Archive for the ‘Amos’ Category

Amos 6 Sermon Notes

Posted: April 27, 2010 by Rick Hogaboam in Amos, Biblical Studies, Sermons
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Amos 6:1-14 “Wake up, O Sleeper”

Pastor Rick Hogaboam

Sovereign Grace Fellowship 4/25/10

Safety? (1-3)

Sin. Sin. Sin. (4-7)

Sent Away (8-14)


Amos 6:1–14 (ESV)

1“Woe to those who are at ease in Zion, and to those who feel secure on the mountain of Samaria, the notable men of the first of th e nations, to whom the house of Israel comes!

2Pass over to Calneh, and see, and from there go to Hamath the great; then go down to Gath of the Philistines. Are you better than these kingdoms? Or is their territory greater than your territory,

3O you who put far away the day of disaster and bring near the seat of violence?

–          “Ease…feel secure”: A call to wake up from their drunken stupor.

–          “notable men” : irony here is that the best Israel has to offer has been corrupted, much like politicians today.

–          “Calneh, Hamath, Gath” were small city-states from which Israel is feeling secure in comparison. There is something big out there called Assyria that God can do whatever He wants with. They are ignoring the iceberg, not seeing it.

  • ILLUS: Titanic

–          2552 “Shut Up” Five iceberg warnings were telegraphed to the ill-fated Titanic. When the sixth message, “Look out for icebergs,” came in, the Titanic’s operator wired back: “Shut up, I’m busy.” Exactly thirty-five minutes later the great ship, whose captain had said, “God, Himself couldn’t sink this ship,” was sinking. [1]

–          511 God Could Not Sink Ship

–           “God Himself could not sink this ship,” boasted a deckhand aboard R. M. S. Titanic in 1912. The men who built the ship, the civilized world, the credulous public—all believed and boasted that the ship was unsinkable. But God was not mocked. It is said that when the captain gave the order to abandon ship, many passengers simply could not believe that the Titanic could possibly sink and refused to board the lifeboats. And the crew was almost criminally complacent. So 1,502 men, women, and children plunged into the depths. [2]

4“Woe to those who lie on beds of ivory and stretch themselves out on their couches, and eat lambs from the flock and calves from the midst of the stall,

5who sing idle songs to the sound of the harp and like David invent for themselves instruments of music,

6who drink wine in bowls and anoint themselves with the finest oils, but are not grieved over the ruin of Joseph!

–          They are living a perpetual party, eating it up, dancing it up, and drinking it up. Reminds me of an old show “Lifestyle of the Rich and Famous”.

–          God is not opposed to having a good time, in fact He prescribes true joy to those who find Him to be their treasure. What is taking place here is an indifference to ruin and judgment:     

  • “but are not grieved over the ruin of Joseph”

–          Their partying is such a priority that they would ignore a devastating earthquake, a 9/11, someone passing out, screams from a room where people are being violated.

–          ILLUS: Jon and Kate plus 8 is no more. I don’t know all the dynamics of what was taking place in the marriage, but it certainly was revealing when Jon was out partying at bars, sleeping with various women, apparently so pathetically insecure that he needed the affirmation of drunk college women, all the while his family is blowing up. It is certainly a picture of a man who wants to party and shows little to no grief over the disintegration of his family.

–          Israel was intoxicated with the lust of their eyes, flesh, and the world and their relationship with God was falling apart and they didn’t care. (more…)

Sermon Notes on Amos 5:1-17

Posted: March 23, 2010 by Rick Hogaboam in Amos, Biblical Studies
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Amos 5:1-17 “Seek the Lord and Live” by Pastor Rick Hogaboam

Preached at Sovereign Grace Fellowship (Nampa, ID) on 3/21/2010

This section is a call to reformation:

–          Spiritual Reformation “Seek me and live…” (Amos 5:4)  and “Seek the Lord and live” (Amos 5:6)

–          Social Reformation “Seek good ,and not evil…” (Amos 5:14) and “Hate evil, and love good, and establish justice in the gate…” (Amos 5:15)

The minor prophets blend beautifully a plotline of God’s oracles that seem like it is over, foregone conclusion, then a glimmer of hope, then over, then a glimmer, and then usually end with a declaration of God’s eschatological work of salvation for His people (Amos 9:11-15).

It might have seemed like Amos 4 was the end with the statement “Prepare to meet your God…” (Amos 4:12), but the story continues…

Amos 5:1–17 (ESV)

1 Hear this word that I take up over you in lamentation, O house of Israel: 2 “Fallen, no more to rise, is the virgin Israel; forsaken on her land, with none to raise her up.”

–          The structure of the following verses is a “lamentation”, a funeral lamentation. Israel is as good as dead, and thus God laments even while he people are still alive.

  • This has got to be frightening to hear a funeral lament while you are still alive, much like the “Christmas Carol” and Ebenezer Scrooge viewing the end of his life with the ghost of Christmas future.

–           The picture here is of a “virgin” (young girl) who is brideless, rejected, and left alone. There is nobody that wants her. Total rejection. God uses this affectionate term, but we have seen that Israel is anything but a “virgin”, they have committed adultery, gotten with other gods, and have made the rounds.

3 For thus says the Lord God: “The city that went out a thousand shall have a hundred left, and that which went out a hundred shall have ten left to the house of Israel.”

–          The means of the death will be military defeat. They will go out and suffer 90% casualties, only to go out again and yet suffer 90% casualties.

–          “ten left” leaves open the possibility of restoration with a remnant.

4 For thus says the Lord to the house of Israel: “Seek me and live; 5 but do not seek Bethel, and do not enter into Gilgal or cross over to Beersheba; for Gilgal shall surely go into exile, and Bethel shall come to nothing.”

–          “Seek me” is personal. It is a bride shouting out to a wandering spouse.

–          “and live”: God is the only antidote to death. He alone gives life. You can find life in no other.  Here we can look to Jesus, who alone is life, eternal life:

  • John 1:4 (ESV) 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men.
  • John 3:14–21 (ESV) 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. 16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”
  • John 3:36 (ESV) 36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
    • Those who don’t believe are “condemned already”, meaning that Jesus came into an already condemned atmosphere offering eternal life. He doesn’t come to neutrality and assign life to those who believe and death to those who don’t. Jesus will sift all things out at the end, but we are already bitten by the serpent, we are already dead unless we look to Him and are made alive.
    • As God pleaded with dying Israel, so Jesus pleads with dying humanity “Seek me and LIVE!!!”

–          “ do not seek Bethel…Gilgal”, which were prominent sites for worship. It’s like Jesus telling the Samaritan woman (John 4) not to worry about worship at their place or the temple in Jerusalem, but rather worship in “Spirit and truth”.

  • God is not denouncing worshipping corporately together in an assigned place, for that is what we are doing right now. What He is saying is that if you think that by merely showing up to “Church” will fix you, you are wrong. You must seek HIM!!! We will see later on in the book that God is sick and tired of their worship because He is absent from it. The remedy isn’t more ostentatious worship, but Him Himself!!!
  • Ironically, Gilgal, which was the place of their entrance into the Promised Land (Jos 4:20), will become a site of their exile. Bethel, which has been the house of God (Gen. 28:17-19), became “Beth-aven” (Hos. 4:15), a “house of wickedness”. (more…)

Amos 2:1-3

1 Thus says the Lord: “For three transgressions of Moab, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment, because he burned to lime the bones of the king of Edom. 2 So I will send a fire upon Moab, and it shall devour the strongholds of Kerioth, and Moab shall die amid uproar, amid shouting and the sound of the trumpet; 3 I will cut off the ruler from its midst, and will kill all its princes with him,” says the Lord.

Interestingly, this oracle of judgment doesn’t concern Israel. Moab’s sin against Edom, which God had already pronounced judgment against earlier, is quite telling. While Israel is usually central to the reason why God judges the surrounding nations, here is one example where God’s judgment comes because of how one pagan nation treats another pagan nation. This highlight the sovereignty of God. Essentially Moab was desecrating graves and using the decomposing corpses to possibly make a whitewashing formula. One commentator quotes:

2:1 Moab’s representative crime neither harmed Israel nor concerned them in any way. Desecration of an Edomite king’s remains was Moab’s sin. Border fortifications between Moab and Edom suggest the probability that the two nations engaged in armed conflict from time to time. Warfare may have been the setting for the Moabite atrocity against the king of Edom.53 Either Edom’s king was burned to death, or his corpse was burned, or his skeletal remains were exhumed and burned to lime. The last suggestion best fits the wording, since the specific reference is to “the bones of Edom’s king.”
Burning the bones to lime suggests total destruction.54 The Targum interpreted the term rendered “as if to lime” to mean that the Moabites used the ashes of the king’s bones in a substance to whitewash houses. The treatment of a human being as mere material was reason enough for Amos’s indictment. Moab’s atrocious act disturbed the Edomite king’s resting place and in Moabite and Edomite thought prevented peace in the afterlife and perhaps even immortality.55 As J. Niehaus explains: “Crimes against humanity bring God’s punishment. This observation is a powerful motivation for God’s people to oppose the mistreatment and neglect of their fellow human beings.”56
Smith, B. K., & Page, F. S. (2001). Vol. 19B: Amos, Obadiah, Jonah (electronic ed.). Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (57–58). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

By what standard is God judging one pagan nation’s treatment of another? By His own standard. His law applies to pagan nations, even if they were not the particular recipients’ of such. This is one proof text for Theonomists, those who believe that all nations will be judged by God’s law and must conform to the standards of God’s Law. There are nuanced versions of it, and we are all theonomists in one sense and not in another. Sorting through these distinctions is no easy task. (more…)