 9 And it shall come to pass, if there remain ten men in one house, that they shall die. 10 And a man’s uncle shall take him up, and he that burneth him, To bring out the bones out of the house, And shall say unto him that is by the sides of the house, Is there yet any with thee? and he shall say, No. Then shall he say, Hold thy tongue: For we may not make mention of the name of the Lord. 11 For, behold, the Lord commandeth, And he will smite the great house with breaches, And the little house with clefts. 12 Shall horses run upon the rock? Will one plow there with oxen? For ye have turned judgment into gall, And the fruit of righteousness into hemlock: 13 Ye which rejoice in a thing of nought, Which say, Have we not taken to us horns by our own strength? 14 But, behold, I will raise up against you a nation, O house of Israel, saith the Lord the God of hosts; And they shall afflict you from the entering in of Hemath unto the river of the wilderness. 7:1 Thus hath the Lord God shewed unto me; and, behold, he formed grasshoppers in the beginning of the shooting up of the latter growth; and, lo, it was the latter growth after the king’s mowings. 2 And it came to pass, that when they had made an end of eating the grass of the land, then I said, O Lord God, forgive, I beseech thee: By whom shall Jacob arise? for he is small. 3 The Lord repented for this: It shall not be, saith the Lord. 4 Thus hath the Lord God shewed unto me: and, behold, the Lord God called to contend by fire, and it devoured the great deep, and did eat up a part. 5 Then said I, O Lord God, cease, I beseech thee: By whom shall Jacob arise? for he is small. 6 The Lord repented for this: This also shall not be, saith the Lord God. 7 Thus he shewed me: and, behold, the Lord stood upon a wall made by a plumbline, with a plumbline in his hand. 8 And the Lord said unto me, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A plumbline. Then said the Lord, Behold, I will set a plumbline in the midst of my people Israel: I will not again pass by them any more: 9 And the high places of Isaac shall be desolate, And the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste; And I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword. 10 Then Amaziah the priest of Beth-el sent to Jeroboam king of Israel, saying, Amos hath conspired against thee in the midst of the house of Israel: the land is not able to bear all his words. 11 For thus Amos saith, Jeroboam shall die by the sword, and Israel shall surely be led away captive out of their own land. 12 Also Amaziah said unto Amos, O thou seer, go, flee thee away into the land of Judah, and there eat bread, and prophesy there: 13 But prophesy not again any more at Beth-el: for it is the king’s chapel, and it is the king’s court. 14 Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son; but I was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit: 15 And the Lord took me as I followed the flock, and the Lord said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel. 16 Now therefore hear thou the word of the Lord: Thou sayest, Prophesy not against Israel, And drop not thy word against the house of Isaac. 17 Therefore thus saith the Lord; Thy wife shall be an harlot in the city, And thy sons and thy daughters shall fall by the sword, And thy land shall be divided by line; And thou shalt die in a polluted land: And Israel shall surely go into captivity forth of his land.

  1. Woe to them that are at ease, complacent Amos 6:1 Woe to them that are at ease in Zion, And trust in the mountain of Samaria, are named chief of the nations, To whom the house of Israel came! 2 Pass ye unto Calneh, and see; And from thence go ye to Hamath the great: Then go down to Gath of the Philistines: Be they better than these kingdoms? Or their border greater than your border?

  2. The prophet is talking to Israel and Judah both here

  3. They are calling themselves the chief of the nations

  4. Notice that they are trusting in the mountain of Samaria

  5. They were at ease, complacent

  6. Complacency is based on lies, motivated by pride, and leads to trusting someone or something other than God

  7. We see this picture in the church of Laodicean Revelation 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

  8. It is easy for people or a church to look at what they have and feel good about themselves

  9. It is easy to evaluate ourselves but that not be God’s opinion

  10. We need to see ourselves as God sees us as a church, His people

  11. We don't want to be at ease and think that all is good and right

  12. We need to face the facts about our spiritual lives

  13. We need to check our heart not our wallet

  14. We need to see what is happening on the inside more than what is happening on the outside

  15. Woe to those that are more interested in their luxuries than the things of God

  16. They were so busy enjoying their luxuries that they had no time for God Amos 6:6 That drink wine in bowls, And anoint themselves with the chief ointments: But they are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph.

  17. Notice the luxury of these wealthy people of God

  18. Beds of ivory

  19. Stretched on couches as they ate the lambs and calves

  20. Drinking wine from bowls

  21. Anointing themselves with the best oils and perfumes

  22. They have gone pleasure mad II Timothy 3:4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. Luke 21:34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.

  23. They had music like David but used it as part of their luxury instead of seeking God Amos 6:5 That chant to the sound of the viol, And invent to themselves instruments of musick, like David;

  24. The music is mentioned when they are in their houses sitting on their couches

  25. David made music but it was for God

  26. They made music for themselves to enjoy in their luxury

  27. Their selfish lives angered God and He is going to take their luxuries away from them Amos 6:7 Therefore now shall they go captive with the first that go captive, And the banquet of them that stretched themselves shall be removed.

  28. God doesn't mind His people having things as long as the things don't have them I Timothy 6:17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; 18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; 19 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

  29. If God has given us money then we are never to trust our money but trust Him

  30. We can enjoy all that He has given us

  31. But we are to use our money and all we have to do good

  32. We are to show our riches in doing good works

  33. We are to be ready to give our money

  34. We are too willing to meet ministry needs all over the world

  35. As we do that, we are living out who we are and showing where our heart really is

  36. God hated their pride, the way they thought that they were excellent Amos 6:8 The Lord God hath sworn by himself, saith the Lord the God of hosts, I abhor the excellency of Jacob, and hate his palaces: Therefore will I deliver up the city with all that is therein.

  37. They were so proud of all that they had and were

  38. Their god had become personal pleasure and comfort Luke 12:20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?

  39. When your focus turns to you and yours, your comfort and convenience you are in danger of being this fool

  40. God wants you to always be realizing that all your life is to be lived in light of eternity

  41. Their pride is causing God to send death among them

  42. God is going to destroy their houses

  43. He is angry because they have turned what is right into poison and holiness into bitterness

  44. God is going to cause a nation to attack and destroy them.

  45. They are so happy with themselves

  46. They are satisfied, content, complacent

  47. They are living in luxury

  48. They don't really think even God can or will do anything to them

  49. When we get too focused on this world then we will lose the blessings of God

  50. Have God’s blessings caused us to become too proud to bow before Him?

  51. Have we gotten to the place that we think that we deserve the life we have?

  52. Are we flaunting our wealth and prosperity before God?

  53. Our pride is a great hindrance to God’s work in our life. James 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

  54. Our success often goes to our head

  55. We think we are better than others

  56. The solution is to submit to God and resist the devil

  57. We draw nigh to God knowing that He is our source

  58. We humble ourselves and wait for Him to lift us up

  59. God and Amos discuss what will happen to Israel and Judah

  60. God shows Amos the grasshoppers destroying the last harvest of the year Amos 7:1 Thus hath the Lord God shewed unto me; and, behold, he formed grasshoppers in the beginning of the shooting up of the latter growth; and, lo, it was the latter growth after the king’s mowings.

  61. God is having a regular conversation with Amos

  62. God reveals His will to those who will listen to Him and His Word

  63. You can know so much about what is happening and what God is doing if you will get into His Word

  64. Amos realizes that this will destroy God’s nation Amos 7:2 And it came to pass, that when they had made an end of eating the grass of the land, then I said, O Lord God, forgive, I beseech thee: By whom shall Jacob arise? for he is small.

  65. Amos knows that Israel is not the powerhouse she believes herself to be

  66. He begs God to forgive His people

  67. God allows His man to intercede

  68. He will listen when you pray

  69. Prayer is not a wasted exercise, God is at work in your life wanting to hear from you and work in your life

  70. The Lord in mercy says that He will not send the grasshoppers Amos 7:3 The Lord repented for this: It shall not be, saith the Lord.

  71. God hears Amos and says that He will not send the grasshoppers

  72. This shows a God that heard and listened to Amos

  73. God said that He would send fire to destroy everything Amos 7:4 Thus hath the Lord God shewed unto me: and, behold, the Lord God called to contend by fire, and it devoured the great deep, and did eat up a part.

  74. God offers another means of punishment

  75. He shows Amos what He is thinking of doing

  76. Again Amos intercedes for Jacob Amos 7:5 Then said I, O Lord God, cease, I beseech thee: By whom shall Jacob arise? for he is small.

  77. Again the Lord answers Amos and says that He will not destroy with the fire Amos 7:6 The Lord repented for this: This also shall not be, saith the Lord God.

  78. Next, God says that He will send a plumb line to see if Israel is really as well off and good as he thinks Amos 7:7 Thus he shewed me: and, behold, the Lord stood upon a wall made by a plumbline, with a plumbline in his hand.

  79. The plumb line is a means to see if the wall is straight

  80. God is going to bring the truth, His Word, the Law, and compare the nation of Israel to what He wants

  81. Even the naked eye might not see what the perfectly straight line might see

  82. This time, God immediately tells Amos that He will not give Israel another pass Amos 7:8 And the Lord said unto me, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A plumbline. Then said the Lord, Behold, I will set a plumbline in the midst of my people Israel: I will not again pass by them any more: 9 And the high places of Isaac shall be desolate, And the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste; And I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword.

  83. God is tired of their false worship

  84. He is tired of their living like He isn't even there

  85. He is tired of their pride thinking that they do not need Him

  86. Amazingly, we do not focus on God till we need to

  87. Maybe He will have to take away their toys so they will pay attention to Him and listen

  88. Now the religious establishment attacks Amos using political power Amos 7:10 Then Amaziah the priest of Beth-el sent to Jeroboam king of Israel, saying, Amos hath conspired against thee in the midst of the house of Israel: the land is not able to bear all his words.

  89. Amaziah, the corrupt priest runs to the king to tell him to stop Amos because the people can’t stand what he is saying

  90. This priest is loving the good life that comes from the prosperity gospel

  91. He is enjoying the same luxuries as the others

  92. His pride in how good he and his church are doing sets him against God and Amos

  93. He then tells Jeroboam what Amos is saying Amos 7:11 For thus Amos saith, Jeroboam shall die by the sword, and Israel shall surely be led away captive out of their own land.

  94. Amaziah doesn't like Amos message

  95. Amos says the king is going to die and that is not nice

  96. He says that the people are going to lose a war

  97. There is no hope and optimism here

  98. It is a bitter, dark, pessimistic truth because of their selfish living catching up with them

  99. Amaziah then tells Amos to run away and prophesy in the land of Judah Amos 7:12 Also Amaziah said unto Amos, O thou seer, go, flee thee away into the land of Judah, and there eat bread, and prophesy there:

  100. Amaziah would just like to get rid of Amos

  101. He tells him to run like a coward because now the king and the people are upset

  102. You can preach just don't do it here

  103. He basically tells him to leave the religion and government alone Amos 7:13 But prophesy not again any more at Beth-el: for it is the king’s chapel, and it is the king’s court.

  104. This is funny even if it is sad.

  105. Bethel means house of God but Amaziah calls it the king’s chapel and court

  106. He doesn't even realize what the name means

  107. It doesn't matter to him that God sent Amos he wants to hear positive messages or none

  108. So go preach somewhere else Amos

  109. Amos responds to the priest, Amaziah

  110. God called me Amos 7:14 Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son; but I was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit:

  111. Amos tells Amaziah to back off because he didn't come to preach of his own will and decision

  112. Amos was not a prophet or the son of a prophet

  113. He was a sheepherder and gatherer of sycamore fruit

  114. He was saying just listen here, God called me and God sent me

  115. Amos was certain that he didn't preach like that because of his training, etc

  116. God told me what to do Amos 7:15 And the Lord took me as I followed the flock, and the Lord said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel.

  117. God had called Amos

  118. God had changed Amos plans

  119. God’s men should have confidence that they are preaching because they want to obey God and He is sending them

  120. God’s men are sent and told what to say

  121. So instead of leaving, I will tell you what God told me to tell you Amos 7:16 Now therefore hear thou the word of the Lord: Thou sayest, Prophesy not against Israel, And drop not thy word against the house of Isaac.

  122. Amos tells Amaziah that he understands that Amaziah doesn't want him there preaching

  123. So Amos says so let me tell you what God has to say Amos 7:17 Therefore thus saith the Lord; Thy wife shall be an harlot in the city, And thy sons and thy daughters shall fall by the sword, And thy land shall be divided by line; And thou shalt die in a polluted land: And Israel shall surely go into captivity forth of his land.

  124. Your wife is going to a harlot, a prostitute in the city

  125. Your children will be killed with a sword

  126. The land will be divided out among our enemies

  127. You will die far from here in a polluted land

  128. Israel will be taken away into captivity

  129. God’s man showed the courage to deliver an unpopular message

  130. Amos didn't look for the message he had to preach

  131. He didn't want to be in the limelight

  132. He didn't enjoy the political pressure

  133. He did enjoy knowing God and hearing from God

  134. He felt an intimacy with God as they talked over what God was planning to do

  135. Lessons to take home

  136. God wants to wake the complacent

  137. Complacency is based on lies, motivated by pride, and leads to trusting someone or something other than God

  138. Let’s not be apathetic or just satisfied, let’s reach out to serve God more

  139. Don’t let things, prestige, popularity pull you away from serving God

  140. We do not want to live selfish lives

  141. Let’s use what we have for His honor and glory

  142. Our prosperity may have made us proud instead of humbled by what He has done

  143. Get into God’s Word so you can know what He is doing

  144. Be a person of prayer so that God is dealing with your heart and working in your family

  145. Remember God is tired of false, hypocritical worship

  146. Will you stand for God no matter how much political pressure there is?

  147. Will you surrender your life to leave your job and do the work that God is calling you to do today?

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