Vs. 1, “Woe to you who are complacent in Zion, and to you who feel secure on Mount Samaria, you notable men of the foremost nation, to whom the people of Israel come!” Upon lamenting in our last chapter, Amos continues this sober message (woe oracle). Remember, Israel & Judah had put their confidence in their own outward success and security (vs. 1-7). Zion and Samaria were the capitals and the other cities mentioned were cities that had been conquered by God’s people and their pride was swelling (vs. 1-3). Additionally, we are given quite a vivid picture of their extravagant lifestyle (vs. 4-7). We then see how abhorrent (vs. 8 ) things became because Yahweh would have to give an oath to himself! Amos gives us a sobering example of what will happen to families when Yahweh follows through (vs. 9-10). But consequences are still not over in our chapter as God’s people continued to put their trust in the things of this world (vs. 11-14).
Regarding application…Where is your Security? Throughout our chapter today, we see this false sense of security that has come over the nation. Question: Security from what? We find our security against violence, theft, hunger, finances, reputation, possessions, and religions to mention just a few. But there is a danger in getting too comfortable. We can become arrogant and our pride (vs. 8 ) is something that brings no honor to God. A few years ago, things were quite secure in my life. My home was not upside down, I had management position in a growing bank, my wife was tutoring many hours, we had a new car, etc. But, when I look back at my life, none of those things brought spiritual security. I now find myself quite challenged, for all the worldly things that bring security are being quite diminished in my life. However, being a full-time student in Seminary is bringing me a very different kind of security. The word of God today is challenging us to reconsider where we find our security. Take some time to pray about your own life and where the Lord is leading you as your future unfolds!
Vs. 1, “Hear this word the Lord has spoken against you, O people of Israel—against the whole family I brought up out of Egypt.” Remember who you are. This was the aim of Amos as many of the Israelites went about their business and life with no mind of God. Life was good and prosperous. But they had forgotten (vs. 2). Amos realized they were an obstinate people, so he expounds by using the relationship of cause and effect (vs. 3-8). Examples such as walking together illustrate that they are walking together in the first place because the “cause” was that they agreed to walk (vs. 3). Amos goes on to use examples in nature with lions and birds (vs. 4-5). Trumpet sounding a warning to a city that it is going to fall reminds us that God is the reason (cause) that a city would be destroyed (vs. 6). All of these examples are used to bring the people in Israel to repentance. Realizing it is the Sovereign Lord who is in control. In the last section of our chapter, Amos denounces the wealthy who are oppressors in their own nation (2:6-8). God will even use the pagan nations: the Philistines and Egypt to testify of this truth. And lastly, their idol worship and luxurious houses will come to an end (vs. 13-15).
Regarding application…Where is your Security? Vs. 15, “I will tear down the winter house along with the summer house; the houses adorned with ivory will be destroyed and the mansions will be demolished,” declares the Lord.” The Israelites were putting their security in the things of this world. They were corrupt and deceptive in their practices to oppress the poor and keep getting richer. It was reputation and fortune that was their driving force for security in their life. It’s easy to dismiss these issues and not apply it to our present life. It’s easy to declare, “I’m not rich.” But compared to this world…56% of people live on less than $2 a day and 28% live on less than $1 a day (World Bank Statistics). Brothers and sisters, we are filthy rich compared to this world. We must remind each other the dangers of falling into the temptation of the things of this world. Our lives are found in only one security: Jesus Christ, not in houses, riches, insurance policies, education, looks, etc. Let this warning from Amos serve as an application for you today as you consider what foundation you’re building your life upon. Soften your heart today and surrender whatever might be obstructing you in your walk with the Lord!
Vs. 4-6, “It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, 6if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.” I am sharing this long passage because it is one that is confusing to most of us. The key to looking at this is to remember to step back and look at the full context of Hebrews as well as the the whole of Scripture. When we have an elementary faith (Vs. 1)…it is harder to understand the concept of Salvation. Does this mean we can lose our salvation? Does it mean that there were people that thought they were saved but really were not (Matt. 24), is it referring to certain people who lived in specific times, is this just a hypothetical situation? The main subject of this chapter is not salvation but repentance. I will die on this earth believing to the end in “once saved, always saved.” If we could lose our salvation…this nullifies the Cross of Christ. I think we can most definitely disappoint our Heavenly Father and lose some of the rewards and treasures that could be given to us…but I do not believe we are chastized from Heaven. A Greek study of the word “fall away” would show us the meaning: parapipto, which means “to fall aside, to turn aside, to wander.”…some can interpret this as falling away from salvation, but that is not the case. Does this make sense?
Regarding application…Eternal Security. Vs. 19, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure…” Question: How does the knowledge “Eternal Security” affect the lives of Christians? To put it in simple terms: We can either take it for granted (like the Hebews) or turn all the more in repetance and spiritual maturity. I would like to think the majority of Christians would continue to grow…but sadly, this does not seem to be the case. With great things brings great responsibility. Eternal Security is one of the most incredible gifts of assurance we could ever ask for. It takes the burden of worry off our backs. It helps us to know that there will be a light at the end of the tunnel.
When I became a Christian at 16, I knew in my heart of hearts I was truly saved….BUT…I did what so many of us have done, Vs. 6 “…are crucifying the Son of God all over again…” You see…while we have “Eternal Security”…it is very possible to die in this life totally having done little for Jesus….and yet….go to Heaven! Some may cry out injustices…but that is just one of the amazing things about the Love of Christ. The repentant thief on the cross never got the chance to live for Christ…for he would die that same day. He never did anything….yet was still saved because he believed and put his trust in Christ. We have done that too….but we are not dying on a cross. We must take the short time we have on this earth and grow & mature in the Lord so that others will see Christ in Us!