Saturday, August 31, 2019

Amos 3

Today's reading in our daily plan is Amos 3. 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 had chosen (verse 2) Israel to be the people through whom the rest of the world would know Him. Instead of rejoicing in being chosen and fulfilling their role, the Israelites had become proud and then apathetic and had forsaken God and the responsibility God had given them.
  • Amos asks seven rhetorical questions, each designed to show how two events can be naturally linked together. Amos was trying to show Israel that God speaking to him would surely be followed by judgment.
  • In verse 7, Amos tells the people that God had (compassionately) warned them that there would be judgment and punishment for their sins. Unfortunately, they had ignored the warnings.
  • Israel had done what was right but then they began to ignore God and do wrong, which led them to a place where they did "not know how to do right" (verse 10).
  • The enemy mentioned in verse 11 was Assyria, who (just as Amos predicted) conquered Israel. This happened around 35 years later.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • Just like the Israelites, we are chosen by God for relationship with Him and to have a special role in the world for Him. Just like the Israelites, we can become proud or apathetic which can lead us to ignore God, to sin against Him, and to get to a point where we don't even know how to do right. It doesn't happen all at once, it happens one small step at a time. We need to be careful because it's a slippery slope. Once you're on that path, it becomes more and more difficult to get off of it.
  • Despite our sin, God loves us and has warned us of what will happen if we choose to ignore and rebel against Him and just keep on sinning. For instance, in the New Testament (the part of the Bible written - to Christians - after Jesus came) God gives us warning:
    • Hebrews 2:1-3, "We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. For since the message spoken through angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation?"
    • Hebrews: 10:26-31, If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)

  • What is your spiritual trajectory? Are you moving closer to God or do you feel like you're drifting from Him? Are you living to please Him or do you find your pursuit of pleasure is pulling you away from pleasing Him?
  • God has warned us where the path of sinning leads; we need to heed the warning. If we have been sinning, we need to confess (tell God what we've been doing, that we know it's wrong and we are sorry). We have this promise, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9). We also need to repent, which means to turn away from our sin and to God. We have this promise, "Repent, then, and turn to God, so that He will forgive your sins" (Acts 3:19).