Anvil of Truth (Amos #6)

Text: Amos 2:4-5

Amos is a prophet to the northern part of Israel.  But before he puts the north in his crosshairs the Lord points out the sins of Israel’s neighbors.  Now, and including, the judgment on the south part of Israel where Jerusalem is located.

Most of you would agree that the words of God are:

  • the truth
  • the words of eternal life
  • incorruptible
  • prophecy
  • light
  • milk – 1 Peter 2:2
  • honey – Psalm 119:103
  • bread – Luke 4:4
  • water – Ephesians 5:26
  • meat – Hebrews 5:12-14
  • A mirror for self examination – James 1:23-25
  • A sword
  • your final judge

Judah began this way too.  No one began with the thought, “How can I hate what God said?!”  But as lies permeated Judah, sin became the culture. And the culture made God’s words less and less convenient to the people.  Judah was entertained by lies. Judah was educated in lies. One generation built on the lies of the last generation until the infrastructure was firmly planted in deceit.  Such that a people that once said yes to the Lord now became enraged at whoever would dare preach the word of God to them.

On a personal level, where you have believed a lie, where you have your pet sin, you’re going to find the words of God terribly inconvenient.  They’ll be so inconvenient, you’ll try to keep them out of your life. Moreover they will create in you a visceral contempt toward the words of God or anyone who would try to insert them into your life.  And we’ll believe that our errors are the truth and the real enemy is the voice of God.

Now, let’s consider our text.

Judah was just like everyone else

  • …For three transgressions of Judah, and for four…
  • Notice 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 13, and 2:1.
  • Transgressions were just as prevalent in God’s people as they were in the world.
  • In a nation that had the words of God which are able to lift people out of the pit, and out of darkness into light, they had become like everyone else who sat in darkness.
  • God’s revelation wasn’t given to a group of people so they could say they are better than everyone else, but that they could be a light to others who sat in darkness and sin.
    • Sin was as much a part of Judah as it was a part of the world.
    • Darkness was as much a part of Judah as it was a part of the world.
    • And now judgment would be a part of Judah as it was a part of the world.
  • Now, I’ll ask you two separate questions.
    • Do you believe this Bible has the power to rid your life of sin?
    • Second question, do you WANT this Bible to rid your life of sin?

Hatred for God’s words

  • …despised the law of the Lord…
  • It’s one thing to be ignorant of God’s law.  It’s another thing to be disobedient to God’s law.  And it’s another thing to despise God’s law.
  • In a generation, watch how quickly hatred for God’s words sets in.
    • 2 Chronicles 24:1-4 So long as Jehoida the priest is around this new king Joash does right.  He even wants to repair the house of God.
    • 2 Chronicles 24:17-18 Joash fully abandoned the house of God. The influence of some wealthy princes moved Joash to abandon the church house.  (But Joash is a king, why would wealth entice him? You can be rich and covetous or you can be poor and covetous. It doesn’t matter; idolatry is no respecter of persons.)
    • 2 Chronicles 24:19 Abandoning the house of God was the same as abandoning God.  So God sends preachers their way to get them back to God. But money talks. And if there is no tangible value to serving God, then why do it?  The princes and the wealth were all in the groves and around the idols.
    • 2 Chronicles 24:20-21 The same man who earlier in the chapter said, Let’s build the church, ordered the death of the preacher in the church he built. Zechariah was stoned to death preaching between the altar at the abandoned house of God in Joash’s days.
    • Within 30 years a man went from loving the things of God, to hating the things of God and anything that represented God.  Joash dies a miserable death. The princes that led Joash astray are killed by the Syrians. Joash is left diseased. Two strangers who were his own servants are so fed up with him they kill him.  He has no royal burial.
    • 1 Thessalonians 4:8 He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.

Lost His words

  • …have not kept his commandments…
  • If something isn’t kept, it’s lost.
  • Judah had lost God’s words as a nation.  Truth has fallen in the street.
  • Keeping is more than having the commandments.  Keeping is more than knowing.
    • Amos was a shepherd who kept the flock.  Now isn’t keeping the flock more than knowing about the flock?  Isn’t it more than having a flock?
    • Some people may have a house they don’t keep.
    • Point is that keeping the commandments is more than knowing about them and more than having them.
  • Judah, like a shepherd with sheep, in order to keep the commandments of God would customize their life and culture so those commandments wouldn’t be lost.
  • Now, you know where you and I are in life?  In some cases you’re beyond keeping the commandments, in some cases, you’ve figured out how to avoid the commandments of God and still call yourself a Christian.

Prefer to be lied to

  • …and their lies caused them to err, after the which their fathers have walked…
  • Now, Judah became a culture and a system built on errors.
  • The fathers have walked this way, so lies became the normal course of traffic.
    • Judah had its Charles Darwins who taught them lies of biology.
    • Judah had its John Deweys who taught them lies of education administration.
    • Judah had its Karl Marxes who taught them sociological lies and class warfare.
    • Judah had its Sigmund Freuds who taught them lies of psychology and the mind.
    • Judah had its John Maynard Keynes who taught them economic lies.
    • Judah had its “Beatles” and “Rolling Stones” and “Imagine Dragons” and country stars that made animal behavior fun and the Bible a burden.  After all, Darwin told us we were just animals.
    • The money and the fun congregated around the lies and the children of the fathers who walked in the lies couldn’t see any point in the truth.
  • The next generation came up built on the lies of the previous one.

Nothing can be accomplished against the truth

  • …devour the palaces of Jerusalem…
    • Jerusalem was where God chose to put His name.
    • Romans 11:13, 21-22 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: … 21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. 22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.
  • Light of the word of God had become lightning.
  • Water of the word of God had become a flood.
  • The solid rock was now a crushing boulder.
  • The fire of the word of God that warmed and comforted the people would become a consuming blaze.
  • 2 Corinthians 13:8 For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.  In the end your life and my life will only be proof of what God said.  For better or for worse, your life will be proof of what God already said.