Humanism (Amos #16)

Text: Amos 6

Amos turns his sights on the southern tribes focussing on Jerusalem now.  As they watched the northern tribes get judged, those in Jerusalem and Judah kicked back, continued pursuing the “American Dream” and said that’ll never happen to us.

In chapter 5 the LORD dealt with religious people and religion that he hated among the northern part of Israel.  In chapter 6, the people of Judah living around Jerusalem, “capitol hill”, are not religious, they are secularists or humanists.  They’re goals in life are to lounge around, be entertained, think positive, politick, and get drunk.

Humanism: an outlook or system of thought attaching prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters. Humanist beliefs stress the potential value and goodness of human beings, emphasize common human needs, and seek solely rational ways of solving human problems rather than divine revelation.

Conformity to the god of this world (vss 1-6)

  • The “good life” without the LORD
  • At ease in Zion – the “good life” without God
  • Trust in the mountain of Samaria – national defense is good
    • False security, trusting in something that won’t help you if God isn’t in it
  • Named chief of the nations – most powerful in the world
  • Put far away the evil day – positive thinking
    • You’ve always been able to overcome obstacles.
    • We are the greatest nation!  We’re only limited by our belief in ourselves!
  • Lie upon beds of ivory
  • Eat lambs out of the flock and calves out of the midst of the stall
    • Luxurious dining on veal and lamb.  
  • That chant to the sound of the viol
  • That drink wine in bowls
  • That anoint themselves with the chief ointments
  • God’s nation completely conformed to this world
    • Goals are the same as the world.
    • Path to success is the same as the world.
    • Pleasures are the same as the world.
    • Relationships are the same as the world.
    • What I want out of life is the same as the world.
    • Define success the same way the world defines success.

Chastening hand of the LORD (vss 7-11)

  • Pleasures of sin end.  Families are broken apart.
  • God gives them up in verse 8.
  • Whoever is left dies of disease such that the remains have to be burned in verses 9-10.
  • They’re not allowed to mention the name of the LORD – the Lord Jesus Christ.  We can talk about God, but we don’t mention his name here.
    • You can pray, just don’t mention Jesus Christ.
    • You can talk about how we’re all going the same way to heaven, just don’t say that way is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Complaint the LORD has against His nation (vss 12-14)

  • No place for the LORD
    • The Lord asks in verse 12, now, where is the opportunity for my Spirit to work?  Where is ground that the seeds of righteousness can be planted so the fruits of righteousness can grow?
    • Where’s the parcel of ground you’ve set aside and hedged off so the LORD can do something in your life and with your life?
    • Or have you found that the enemy has devoured all your time, all your land, all your opportunity.  There is no ground, it’s all been concreted so I can build bigger buildings.
    • Who needs the LORD?
      • Where does the fruit of righteousness fit in?
      • The Holy Spirit says you need righteousness and you look around and ask, “what do I need righteousness for?”
      • The Holy Spirit says you need wisdom.  And you look at your education and educational goals and none of them includes the wisdom of God, so you ask, “What do I need wisdom for?”
      • So you say I don’t see the need for those things.  Where would I fit righteousness into my education? Where would I fit holiness into my life?  Where would I fit godliness into my schedule? AND why would I want to anyway?
      • That’s an indication you’re a lost soul.
      • 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
      • If you can’t see any need for the fruit of righteousness, by definition, you’re blinded.
      • How?  The god of this world has kept those necessary godly things hidden from you.
      • Revelation 3:17-20 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
  • Because you’ve made the work of the LORD bitter
    • Again in verse 12, ye have turned judgment into gall, and the fruit of righteousness into hemlock:
    • You’ve made the ways of the LORD disgusting.  Not because you’re hypocrites who say one thing and do another, but because you’re hypocrites who carry the name of the LORD while being completely conformed to this world.
    • You say well being conformed to this world works.  It’s fun to be conformed to this world. The LORD just doesn’t want me to have fun.  That’s exactly the philosophy Amos preached against – ye have turned judgment into gall…
    • You’ve got the whole thing backwards.  The LORD wants you to have peace and joy and have it eternally, but if you can’t see the difference in the pleasures of sin for a season and the eternal fruit of righteousness, then you can’t see.
  • Because your celebrations revolve around vanities
    • You think you’re more than you are.  You think your thoughts have more value than they do.  You think your strength is sufficient. While you ignore that all of this is coming to an end.
    • What started at ease in Zion and partying and success without the LORD ends in captivity, burning of bodies, and the last word in this sermon “wilderness.”