Lord of All Nations (Amos)

Lord of All Nations (Amos)

Scripture: Amos 3:8, Amos 1:1-15
Date: 04/27/2013  Lesson: 4
"Acts of inhumanity are sins against God and will be judged accordingly."

Is It Easier to Be Saved or Lost? (PB) by Joe Crews

Is It Easier to Be Saved or Lost? (PB) by Joe Crews
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Welcome to Sacramento Central Seventh-day Adventist church here in Sacramento, California. We are so glad that you are tuning in and joining us - whether this is your first time or you do every week - welcome. I am so glad that you're listening on the radio or watching live at our website - 'saccentral.org' - or the various television networks. However you're joining us it doesn't matter. We're just glad that you are a part of our extended Sabbath school family around the world.

We would love to hear from you, so go to central's Facebook page. You can search for Sacramento Central Seventh-day Adventist church and just put on there where you're watching from. We would love to get to know you. Post your pictures of your group watching online and - we want to get to know our extended family more than just say 'hi'. So I encourage you to do that this week and, of course, we're going to start our program like we always do - singing your favorite songs.

So pull our your hymnals - if you have one at home - and join with us - #343 - good song - 'I will sing of my redeemer'. This is from ashra in antigua and barbuda, ken and felicia in australia, patrick and louisa in Canada, fruot, soeurette, adathel, ashelle, anielle, and abigael in Georgia, sharlett in jamaica, franklin in kenya, Karen in Maryland, bill in Massachusetts, rut in the netherlands, sandie, vern, jamie and jenny in North Carolina, jerlyn in saudi arabia, and katherine in Virginia. We're going to sing all three stanzas. 'I will sing of my redeemer' - #343. Aren't you thankful that all those years ago he did pay the debt on the hill of calvary so that we are free and we don't have to be held in bondage to the horrible sins of this world? We are continuing our way through the hymnal, learning new songs and we're in the - let's see, what section is that? It's the 'morning worship' section - is it evening worship? Evening worship - yes it is.

So, we're almost - we're chugging along pretty good here, learning our new songs. We're up to #48 and 49. Maybe ten years from now we'll finish the hymnal. So, we're going to start with our - with two today, actually, because they're both really short so we're going to do them back to back. #48 And #49 - and I want to let you know, if you have a favorite song that you want to sing with us - you're learning these along right with us - go to our website at 'saccentral.

org', click on the 'contact us' link and you can send in your favorite song and we will sing that for you. Just go to our website, it's very, very simple. So both of these were requested by the same person who got a really bright idea and realized, 'hey, we're singing these in order.' And she figured out, obviously, that 'hey, three weeks from now I'm going to put my name down.' And so she picked these. So joyce in nairobi, kenya has requested #48 and #49 - 'softly now the light of day' and 'Savior, breathe an evening blessing'. I learned, by reading the history book that goes along with the hymnal - it tells you about the stories behind the hymns - that on #49 all four parts have their own melody.

So, I'm not quite sure what that means because I haven't heard all four parts, but I'm looking forward to hearing that. So if you can read music and you can sing those, sing them nice and loud and we're going to go through #48 and #49. Let's start with #48. You know, we're here, but there's many people that aren't and there's many people who watch every week from hospital beds - can't go out - and this is - I hope this song has brought you comfort and courage. That even if you are on your deathbed - like it said, 'may the morn of glory wake us' - may it wake you - may it wake all of us.

'Clad in light and deathless bloom.' Some of The Songs in the hymnal, I was saying earlier, aren't always happy and, you know, bouncing off the walls with joy. But some of them have messages and meanings for every stage that you're going through in life. So this is one for evening worships. So next week we'll be doing #50 - jolyne's and my absolute favorite hymn 'abide with me'. At this time let's bow our heads for prayer.

Father in Heaven, thank you so much for loving us, for bringing us here to worship you through songs and prayers and reading of Your Word. Thank you so much for the beautiful Sabbath you have blessed us with. I don't know what we'd do if we didn't have it. I think we would go crazy. Thank you so much for giving us these 24 hours where we can just pull ourselves away from the things that we are working on and doing and projects and just put it aside and focus on you.

Be with us as we open up your word and we study together. Be with our speaker as well as he brings us the lesson. In Jesus' Name, amen. I feel like I'm introducing a stranger because he's been gone on the other side of the planet for awhile. Pastor Doug Batchelor is back with us from the Philippines and he is bringing us our lesson study.

He is also our senior pastor here at Sacramento central church. Thank you debbie and our singers and musicians. Appreciate it. I enjoy singing those new songs. You know, every old song was once a new song, right? And if you want your new songs to be an old song, you've got to sing them.

That make sense so far? Greetings, everyone. I want to welcome those who are studying our lesson with us today and, as debbie mentioned, I've been gone for a couple of weeks on the other side of the planet. I've been there with nathan and mrs. Batchelor and some of the Amazing Facts team, doing some evangelistic meetings in the Philippines. And in a moment we're going to get to our lesson.

Our lesson for today is 'major lessons from the minor prophets' and we're going to be on lesson #4 talking about the book of Amos. It's actually part 1 on the book of Amos 'lord of all nations'. But with your permission, sometimes what we do with Sabbath school is we have a little mission report and I'd like to just show you a few pictures of what happened in the Philippines and this will be a real quick hastily prepared report of the trip to the Philippines and so, I'm going to give a primitive signal to sherle who's in our studio. Sherle was with us on our first trip to the Philippines. Why don't you go ahead and put that first slide up sherle? And I'm - we'll just end up going through them and - thank you very much.

This is, actually, this is - I went with Karen and nathan was out of school so we thought he'd enjoy that. This is at the manila central - manila center, rather - not to be confused with manila central - manila center church in quezon city and they hosted our afcoe - you see a lot of people wearing blue shirts - that's the pafcoe training. Pafcoe is just the Philippines Amazing Facts center of evangelism and it was very well attended. Next picture. If any of you've been to the Philippines? It's pretty exciting when you're driving there.

They have very close tolerances between the vehicles and, you know, we drive by sight. They drive by the braille system over there and it's just amazing to me how close they get and how rarely they touch. They do occasionally make contact but it is remarkable the skill they have. Next picture. And, of course, the Philippines has about 85 million people.

It's one of the most populous countries in the world. The islands are made up of catholics, muslims - mostly catholics. This is pastor lowell hargreaves. He's leading our afcoe - our pafcoe program in manilla. He was helping do evangelistic meetings there.

He allowed me to come and follow up the last two weeks of his meetings. Now this meeting, a little bit, was cathartic for the Batchelor family. Some of you know that about twelve years ago we did some meetings in the Philippines. We were involved in a very big meeting - things were going very well. We were in the cuneta astrodome and about three - three quarters of the way through the meeting we got the tragic news our son had a terrible accident in construction and he died.

And so, we abruptly left. We told the people we'd come back and we came home and - but always thought we'd like to go back and lowell was nice enough - he said, 'doug, why don't you come and you can finish up our meetings?' And so we did that and we met in quezon city. They recorded it for tv. They've got an outfit there that works with hope - this is the stage. It's an outdoor arena because this is their summertime and so this is a platform, but it's in the middle of a big circle - the circle's enormous - in the middle of quezon city.

They call it the quezon memorial circle. Everyone knows where it is. And so we were doing the programs there called, 'hidden Bible truths' - next picture - it was being recorded so they did tv production. This is the - the hope mobile tv studio. It's amazing what they do with very little equipment.

And the Lord blessed. You know, we had very little advertising for the second phase and we'd make altar calls and this is - this is actually - nathan took a picture of the screen of people coming forward. And the pastor told me - he said, 'this is really amazing' - he said - 'I see people coming forward during the altar calls we've never seen in our churches' - because several pastors came to help us - they said - we said, 'well, how did you hear about the meetings?' They said, 'oh, we're watching on the internet or we're watching hope channel on satellite or 3abn.' And so we were able to harvest some of these people who've just been watching Amazing Facts or programs - even they do Sabbath school with us online. And these were just dear catholic people. Next picture.

This is mrs. Lourdes rAmos. She is a convert from the online ministry and a very successful businesswoman over there. A day or two before our meetings began I told lowell - I said, 'I'm worried about attendance. Any way we can get any kind of media coverage?' He said, 'well, I only know one person that might do that on such short notice.

' And so he called mrs. RAmos and she said, 'oh, I wish you would have told me sooner.' So she called - next slide - she called like one of the number one reporters in the country - she's got a book out - cory quirino - who's the granddaughter of the former president - she dropped what she was doing, she came over, she did a video - she did an interview of us and she's asking, 'so what is a seventh day adventist and why are you' - she's a vegetarian. This lady is a vegan vegetarian - she's a catholic, but she's a vegan catholic so she loves the adventists. So she said, 'tell me your testimony. Tell me why are you seventh day adventists?' And she's asking all this and I just thought it was going to be on some little news program or something and they aired it all across the Philippines on Sunday and it was amazing.

So we got some great coverage and that was a miracle. Next picture. This is the people outdoors - it was at night - and while we're doing our meeting, folks were all roaming around Sunday evening in the circle and they would come in and listen and some of the people on the outskirts that were just listening ended up coming, sitting down, and then responding. Next picture. I'm going quickly because - this is Sabbath morning at the manila center church and it was just packed to capacity - and this is our first Sabbath there.

Next picture. That's yeah - that's another picture of the church - had a great meeting. Oh, let me tell you what happened. Now the day after we had such - I was feeling pretty good about everything until the next day. The news report said, 'it might' - some of you saw our Facebook it said, 'it might rain.

' Now that's devastating for an outside meeting. And someone said, 'don't worry, they have these quick thunderstorms and it'll blow over.' Well, sure enough, right in the middle of the health talk, just before I preach, it - the thunder cracked and rain started coming down - it just didn't trickle. When it first started coming down, the dear filipino people are so hardy - and they're used to this - they all had - I don't know where they kept them, but they had umbrellas on them. They didn't look like they had umbrellas on them. They're not like these big english umbrellas that you walk down the road with, they had these little things hidden and - poof! - All these umbrellas popped out like mushrooms and - but then it started to really come down and it just - you could see they then began to scatter and we basically started losing our audience - except for the people that came up onstage - and one of the only covered spots was the stage.

And so about 150 people gathered on the stage hoping it would end, but it rained for an hour. And I wasn't discouraged, you know, we did pay for the night - we weren't able to meet right then but I thought, 'you know, lord,' - we prayed that the rain would stop and it didn't. And, you know, that Scripture says, 'God sends the sunshine on the rain - on the good and the bad' and I thought, 'well, lord, it's your meeting. If you want to rain on it that's up to you.' And so we're up onstage and I asked the choir - I said, 'well, start singing.' So we just sang while we - we had - it was a great choir. They sang while we were waiting and while we were doing this, this chinese gentleman came up - he said, 'can I speak to you?' And he spoke pretty good english.

He said, 'I'm from china. I'm a student here.' He said, 'I want to tell you what's happening in china.' He said, 'in my province' - he said - 'there's a lot of Christians who meet but they have no pastors.' - These are protestant Christians - he said, 'but they are getting the Amazing Facts dvds and programs' - because we translate a lot of our stuff into mandarin - and he said, 'they've been listening to the entire program and' - he said - 'I know of churches where there are 50 or 60 people - the whole church has become seventh day adventist from listening to your stuff.' I was so happy that night. Even though the meeting got rained out - hearing that - I said, 'let me get a picture with you.' And so his name is Moses and I just was thrilled by that report. Whole churches coming in from watching the dvds. Next picture.

We're almost done. Then, while we were there, we were also training - we had a class of, I think, 37 of the pafcoe students - that's the Philippine afcoe students. They were from indonesia, all over the Philippines, from the ivory coast of africa and tanzania - so they're from all over the world. Next picture. And that's - that's the class with the hargreaves family.

Now they helped us with our meetings - they fanned out through the city and did literature work and - next picture. And, oh, we were there during easter and so Friday - you've heard there's a place in the world where they reenact the crucifixion in - pampanga? San fernando? I probably said it right, but it's in san fernando and we went there because we wanted the footage for some programs we're doing and - those dear people are dedicated but I wish we could tell them they didn't need to torture themselves. But we saw 80 or 100 people - men - walking down the road whipping themselves 'til they bled and then - next picture - they actually reenact the crucifixion and they have guards that guard the place to keep people from preventing it from happening. But about six to eight people get crucified each year - where they really drive nails in their hands because they're atoning, they're trying to get merit - and this is one picture we took and the one - two on the righy and left are tied up, they did, actually, - we got video of it - they nailed the fellow's hands to the cross who's in the middle. It's kind of strange because it made me think about the cross but what was strange is they had tourist tents set up so people could watch it - next picture - media was there from all over the world.

I decided to take a picture of the media since I didn't want to watch what was happening. And they - they're selling ice cream and balloons and it just made you think about the cross of Christ - what was going on around there too. It was just a big get-together and it was just - it's hard to fathom but that - it just really impressed me with the dedication of the people. Next picture. They're very serious about their religion.

I told you that there's a lot of catholics, but in reality, catholicism is the number two religion in the Philippines. The number one religion in the Philippines is photography. While we were there we took no less than 10,000 pictures with our friends. My filipino friends that are here - they're nodding - they know it's true. No, actually, catholicism's number one but they all love pictures so we took lots of pictures.

Wonderful music while we were there. Next picture. And wonderful, wonderful food. If you're a vegetarian you can really do well in the Philippines - the fruits - they kept bringing fruits to our room - we had fruits we didn't know what they were. They looked like monsters - just all kinds of things and delicious and - next picture - last Sabbath we met at a sports arena outside and we were really worried about, you know, would we be able to fill it because the seats seated about 10,000 and so - next picture - the Lord blessed.

All these people came together. That's the arena looking in the one direction - all the seats were filled except the last section and you can - next picture is looking in the other direction and so we had, we don't know - between 7,000 and ,000 people came for the final meeting. the Lord just continued to build - even after the rain we thought, 'it's all over.' But we canceled our day off and we just met through the day off so we had all our meetings and the meetings kept building. People brought their friends and - next picture - we were blessed and we had 143 baptisms. Now these baptisms were not just people from my last two weeks, these were from pastor hargreaves meetings and pre-work that was going on and so we just praised the Lord that he blessed like that.

We just rejoiced. It was a great - next picture - I think - we got a picture - yeah, there's the hargreaves family. Some of you - lowell has preached here before with sandra, teresa, and Michael - and we had nathan with us and this is - next picture - last picture, I think. What we did our last Sunday before we flew out - there is a doctor there, tam mateo, who is pretty famous and he has dedicated his resources into building a lifestyle center something like weimar. It's a beautiful campus and he is - the rooms are beautiful rooms - kitchen and tennis courts - gymnasium and everything and he's building a lifestyle center there and he took us on a tour and it's out on the outskirts of manila so that was very inspiring as well.

Anyway, quick report - tell you things happening about the other side of the world. I hope that was worthy of our time that we spent on it, but we're really excited and just praise the Lord. Glad to be home. Still getting over jet lag a little bit and it's about a nine-hour time difference there. Pray for our friends in the Philippines.

The work is going forward there. They're very dedicated and a lot of exciting things are happening. Alright, our lesson today is on the book of Amos. I received a real blessing from preparing for this because - and we'll be doing Amos on lesson 4 and lesson 5 - so really, today we're doing chapters 1 through 4. Next time we'll do chapters through 9 and we're also supposed to cover the entire book of Obadiah today - but Obadiah's one chapter.

So let's get right into Amos and I want to begin with, of course, the name Amos actually is similar to the name of Isaiah The Son of amoz - a-m-o-z - well Amos and amoz are very similar. It means 'strong or burden bearer'. Now, that's appropriate because Amos had to bear a very difficult burden to the people of God. We'll get to that in a moment. Oh, and I forgot to mention - in my haste to get to the lesson - we do have a free offer and it's that classic book by Joe Crews - if you've not read this you want to - it's called, 'the brook dried up' - 'the brook dried up'.

What do you do when things go wrong and times of famine or you're going through a trial. It talks about the story of Elijah when the brook dried up and how God supplies. That's free - it's offer #161. You just call the number on the screen and we'll send that to you. It's called 'the brook dried up'.

Anyway, back to Amos. It tells us - we know very little about him - he wasn't a priest, per se, he wasn't trained, necessarily, in the schools of the prophets. Amos was from tekoa. Now, does anyone else remember who was from tekoa? Joab sent to get a wise woman from tekoa to come in to see David one time. Tekoa was a town about seven miles south of Jerusalem.

So Amos is from the area of Judea. He's from the southern kingdom, not from the ten tribes in the northern kingdom and - by the way, you can read about Amos a little more in chapter 7, verse - Amos said to amaziah the king, "I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet's son; but I was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit:" - now he's not a shepherd that owns sheep, he cares for other people's sheep. He must have been a poorer man. And he's not a farmer that's got his own vines, he gathers or gleans sycomore fruit. Sycomore was a fig - it was not the expensive figs you would gather for feeding people - but these are really gathered - the poor might eat them or even animals might eat them.

And so he came from a very humble background but he's certainly an educated man. Remember the levites used to go through the southern kingdom and they would educates the boys so many of them could read and write and Amos was well educated. He knew the Scriptures. He knew the Lord - but he came from a very humble background. Reminds us that God calls people to the gift of prophecy from every stripe and type.

You name it, God calls singers and poets, he calls soldiers, he calls people who are threshing wheat, which is what gideon was doing. Elisha was out plowing. Here you've got shepherds, fisherman - you name it. the Lord seems to call everybody to his work and that means he's got something for all of us to do. And it's interesting - the book of Amos begins by saying - let's read verse 1 together, okay? Just want you to look along - I'll read it, just read along with me.

Amos chapter 1:1, "the words of Amos, who was among the herdsmen of tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of uzziah king of judah, and in the days of jeroboam The Son of joash king of Israel," - so he times himself during the time of king uzziah, also during the time of the King jeroboam - now that's jeroboam from the north - "The Son of joash king of Israel two years before the earthquake." Now what he says in his book is talking about terrible judgment that came on all the nations surrounding Israel. History tells us that there was a devastating - we don't know what it was on the richter scale, they could only guess because they didn't have those seismic readers back then, but just based on the destruction of buildings that fell, this is something that shook the whole region of the eastern mediterranean there back during the time of king uzziah. He makes these prophecies before this great earthquake - the great earthquake shakes these major nations. Now the nations that are being addressed - well, I'll get to that in a minute, let's finish reading in Amos 1:1. It says, "the words that he saw.

" Now here I just want you to think about that. 'The words of Amos who was among the sheepherders which he saw.' How do you see words? Wouldn't you normally say, 'the words which he heard'? Something that God said, 'thus sayeth the Lord'? But he said, 'the words which he saw.' Perhaps God took him into vision, or another possibility is - somebody look up for me 1 John 1:1 - I think we gave out some verses. Who has that? Right up front? Let's get a mic here. Hold your hand up so the microphone can find you. John 1:1 - and yeah, we're talking about whether you can hear the Word of God or can you also see the Word of God.

Go ahead, read that. "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the word of life;" now he says we've handled words - we've seen the word - and so, it could be Amos saw this in vision. That's what I think happened, but you can see the Word of God also and you can see it in people's lives - we saw it in Jesus. Now it talks about the earthquake. Now this earthquake that is referenced by Amos that was going to be a judgment is mentioned another place in the Bible.

Who has Zechariah 14:5? Get a microphone right up here - Zechariah 14:5. You realize it wasn't until about 300 years after Christ we began to date history using the ad/bc dating method. We now can look back and say 'this happened this year bc, this year ad' - or they don't like saying bc and ad anymore because they feel it's too religious to date history from the birth of Christ so they're using other terminology - ano domini is what ad used to represent, but everything else was dated by the reign of Kings and also major events. They'd date things by famines or some calamity. Alright, are we ready? Go ahead.

Read for us Zechariah 14:5. "And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of uzziah king of judah: and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee." Evidently, this earthquake that struck that region around Israel and its neighbors was so severe that Zechariah could harken back to that and say, 'this is what it's going to be like when the Lord comes.' Now, you've read in Revelation about that earthquake where islands and mountains are swallowed up, so this was a major earthquake. Many thousands probably died. I remember a few years ago they had an earthquake in a pakistani village and because they used just stone construction - it wasn't necessarily with cement - everything just toppled over and crushed the people - 30,000 people died in this one village and that's happened a number of places. In haiti - you remember - because of the poor concrete quality - what was it? - 240,000 People died because of the construction.

It was definitely very serious. So this earthquake - back then they didn't have the mortar - and a lot of people died and people got up and they ran in terror and fled and that's why Zechariah even refers to that. Now Amos, in his book, he begins to, in chapter 1, start to go through a list of judgments. For example, he says in verse 3, "thus saith the Lord; for three transgressions of damascus, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof;" jump to verse 6 - Amos 1:6 - "thus saith the Lord; for three transgressions of gaza, and for four," - and then you go to verse 9, "for three transgressions of tyrus, and for four," - so forth, through the book, eight times he says, 'for three and for four' - why does he say that? Well, it was common in ancient classic literature, back then, to say that - God was very patient - and maybe they got it in baseball from something in antiquity but it's like God would give you three major chances and when it says, 'not only three times, but plus four' it meant above and beyond. There's the three times where you might turn away and forgive and - that's why Peter, when he said, 'lord, how often shall I forgive my brother seven times?' And he thought Jesus would say, 'Peter, you're very generous today, God only does it three times.

' But, of course, Christ said seventy times seven. But they had this idea that three was the limit. So when they said 'three and for four', it's talking about when you visited punishment on your neighbors or when you were at war, you went above and beyond what you were supposed to do. And you'll find that's listed all through here. Now, I tell you what, I want to take you to a story in the Bible before we go any farther.

Turn with me to 2 Chronicles - you weren't expecting this - 2 Chronicles 28 and I want to read to you an example of what's happening during the period of Amos and why he has this litany of judgments that he pronounces and then we'll talk about those nations. Now just stay with me - I'm going to read 15 verses here in Chronicles 28 - it tells a story you only find here. "Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem; and he did not do what was right in the sight of the Lord, as his father David had done. For he walked in the ways of the Kings of Israel, and made molded images for the baals." - He got involved in idolatry - "he burned incense in the valley of The Son of hinnom," - you know how Jesus refers to gehenna? Later the jews turn that valley into a dump that was full of worms and the fire did not die. "And he burned his children in the fire, according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord had cast out before them.

" He got involved in human sacrifice including sacrificing, sometimes, your firstborn son into these Gods of fire, which was just a horrific thing that some of the ancients did. The Bible says that's the very reason God cast out those pagan nations. Here you have a son of David doing that. "And he sacrificed and burned incense on the high places, on the hills, and under every green tree. Therefore the Lord his God delivered him into the hand of the King of syria.

They defeated him, and carried away a great multitude of them as captives," - alright, so syria is mentioned by Amos - they carried away a great multitude as captives and they brought them to damascus - "then he was also delivered into the hand of the King of Israel," - not only was he conquered by the Kings of the north - syria - but when Israel saw that they were weakened - Israel and judah were at war - they said, 'we're going to take advantage of that.' Israel went and got involved in another battle with them "who defeated them with a great slaughter." A lot of the soldiers were slaughtered, but beyond that they also took captives. Now this is where it gets into the lesson, "for pekah The Son of remaliah killed one hundred and twenty thousand in judah in one day," - you know, we're pained when we hear about 3,000 that died in iraq or the different wars. Here they've got 120,000 in one day that died. This was a major battle - "because they had forsaken the Lord God of their fathers. Zichri, a mighty man of ephraim, killed maaseiah the King's son," - so ahaz also lost his son - "azrikam the officer over the house, and elkanah who was second to the King.

" - So the King's cabinet - his son - is wiped out - "and the children of Israel" - kingdom of the north - "carried away captive of their brethren two hundred thousand women, sons, and daughters; and they also took away much spoil." What would happen in Sacramento if two hundred thousand people suddenly left? Would it be noticed? So they just decimated that land - more than that, they carried away the majority of the women and children to be their slaves - and "took away much spoil from them, and brought the spoil to samaria." - Samaria is the capital of Israel in the northern kingdom. And as they're bringing all these poor, wretched, defeated widows and their children and they're bringing them to be slaves up to the northern kingdom, a prophet of the Lord goes out to meet them. Verse 9, "but a prophet of the lord was there, whose name was oded;" - I bet you haven't heard about him before - "and he went out before the army" - this prophet - it took a lot of courage - he goes and he confronts this army that's bringing back all the captives - single handedly - "he went out before the army that came to samaria, and said to them: 'look, because the Lord God of your fathers was angry with judah, he has delivered them into your hand; but you have killed them in a rage'" - you've gone beyond three - you've gone to four - "'that reaches up to heaven. And now you propose to force the children of judah and Jerusalem to be your male and female slaves; but are you not also guilty before the Lord your God?'" - Do you think that just because you've gotten victory it's because they're bad and you're good? - It says, 'you've got your guilt too. You're also worshiping foreign Gods' - "'now hear me, therefore, and return the captives, whom you have taken captive from your brethren, for the fierce wrath of the Lord is upon you.

'" - You've gone too far, you're showing no kindness. This is the theme of our lesson - "then some of the heads of the children of ephraim, azariah The Son of johanan, berechiah The Son of meshillemoth, jehizkiah The Son of shalum, and amasa The Son of hadlai, stood up against those who came from the war," - this one prophet wasn't enough, some of the elders in Israel said, 'you know, he's right. We better tell them to turn back and let them go.' - "And said to them, 'you shall not bring the captives here, for we have already offended the Lord.'" - You guys have gone too far - "you intend to add to our sins and to our guilt; for our guilt is great, and there is fierce wrath against Israel.' So the armed men" - have to listen to the elders - they "left the captives and the spoil before the leaders and all the assembly." - The soldiers get mad and they just say, 'oh, here, take them, they're yours.' And they walk away. - "Then the men who were designated" - the ones we just mentioned - "by name rose up and took the captives, and from the spoil they clothed all who were naked among them, dressed them and gave them sandals, gave tehm food and drink, and anointed them; and they let all the feeble ones ride on donkeys. So they brought them to their brethren at Jericho," - Jericho was a neutral city.

They didn't dare go back up into Judea, they said, 'we'll bring you to Jericho and then you can go home from there.' - "The city of palm trees. Then they returned to samaria." So you got the picture of what happened? Big battle, Israel - or rather judah - forsook the Lord - they got into all kinds of bad behavior. Not only were they defeated by damascus, who really trounced them pretty bad, then their own brother nation - the northern tribes - the ten tribes - went to war, severely defeated them and then took them captive. They used to fight tit for tat with each other but they didn't carry each other slaves because they thought, 'you know, we are relatives.' I mean, that would be kind of like California going to war with Oregon over an issue and if we win the war and get the issue and then say, 'and we're going to make you our slaves.' So it wasn't just fighting over a disputed line or some disputed issue or taxes - they used to fight over who paid tax to whom - but they said, 'and we're taking you slaves.' It just was - it was over the top. They were treating them like they were just a nation to be conquered and subjugated and God said his wrath is on you because sometimes God uses nations to punish other nations - isn't that right? But you've got to know when you've gone far enough.

The Bible says, 'do not rejoice when your enemy falls.' And you just don't want to go overboard in that area. And so, we've got to learn how to mingle mercy when judgment comes as well. They weren't doing that. And so, this is what it's talking about in the lesson when Amos rises up. Now notice, back to Amos chapter because it goes off into chapter 2.

In the outline you'll notice he itemizes several nations - 'for four trans - three transgressions of damascus and for four I will not turn away.' Then he lists the judgments on damascus and you'll see those. Then he says 'gaza' - that's the phlistines - can we put that map up on the screen, sherle? I want to just give you a map. This is the nations that are referred to by Amos. In the middle you'll see there's Judea. The lower pink country is Judea.

Towards the sea you've gaza or the phlistines. Down to the southeast you've got edom. Directly west of judah you've got moab, then you see ammon there across the territory of Israel, then you've got their brothers to the northern kingdom, Israel - that's up north in the yellow, above the pink. Then you've got tyre and zidon - the zidonians are phoenecians that are up there in the pink to the north, then the green - that's damascus up to the right and the east. All of these nations are mentioned in the judgments that we're reading about.

All of them were affected by the earthquake that came. And so, yeah, that's a pretty sprawling earthquake. Well, it's like the lisbon earthquake - I was reading one commentator - you've heard of the lisbon earthquake that reached, you know, it was felt all over europe and north africa. They said this was just about - not quite, but just about on the scale of the lisbon earthquake. And so he mentions damascus - that's the syrians, gaza - that's the philistines, tyrus - that's the zidonians, edom - the edomites, ammon - the ammonites, moab - the moabites.

Now do you remember who these people are? Edom, they're the descendents of esau - we'll talk about them in the book of Obadiah in just a minute - ammon, those are the descendents - and moab - of lot - the daughters of lot had those two. And so they were relatives. They believed - they practiced circumcision, they believed in one God - they were related. It's also interesting that they're specifically mentioned because one of the last things it says in the book of Daniel, just before Michael stands up in Daniel chapter 11, it mentions edom, moab, and ammon - those three neighbors that were sort of relatives of God's people - they're also mentioned there. And then the - finally he goes and says, 'after we've talked about your nations we're going to talk about you.

' Amos was from judah - the seventh one that's mentioned is judah - in the list of judgements - it's also interesting, from what tribe did Jesus come? Judah. And then after he's done talking about the judgment on judah, then he talks about Israel as the eighth. Now there's a parallel between this - it talks about a seventh and an eighth in Revelation too - when it talks about the heads of the Kings. I don't have time in the lesson to read through and give you the history on all of those judgments. Maybe I'll just - I've got an outline here that will give you some of it.

He talks about the sin of damascus. It says, 'they have threshed gilead with threshing and fiery destruction' - there'd be widespread death, death of the king, national captivity - all of it happened. Then he talks about the philistines, or gaza, 'because they carried away the captivity' - they also took advantage of the weakness of Israel - carried them away as slaves - and the judgment: fiery destruction, widespread death, the death of the King. Those things happened. Then it talks about the prophecy concerning tyrus or the zidonians.

It says, 'they delivered up the whole captivity of edom.' - Oh, by the way, not only were the edomites, moabites, ammonites related, the zidonians - they had a good relationship with Israel and judah. You remember, it was the King of tyre and zidon who helped David build his house - who helped Solomon build the temple. He refers to Solomon as 'my brother'. But then, as soon as they became weak they took advantage of them. They spoiled them.

And there was also a great famine that came after the earthquake - that often happens because it affected agriculture - and a lot of these people suffered. This famine was foretold. Prophecy of tyrus - it said there would be fiery destruction. After the famine things dried out and there were fires. The sin of edom - he did not pursue his brother with a sword but did cast off all pity.

And then it talks about the prophecy of ammon - that they might enlarge their border - that judgment would be fiery destruction and captivity of the king, captivity of the princes - those things happened. And the fiery judgment of moab - there would be widespread death, fiery destruction, death of the judge and the princes and then judah - it says that there would be fiery destruction - the city was burnt by Nebuchadnezzar - and Israel - it talks about all of their sins are listed there. Matter of fact, chapter 2:6-16 talks about the sins of Israel. So we're not going to have time to go into all of that, but let me go back and let me read with you in 2 Kings 10, verse 32, for example, 2 Kings 10:32, "in those days the King" - I'm sorry - "in those days the Lord began to cut Israel short: and hazael smote them in all the coasts of Israel; from Jordan eastward, all the land of gilead, the gadites, and the reubenites, and the manassites, from aroer, which is by the river arnon, even gilead and bashan." So here you see in 2 Kings 10:32 some of the judgments began to come on Israel because of what Israel had done to judah. And he again used the syrians up in the north.

Let's see here, 'justice for the oppressed'. Turn with me to Isaiah 58. In Isaiah 58 it talks about what the Lord really wants. This reminds us of the parable of the good samaritan a little bit and about caring for those that are in need. The people of Israel and judah were fasting and they thought just because they fasted and they afflicted their souls God was happy and the Lord says, - oh let's see here - we'll start with verse 3, "'why have we fasted,' they say, 'and you have not seen? Why have we afflicted our souls, and you take no notice?' 'In fact, in the day of your fast you find pleasure, and exploit all your laborers.

Indeed you fast for strife and debate and to strike with the fist of wickedness. You will not fast as you do this day, to make your voice heard on high. Is it a fast that I have chosen, a day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush, and to spread out sackcloth and ashes? Would you call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the Lord? Is this not this the fast that I have chosen: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke?'" - Sometimes they'd put yokes on people when they carried them away captive - "'is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and that you bring into your house those who are poor and cast out; when you see the naked that you cover him, and not hid yourself from your own flesh?'" Doesn't that sound like the judgment you read about in Matthew 25 - when you separate the sheep from the goats? And he'll say to the sheep, 'I was hungry and you fed me; I was naked and you clothed me; I was sick or in prison and you cared for me; I was a stranger and you took me in.' And those people hear God say, 'well done good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of the Lord.' 'Inasmuch as you've done it to the least of these your brethren.' Not only your brethren but, you know, in the law of Moses it said if you find your enemy's donkey or oxen going astray you're to care for it - even your enemies - how much more your friend? And so it was about caring for those in need that you encounter. It says, if you do this - I'm back in Isaiah 58, verse 8 "then your light will break forth like the morning, your healing shall spring for speedily, and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the lord will answer; you shall cry, and he will say, 'here I am.

If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, if you extend your soul to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted soul, then your light shall dawn in the darkness, and your darkness will be as the noonday. the Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; you shall be like a watered garden...whose waters do not fail.'" And he goes on and there's a lot of other wonderful promises in this chapter. But he said, 'when we really' - one of the two great commandments - love the Lord and love your neighbor. And so a lot of what's happening in the judgments of Amos - he's saying, look at how you've treated your neighbors. All the judgments that are pronounced are pronounced on neighboring nations that were being brutal to each other and there's a lot of sordid history of what they were doing and how they were enslaving and how vengeful they were and, you know, I don't know that - you can look that up and read it, it's available, but it's interesting that everything Amos prophesied came true and - I've got four minutes to talk about Obadiah so let's go there real quick and you'll find the book of Obadiah just before the book of Jonah and in there he principally is - the name Obadiah means 'servant to' - iah means 'jehovah' - 'servant to jehovah' - and these prophecies are spoken against the edomites, principally, because of - they had been fighting and being cruel to their brothers.

Now I have a picture, I think - I've been to petra - this is the ancient - it was hidden for years - you've probably seen pictures of the city of petra - you've seen the picture of the bank - it's been used in different film settings on many occasions, but they basically lived in a rocky region about a hundred miles east of Jerusalem up in the hills, and they had very clever ways of capturing water - they seemed to have an abundance of water out there. They made a lot of their money on trade because they occupied the trade routes through the desert to the east. They were very wealthy and they dwelt up in the clefts of the rocks. So when you read the prophecies of Obadiah, he says, "though you set" - I'm in Obadiah verse 4 - there's only one chapter - "'though you ascend as high as the eagle, and though you set your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down,' says the Lord." - And he says "'if thieves had come to you, or robbers by night - oh, how you will be cut off! - Would they not have stolen till they had enough? If grape gatherers had come to you, would they not have left some gleanings?'" In other words, even a thief - they kind of grab what they need and they go. Or if you're gleaning grapes you glean a few grapes to feed yourself then you go.

But he said, 'what you've done to judah and Israel is you went above and beyond in brutality and so, because of that, I'm going to bring a judgment on you.' And it's interesting, after the prophecy of Obadiah, by the time you get to the time of the maccabees, the edomites finally did - they were overcome and they pretty much became extinct. I mean, you'll run into people who say they're from the ten tribes - there are syrian jews that you will meet that say, 'we have descended from the ten tribes.' You can still meet some modern samaritans that live in that part of Israel, but you're going to be hard-pressed to find any real edomites out there. They were pretty much conquered before the time of Christ - during the time of the maccabees they were overcome. They were decimated as a people and the prophecies of Obadiah came true. One more thing I'd like to say about this.

Turn in your Bibles to the book of Romans. In Romans chapter 9, I think it's verse 13 - let me look here - yes, roman 9:13. People have often wondered about this: "Jacob I have loved, but esau I have hated." Esau was The Father of the edomites. Now doesn't it sound a little bit cruel to say, 'I think I'm going to love the children of Jacob but I'm just going to hate the descendants of esau'? If you want to understand that, look at Malachi - last book of the old testament - you've got to go to Malachi chapter 1. This will be our last verse.

Malachi 1 and it says here in verse 2, "'I have loved you,' says the Lord. 'Yet you say, 'in what way have you loved us?' Was not esau'" - that's the father of the edomites - "'was not esau Jacob's brother?' Say the Lord. 'Yet Jacob I have loved; but esau I have hated, and laid waste his mountains and his heritage for the jackals of the wilderness.'" You know, the city of petra was hidden until about 110 years ago, I think, and there was a white archaeologist that dressed up like an arab. Arabs kept it secret because they discovered it. The arabs that lived there in petra - the capital of the edomites - they're not the people who were living there before but they found this ancient city out there and they kept it from the western world for like a thousand years and finally it was rediscovered and now there's a marriott hotel there and people go and they look at the ruins and it's pretty - they call them the nabateans.

Any of you been to petra? I've been there - I see a few of you have been there. It's just an amazing thing to see. They carved a city completely out of the rock up there in the hills. But when it says, 'I have loved Jacob and I hated esau,' it's not talking about The Sons, it's talking about the nations. See that? You can see in Micah now what Paul is talking - or Malachi - what Paul is talking about.

It said, 'I laid his mountain and his heritage waste for the wilderness.' Why? Because of their pride. Not - he didn't automatically say, 'I've decided to hate esau and love Jacob before they're even born, it was because of what the people did. But he showed mercy to the people of Israel because they kept repenting and coming back. Anyway, time's up. I hope you learned something about the first few chapters of Amos and the book of Obadiah.

And we'll learn more when we study together next week. Time is up. I want to remind you we have a free offer. That, one more time, is 'the brook dried up' - 'the brook dried up'. It's offer #161 - we'll send it to you just for requesting it.

Call 866-study-more. We'll send that to you. God bless 'til we study together again next week.

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