Thursday, 6 April 2017

Amos 8 The Practice of Religion that Incurs the Judgement of God by Dr.Thomas Chung dated 2.4.17

During the time of Amos, many things in society were deteriorating until God stepped in.
There were two exile:
         1.       The Israelites were conquered by the Assyrians.
         2.       King Nebuchadnezzar conquered the southern Kingdom.
Chapter 8 showed the outward practice of religion resulted in the judgement of God.  They were religious but this could not save them.

      1.       Harvest of judgement ( V 1-3 )
             a)       Basket of summer fruits – God said the time was ripe for Him to punish the people.
              i)   The Prophet Isaiah – Isaiah 27:11, Isaiah 55:8
             ii)   Prophet Jeremiah – Jeremiah 6:14, 8:11

Note: basically these two prophets prophesised and during Amos time he reinforced God’s Words.

            b)      Understanding sin in the New Testament
        i)     Mortal sin – 1 John 5:16
       ii)     The unforgiveable sin – Matthew 12:31, 32
      iii)     Condition for forgiveness – James 2:13

      2.       Sin has become big business ( V 4-7)
In this modern times we can see the followings:
     Exploitation of the poor
     Trafficking in human misery
     Total dishonesty in business

      3.       The displeasure of God – God’s warning through disasters ( V 8-10 )
     i)      Eclipse
    ii)      Flooding. Droughts

      4.       The worst – Time of spiritual famine ( V 11-14)
       The people of God had become spiritually deaf (v11)
       The word of the Lord was rare in those days ( 1 Samuel 3:1 )
       every man  did what was right in his own eyes ( Judges 21:25)
       …made void the word of God ( Matthew 15:6)
       …if only you knew the time of your visitation ( Luke 19:41,44)
      “…they shall run two and fro , and seek the word of the Lord , but they shall not find it (v12)
        …they shall fall and never rise again” ( v14)

     5.       Hope in the despair of Amos
      a)   Jesus abolishes the first in order to establish the second ( Hebrew 10:9)
      b)   Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering for He who promised is faithful 
            ( Heb 10:23)
     c)   Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a  kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus with 
             reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming  fire ( Heb 12:28,29)
             “… he saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of his own
               mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit, which he poured out
               upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Saviour, so that we might be justified by his grace
               and become heirs in hope of eternal life”  Titus 3: 5-7