Return to Me
“The Fall of a Nation” Amos 9:1-10
Return to Me
“The Fall of a Nation”
Wayne J. Edwards, Pastor
The Book of Amos may have been the first book of prophecy to have been written and the third book to be included in the minor prophets, the last 12-books of the Old Testament.
- Sadly, the prophets are the least read books of the Bible and the least preached books of the Bible.
- That is not only a shame; it is also dangerous to one’s spiritual maturity, as those who fail to learn the lessons of history are destined to repeat it.
- The prophecy of Amos, which was written 2700 years ago, addresses the contemporary issues of social justice, spiritual poverty, and religious hypocrisy, as well as God’s sovereignty, God’s holiness, God’s grace, God’s mercy, and God’s will.
- The timeless truth of the Book of Amos is clear:
“God’s relationship with His people includes His righteous judgment on them when they sin, and His righteous restoration of them when they repent, but both according to His sovereign mercy and grace.”
“God, who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all things that are in them, who in bygone generations allowed all nations to walk in their own ways. Nevertheless, He did not leave Himself without witness.”
- God raises up a nation, and He blesses them –
- The nation turns from God and becomes ungrateful –
- God allows the sinful majority of that nation to fall –
- God spares a remnant through which His godly seed will be preserved and passed on to the next generation –
The nation of His – God’s “chosen” people:
- God delivered them from their slavery in Egypt.
- Even after they rebelled against Him, He continued to provide everything they needed to survive in the desert and to thrive in the Promised Land.
- Once they were living in the land of plenty, they became ungrateful and failed to give God the glory He deserved.
- God tolerated their sins for 700-years until their worship of Him became corrupted, and He drove them from the land and back into captivity.
Amos was one of the first prophets God sent to warn His people to repent of their sins or to prepare for His judgment.
- While the nation had grown numerically and prospered materially, the people had declined spiritually:
- Their moral standards had collapsed – Amos 2:6-7
- Their worship of God was corrupt – Amos 6:1-8
- They had contempt for God’s laws – Amos 8:14
- Yet, they continued to be faithful in their attendance at worship, in paying their tithes, and in their animal sacrifices.
- The people had become so deluded by their financial wealth and their false concepts of worship they thought their relationship with God was fine. But God’s judgment was already at the door.
“Behold, the eyes of the Lord God are upon the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from off the face of the earth; saving that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob, saith the Lord. For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth. All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword, which say, the evil shall not overtake nor prevent us.”
1. The Righteous Judge – Amos 9:5-6 – Verse 6 – “The Lord is His Name!”
Amos said what was about to happen to Israel was the decision of “The Righteous Judge” –
- The name – “Adonai” means “My personal Lord” – the One to whom he was totally submitted.
- In Psalm 110:1, the name “Adonai” refers to the Lord, Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
- God had withdrawn Himself from the Ark of the Covenant and was standing beside the altar in the Temple of Jerusalem where the people had gathered to continue their worthless worship.
- Why? Because He was about to leave their presence and abandon them to their own desires.
2. The Righteous Judgment – Amos 9:8-9a
- Verse 8 – “I will destroy it from the face of the earth!”
- Verse 9 – “I will sift the house of Israel!”
When the people of God refused to honor God as God or to give Him the glory due His Name, He had no choice but to remove His glory from their worship.
- Their altar had become corrupted by the worship of false gods, compromised with pretense and hypocrisy, and contaminated with sexual and sensual activities.
- Because that generation of Israelites had become a sinful people, God had no choice but to remove His presence from them, to show the ungodly that no one can presume upon His mercy to excuse their sinful disobedience.
“Take heed, lest our hearts become weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and the cares of this life, and the day of the Lord come upon us unexpectedly.”
3. The Righteous Remnant – Amos 9:8b – “Yet I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob.”
Even though God’s sovereign actions would destroy Israel as a nation, God would preserve the “remnant” – the House of Jacob – the godly seed, through which:
- The Savior of the world would eventually come.
- “For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11
- The Gentiles would be saved. Praise the Lord!
- “You shall be witnesses unto Me…to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8
- The nation of Israel would eventually be restored!
- May 14, 1948, Israel was declared a nation. Isaiah 66:8
- The Kingdom of God would eventually be established on the earth.
- “This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all nations, and then the end will come.” Matthew 24:14