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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Amos 3

Verses 1-15

  1. Intro:
    1. End of May we did ch.1 & 2.
      1. Recap: Amos(a “layman”. A fig-picking/sheepbreader)
        1. Ever feel inadequate? We all do.
        2. Robert Murray M’Cheyne said, “It is not great talents God blesses so much as great likeness to Jesus.”
        3. Examples of humble beginners? – Moody(shoe salesman); Billy Sunday(former baseball player); William Carey(shoemaker)[edited & translated the bible in 36 languages India]; Galdys Aylward(parlor-maid in London/China); David Livingston(a boy w/a dream 4 China/,then Africa “unexplored”); John Bunyan(mender of pots & pans)
        4. “It is not great talents God blesses so much as great likeness to Jesus.”
      2. Purpose: Warn Israel of coming doom.
      3. Ch.’s – 1,2 = 8 Accusations. [Dart board analogy(green to red “bullseye”)] Ch.’s – 3-6 = 3 Sermons. [tonight just take one, in ch.3]Ch.’s – 7-9 = 5 Visions.
      4. Chapter picks up on the point of Israel’s judgment.
        1. Remember, Israel was enjoying a time of peace, prosperity,& “religious revival”!
    2. Q: Why do many people have difficulty believing in God as judge?
    1. Privilege brings responsibility!
      1. Often we take advantage of “being family” don’t we?
        1. Yet remember, Israel was chosen to be a blessing to all nations.
      2. God’s gracious election doesn’t give them/us a right to disobey Him!
      3. Ever say, “I’m one of God’s kids…I’ll ask forgiveness when I’m threw”?
        1. Q: Can we sin w/o impunity? Or, is there a higher obligation to holiness?
      4. Ask: Give an example of how privilege brings responsibility as Christians.
        1. To work for God in ministry(paid or volunteer); to be married; to be single(the responsibility to redeem the time” 1 Cor.7:); to have children; to have wealth; job position/level.
      5. “To whom much is given, much is required!”
      6. Q: What have you been given. What has been entrusted to you?
    1. Each of the 7 questions in (3-6) reflect a cause & effect relationship.
      1. Thus, Israel’s sin has brought on her own judgment.
      2. (3) If 2 people are walking together they must have had an appointment to do so.
      3. (4) If a lion roars, he has prey.
      4. (5) If a bird is in the trap, someone must have set it.
      5. (6a) If the trumpet sounds, calamity is near.
      6. God the Lion was about to roar! God was about to spring the trap! God was about to blow the trumpet of duress! God was about to bring about has been revealed!
    2. (6b) God sends disasters!
      1. Christians often try to get God off the hot seat by blaming the devil.
      2. Or, try to explain things away by the existence of a “primary & secondary cause”.
        1. There is a “primary & secondary cause”…& God controls both! And even controls the devil.
      3. Isaiah was clear on it (read Is.45:7 and vs.6/context)
      4. The question is do you believe in “Mother Nature”…or Father God?
        1. Is there a possibility of a “freak act of nature?” Is there luck & chance in our universe? – If so we are of men most pitiable!
    3. (7) A well-known insurance company uses cartoons to advertise their product. One cartoon pictures a piano falling from an upper-story window toward an unsuspecting man below. As it speeds toward its destination, a friend politely asks: “By the way, what’s the name of your insurance company?” “Acme insurance, of course,” the man replies. “Why do you ask?”
      1. Disaster often comes unexpectedly. Israel didn’t realize that that the full weight of Gods judgment was about to fall on them.
      2. The God of Grace doesn’t send the disaster w/o sending a warning 1st
      3. Re: destruction of Gomorrah – Gen.18:17 “And the LORD said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing,”
      4. More general - Ps.25:14 “The secret of the LORD is with those who fear Him, And He will show them His covenant.”
      5. From Jesus – Jn.15:15 “No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.”
      6. “Servants” – speaks to obedience!
    1. The rest of this chapter (9-15) deals with Assyrian invasion.
    2. (9) Why does God summon the pagan nations to assemble on the mountains of Samaria?
      1. From this vantage point Israel could be viewed.
      2. Q: What does this say about Israel’s morality & lifestyle in comparison w/the pagan nations? (ouch!)
    3. You can learn a lot about a person by what makes them angry.
      1. And so with God.
    4. (10) “For they do not know to do right!”
      1. Do you have more of a problem “knowing” or “doing” the right thing?
    5. Let’s watch how God’s punishment fits the crime!
      1. See the 2 things in vs.10b (fulfilled in vs.11 & 15)
      2. “Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time!” (Barretta/Robert Blake)
    1. ​​​​​​​(12) If a shepherd lost an animal, he had to pay for it, unless he could prove that a beast killed it.
      1. He proved it by bringing some of the parts that were nor devoured.
      2. Similar to Joseph’s situation. His brothers brought back part of the coat of many colors dipped in goats blood, to their father Jacob to show him he was(supposedly) eaten by a wild animal.
      3. This picture here is to show the meager remains of Gods chosen people. – Oh, the Israelites will be saved…“like a leg of lamb sticking out of a lion’s mouth saved!”
    2. (12b) This speaks of the idle luxury of the rich.
    3. (13) Here is the longest name for God in the bible.
      1. Adonai Yahweh Elohee Ha-Tsvaot (Lit. “Sov. Yahweh God of the Hosts”)
    4. (14) Altars of Bethel (& Dan)
      1. Show picture of the altar at Dan.
      2. Remember: Jeroboam(during the divided kingdom) est. Bethel & Dan as the chief sanctuary’s of Israel as a rival to Jerusalem in Judah.
        1. 1st Kings 12:28,29 “Therefore the king asked advice, made two calves of gold, and said to the people, "It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, O Israel, which brought you up from the land of Egypt!" And he set up one in Bethel, and the other he put in Dan.”
      3. According to the law, people in danger could find refuge by grasping the horns of the altar(See Adonijah I 1 Kings 1:50).
        1. Q: How would this change now? {“the horns of the altar shall be cut off And fall to the ground”}
        2. No mercy to grab onto!
        3. Their beautiful services were not going to hold back judgment on Israel.
    5. Amos denounced their luxury because they were not meeting the needs of the poor.
      1. They were addicted to affluence! - They simply built bigger barns!
        1. A Chinese proverb says, “To pretend to satisfy one’s desires by possessions, is like using a straw to put out a fire.”
      2. A letter was sent to Spurgeon from a church trying to raise money. They asked him to come speak for this fund raiser…but wanted to know which of the churches houses he’d like to stay in. Their cottage at the beach, their cabin in the mountains, or their residence in town.
        1. He wrote them back & said to sell one of their houses.
      3. “The poor you will have with you always”!
        1. Gladys Aylward/Missionary to China – Said, “this was not an excuse to not help the poor, but is taken from Deut.15:11 …hear the whole verse!
      4. The OT Law made provision for ALL God’s people.
        1. Servitude(for a time)not slavery for its people.
        2. Widows were provided for.
        3. Farmers sere to allow gleaning.
        4. There was no welfare roll in Israel. The poor maintained their self-respect& worked for what they received.
        5. The man who had plenty made the excess available to the less fortunate.
      5. Q: What are WE doing to meet these needs?
      6. Q: What position would God consider our hands? Closed, cracked-open, open, or wide open?
    6. Prayer: Lord open 1st our hearts, our eyes, & our hands.
      1. “It is not great talents God blesses so much as great likeness to Jesus.”
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Amos 3". "Bell's Commentary". 2017.