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Bible Pathways 9/22/2001

September 22

Read Amos 1 -- 5

Amos was only a laborer from the village of Tekoa in Judah, but he was willing to speak for God against sin even beyond the borders of his own nation. He delivered his prophecy of impending judgment in Bethel, one of the two false idol worship centers and one of several royal houses of King Jeroboam II. This was at a time when the Northern Kingdom of Israel was prospering and expanding its boundaries.

Since the people of Israel were proud of their prosperity, it must have seemed ridiculous to hear this "outsider" shout: Hear this Word that the Lord has spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying, You only have I known (chosen) of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities (Amos 3:1-2).

Amos courageously warned the Northern Kingdom that, because of their moral and religious sins, the Lord God said: An adversary . . . shall surround the land; and he shall bring down your strongholds, and your palaces shall be spoiled (plundered) (3:11). His message concerning the judgment of God was ignored (2:6-8; 5:11-12).

Amos spoke as if the nation had already been destroyed: The virgin of Israel has fallen; she shall no more rise (5:2). However, the people did not take him seriously when he said: The Lord. . . . knows . . . your mighty sins. . . . Seek good, and not evil, that you may live (5:4,12,14).

Amaziah, the paid priest of King Jeroboam II, was quick to get word to the king about this disagreeable prophet from the Southern Kingdom. He twisted the words of Amos to say that Jeroboam would die by the sword; but the prophet had only stated what God said: I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword. . . . Amaziah said to Amos . . . go, flee . . . away to the land of Judah (7:9-12). The prophecy was fulfilled when Zachariah, Jeroboam's son, was assassinated by Shallum, who took his place but only reigned for one month (II Kings 15:8-10,13).

God often uses ordinary people like Amos to proclaim His message: You see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh . . . (according to human standards) are called (I Corinthians 1: 26).It is not what we possess in talents, or how popular we may be, but how obedient we are that qualifies us to be used and blessed by Him, regardless of circumstances, opposition, or public opinion.

As Christians, we have a miraculous heritage. We have been saved from the bondage of sin, delivered from spiritual death and satanic control, and empowered by the Holy Spirit to overcome sin. Who has saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus (II Timothy 1:9).

Christ Revealed: As the Creator of the universe (Amos 5:8). By His Son . . . He made the worlds (Hebrews 1:2-3; also Rev. 4:11).

Word Studies: 2:13 pressed means burdened; 3:5 gin means trap; 3:14 visit the transgressions means judge their sins; 4:1 kine of Bashan were the fat cows, raised in the best pasturelands -- but here, it is used figuratively in referring to self-gratifying, sensual, influential women; masters means husbands; 4:3 breaches means breaks in the city wall; 4:9 blasting means blight; 5:21 smell means be pleased, take delight; 5:23 viols means harps.

Prayer Needs:
Government Officials: Rep. Bob Goodlatte (VA) and Rep. John Tanner (TN) · Pray for Jason Konarz and the Bible Pathway Radio Broadcasts on WOMA-AM, Marks MS · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio broadcast sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Edward Mantych · Country: Austria (8 million) in central Europe · Major language: German · Religious freedom · 83% Roman Catholic; 5% Protestant; 1% Muslim · Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to write His precepts in your heart (Colossians 3:16).

Memory Verse for the Week: Daniel 6:25-26

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