Sunday, August 25, 2019

Amos 2

Today's reading in our daily plan is Amos 2. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • God's judgment on the sin of the neighboring countries of Israel started in chapter one and continues in chapter two with Moab.
  • In verse 4, God turns His attention, and His judgment, on His own people, the people of Israel.
  • After King Solomon died, the nation of Israel split in two. Two "tribes" of Israel formed a southern kingdom called Judah (verse 4). Ten tribes of Israel formed a northern kingdom and continued to be called Israel.
  • The nations around Judah and Israel (the ones mentioned in chapters one and Moab in chapter two) are judged for their sins. Now, the people of God are judged for their sins. In a sense, their sins are worse because the nations around them did not know God or His laws and so could plead ignorance.
  • God judges Judah (verses 4-5) for rejecting Him and His laws and worshipping other things.
  • God judges Israel (verses 6-16) for (1) selling the poor as slaves, (2) exploiting the poor, (3) engaging in sexual sins, (4) taking illegal collateral for loans, and (5) worshiping false gods.
  • Amos reminds the people of what God had done for them in verses 9-10.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • We explored in the "So What" for chapter one of Amos why a God who is love would judge people and condemn people for their sins. 
  • It's easy for Christians to look at non-Christians and judge them for their sins but:
    • It is not our place to judge (see Matthew 7:1 and Romans 14:13) and especially not to judge non-Christians (see 1 Corinthians 5:9-13).
    • They have never agreed to live life God's way, so it doesn't make sense to judge them for violating something they never agreed to.
    • Judging them will not make Jesus attractive or draw them to Him.
    • We have our own sins, and we need to be concerned with our own sins instead of the sins of others.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)

  • Where do you find yourself judging people? What do you think drives your judgmental spirit? Ask God to help you replace a judgmental spirit with a heart of compassion for other people.
  • There's an old saying Christians like, "Hate the sin, love the sinner." There is some truth in that, but perhaps a better philosophy to live by would be, "Love the sinner, hate your own sin." Our orientation towards others should be love. The sin we need to be concerned about is our own. Our sin is a poison to our lives and our relationships, and it is offensive to God. Take some time to pray about your sin, asking God to break your heart over it and to help you to change.