The God who roars will not be ignored
Seek Me and Live -2
TITLE: The God who roars will not be ignored!
TEXT: Amos 3:1-15
TASK: To warn believers of the dire consequences of ignoring God.
TEACH: Let me see a show of hands. How many of you like to be ignored; especially, concerning something very close to your heart; or, when you’re trying to help someone, but they won’t listen, do you like that? In reality, no one likes to be ignored. When I was a young boy on the farm, my dad would whistle to get my attention. Trust me, you did not ignore that whistle, instead you came running.
TRUTH: Chapters 3-6, made up of a number of oracles sometimes loosely related to one another, comprise the heart of the book of Amos.
I. God Roars to Promote Reverence.
a. In this passage Amos uses intentional words in order to highlight the blessings of God bestowed upon Israel. Whoever despises the word brings destruction on himself, but he who reveres the commandment will be rewarded./ Heb.11:7 By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. Reverence is honor and respect that is deeply felt and outwardly demonstrated.
1. The blessing of special revelation- “Hear”
2. The blessing of covenant relationship- “whole family”
3. The blessing of total deliverance- “brought you ought of Egypt.”
4. The blessing of unconditional election- “you only have I known”
The word ‘known’ in this context is a covenant word. It is used to describe a relationship instead of cognition. Yahweh knew all men in a cognitive sense, but only into a special relationship with one people, Israel.
5. The blessing of purposeful correction- “I will punish you…” - -- However, the people of Israel seemingly confused election with privilege and favoritism. They seemed to believe that sense God chose them He must love them more than anyone else; therefore, they could count more on the blessings of God. But Amos said, not so! He concluded, “therefore, I will punish you for all your iniquities.”
b. For some reason they presumed that election eliminated judgement and responsibility. Israel believed that the benefits of election and covenant were automatic; they would automatically be absolved. However, Amos highlights the reality that God will call them to give an account. The grace of God is not a license for sin.
c. Amos juxtaposes the love of God with the judgment of God. The privileges of God are treasures that come with great responsibility. The prophet wants them to understand that doom is in store for men and nations that accept the privileges but reject the responsibility, which implicit to their covenant relationship.
For there is no duty performed by us that can by any means be accepted of God if it be not seasoned with godly fear. -John Bunyan (Vol. 1, pg. 438)
Illustration: When teens rebel and the parents say, “after all we have done for you, you pull this,” this is what God is saying to the nation of Israel.
II. God Roars to Produce Reality.
a. This section contains a series of rhetorical questions based on a cause-and-effect structure (vv.3-6). The series culminates in verse 7, in which the concluding principle is stated. Then verse 8 introduces two more rhetorical questions, based on verses 4 and 7, and these last two questions introduce a series of oracles.
b. Amos begins his series of questions with a statement do two walk together, unless they agreed to meet? about two men walking together in the desert. The obvious conclusion is they planned it. They communicated with one another.
c. Amos continues with an example from nature. Would a lion roar if it had no prey? Does a lion roar in the forest when he has no prey? The point is the lion is roaring, thus, it has prey. God is roaring and they are the prey.
d. The next rhetorical question gives the coming judgment a sense of inevitability. It continues the idea of cause and effect. The Lord warns His people through His prophet so that the impending righteous judgment of God will not be unexpected. The coming judgment of God was a reality they needed to prepare for without hesitation.
Illustration: Have you ever had to bring someone back to reality? Well, that is what God is doing with Israel, bringing them back to reality.
1. Wake-up to the reality of their condition.
2. Wake-up to the reality of impending judgment.
3. Wake-up to the reality of their need for repentance.
III. God Roars to Provoke Repentance.
a. Verses 9-15 have one thing in common; they are all concerned with judgement. Verses 9-12 speak of judgment on Samaria; 13-14, judgment on Bethel; and 15, judgment on the status symbols of the new wealthy class in Israel.
b. Proclaim is an imperative in the Hebrew, literally meaning, “cause to make heard.” Strongholds in Ashdod refers to the palaces or places of government and defense of the country.
c. Mountains of Samaria refer to the locale of the capital city of the Northern Kingdom. Further, he declares they do not know how to do right. The word here for right means that which is in front of a person, straight forward. Amos believed they had lost their way.
d. Amos seems to be thinking primarily of a foreign invasion. In v.11 he says, therefore, an adversary shall surround the land… even though the enemy is not identified undoubtedly Amos was thinking of Assyria.
e. Verse 12 is a proverb or a simile. In it Amos compares the end of a sheep or a lamb after it had been devoured by a lion. At Israel destruction there will be nothing but pieces left.
f. Verses 9-12 spoke of the destruction of Samaria, Israel’s political capital. Verses 13-15 speak of the destruction of Bethel, Israel’s religious capital.
g. On that day (yome: at any time) is an ominous expression referring to the day of the Lord. Amos warned Israel that the day of the Lord, which they so eagerly awaited was not to be a time of triumph and exultation, as they expected; but a dark, terrible day of reckoning. Bethel is located just off the main highway just 10 miles north of Jerusalem. It was a historic place in the life of the people of God. In Amos time bethel was the royal sanctuary, a destination, and people would make pilgrimages from all around. Amos believed and stated that every place of refuge would be stripped away: horns of altar, winter and summer houses all gone.
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh reaps corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit shall from the Spirit shall from the Spirit reap eternal life. -Gal. 6:7-8
Illustration: A parent disciplines their child for the purpose of correction.
There is no other fortification against the judgments of God, but repentance – Thomas Adams
He grieves truly that weeps without a witness- George Swinnock
Whoever delays repentance pawns his soul to the devil- Thomas Manton
1. Hear the Lion Roar.
2. Obey the Lion’s Roar.
3. Proclaim the Lion’s Roar.
God is our Father and He has not whistled, He has roared! Do you hear? Will you obey? Then go proclaim.
 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Heb 11:7.
 Thomas Edward McComiskey, The Minor Prophets: Vol.1: Hosea, Joel, Amos (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 1992), 378.
 Ralph L. Smith, The Broadman Commentary: Hosea-Malachi (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1972), 101.