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April 26, 2021 9:00 am
Message from Pastor Janine Greer, we tend to put helping the needy around us under the category of charity right and so if you don't help the needy around you. We would say that you are stingy, but according to Amos, God sees a failure to help the poor as injustice.
A more serious thing. The gospel centered Bible teaching ministry JD Greer, pastor of the stomach church in Raleigh, Durham, North Carolina. As always, I'm your host Molly benefits no one likes being corrected on their behavior almost always painful, especially when we know that right even though it doesn't feel good to get called out understand often the most loving thing someone can do for us because until we acknowledge that sin is present were never going to truly repent today. Pastor JD describes it. In Israel's history. When God confronted his people about their sin called them to repentance is part of our series title come back to me and Pastor JD call this message unpopular today. What I want to do is I want to introduce you to the most unpopular of all the prophets met his famous Amos the most despised man in Israel. Amos is our third in our five-week series on the minor prophets now couple quick things. I want you to know about Amos verses that Amos was unusual among the prophets and that Amos was not a vocational prophet like most of the other prophets in the very first chapter, Amos tells us that he was a normal, shall we say blue-collar worker got a guy. He was a cattle farmer who also attended a field of sycamore trees. In other words, he had gone to seminary to learn to write sermons for a living. He was simply a man that was trying to do his job when his spirit became so burdened and overwhelmed with what he saw around him, but he couldn't stay silent anymore and see. I want to point out before we begin before we get started. Some of the greatest contributions in church history have come through ordinary people. Non-ordained people. Non-seminary trained people like Amos it was ordinary people that brought about the most extraordinary reforms in the church. I'm thinking of William Wilberforce, a layman who lead in the abolition of the slave trade in Great Britain or William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army. If a layperson who did more to mobilize the evangelical church to care for the poor in urban centers than anybody else in history are Rosa Parks and ordinary woman whose boldness provoked many pastors to stand up against the injustices of segregation. Second, Amos was one of the most unpopular prophets in Israel's history because Amos brought a message of warning during the time of great national prosperity. The year was approximately 800 BC Jeroboam the second was king and Israel was still surging under the prosperity that have been brought by David and King Solomon. They were the unchallenged, unchallenged, dominant military power in the region.
They controlled the trade routes of the Middle East, which had led to a great financial boom. Their stock market was good and the land was at peace. So when Amos shows up with a warning about a coming financial disaster and military destruction.
What he said just seemed utterly unrealistic.
In fact, some of things he said just sounded unbelievable to Bama give you a couple examples chapter 2 verse 15. The archer will not stand his ground and he who is stout of heart. Among the mighty men shall flee away. Make it in that day, declares the Lord, the archers in Israel were a great source of national pride.
They were they were there they were the crack warriors, fearless, devastating marksman, saying they will flee away. Make it in that day would be like saying the eyes. Your Navy SEALs will collapse into the fetal position and cry for their mamas for chapter 3 verse 15 I will strike the warehouse along with the summerhouse and the house is a biracial bear to clear the Lord. We should read and there is that these people had really nice houses you multi thousand square-foot houses and may also have a winterhouse for vacation and a different summerhouse from vacation. When you got three houses across the country to live in.
That means that you are pretty financially set. They were safe felt sure that they were secure from any financial disaster to the idea of ruling to them was just unrealistic. But you see mighty empires and mighty men and women are not usually brought down by financial or military disaster that brought down by sin by corruption from within. And that's what's happening in Israel.
So let's take a look at his message and let's let's try to see what's in it for us.
The first six chapters of a must read like one sustained sermon that Amos preached.
He says on a feast day national holiday in Israel and there were to see the charge against Israel were to see a counterfeit message to see the excuses that Israel brought up a member to see the difference between true and false hope, so start with the charge Amos chapter 1 tells us that during a national holiday celebration. Amos stood up in the center of one of Israel's most sacred cities city called Bethel and there he started proclaiming the Lord's judgment on six around the nation's Damascus felicity tire Moab countries like that nations that were all competitors with an enemies to Israel. Now that part of his sermon was undoubtedly well received because you know that one of the fastest ways to build a friendship with somebody is to get together a complaint against the same people, everybody likes to hear about judgment on their enemies right and I'm sure as he went through the judgments on these nations. The crowd was all nod their heads and they were like a bad preacher preacher. But then in chapter 2, he suddenly pivots and he starts talking about Israel's sin which did not go over quite so well. He talks about them in the third person and he says as if he's not talking to the about the very people literally right in front of them. He starts talking about the charge against Israel. And here's the kind of things that he says 72 verse six they sell the righteous for silver and the needy for a pair of sandals. In other words, they exploit the poor some silver in those days was a synonym for a loan or a huge debt, you see the world in economy and Amos estate was changing help until that time Israel had existed primarily as a system of agrarian forms a collection of localized farmers.
But in order to keep up in the new world economy they had to focus on mass-producing the few specialized cash crops which is fine but a few people had figured out in Israel how to rig the system through monopolies or inflation and that kind of stuff and so they put all the rest of the farmers in Israel into deep debt. Things were so bad that poor people were going in the debt just to buy parachutes which is what is referring to there there to sell the needy for a pair of sandals are going into debt just to stay alive in those days there was no such thing as bankruptcy. So if you couldn't pay your debt. You went into forced servitude to another words, people were having to sell themselves virtually into slavery just to stay alive he continues. He said they trampled the head of the poor into the dust of the earth. That means that they use their riches to twist the justice system in favor of themselves later in the book is to describe how the rich manipulated the court system to benefit themselves in ways that the poor could simply not do verse seven or seven again and they turn aside the way of the afflicted means they were just apathetic toward those around them who were suffering as long as it didn't affect them. They live lives of these in comfort and luxury in the face of great suffering and important thing to notice here is that God sees this as a breach of justice is to make that clear in chapter 5 is in arrears or justice over and over again, I point that out because we tend to put helping the needy around us under the category of charity right and so if you don't help the needy around you.
We would say that you are stingy, but according to Amos, God sees a failure to help the poor as injustice.
A more serious thing. The word justice in Hebrew is missed pot and it occurs over 200 times in the Old Testament and usually when you see it, you're gonna see four classes of people brought up in the same context.
The see the widows, orphans for Norton foreigners and the poor.
What one scholar calls the quartet of the vulnerable. The just person in the Old Testament is the one who is involved. Helping these four groups, not just the one that's doing business rightly, but the one that is involved in helping these four groups be empowered the given example Deuteronomy 1018 talking about the righteous man. He executes justice missed pot for the fatherless and the widow. He loves the sojourner giving him food and clothing note which he administers the interchangeable nature of justice, and giving somebody who is in need, food. One scholar said it this way in the Old Testament.
Justice is not just putting down the press that's part of it, but it's also helping to lift up the old press the just person in the Old Testament is the one who sees his or her resources as belonging really to the whole community. A gift that they have been given to steward for the benefit of the whole community.
See people and Amos as they didn't see it that way but I saw their riches as their own. On the one who earned this on the one you figured out how to get all this I got up early. I stayed up late. I worked hard and so I deserve to use these things for my benefit and therefore they were oblivious to those around them who didn't have them.
Maybe the most politically incorrect verse in the book of Amos Amos chapter 4 verse one here this word you towels a bush on who oppress the poor who crushed the needy who said your husband bring that we may drink. He refers to the housewives of Israel as the towels of but Sean that takes boldness and preaching to a whole new level one commentators have obviously the image hit me back down what it means in our language today. Yeah, we still called them towels these women. Amos said spent their days spinning their husband's money in pursuing luxury when people were suffering all around them. These women didn't have to work, which was great but they cared only about fashion and vacations and stay in great shape and eating organic and drive nice cars and spend their days pursuing those things while people around them were dying back to his description here in chapter 2 of what's going on in Israel. He says this separately. Verse seven failing to summarize a support because it's worded little strange in the verse, Amos calls out their complicity with the new sexual order of the day Israel was undergoing its own version of a sexual revolution and God's people were just gonna go along with it was easier just to cannot comply even if they didn't participate in it does go along with it, even in area and not speak out against admitted really preach against that nobody confronted anybody else they just kind of conform to the new sexual standards of the day.
Maybe the worst part of all this is verse six and seven. There is yet it was I did it was I who destroyed the Amorites before you it was I who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. When I let you 40 years in the wilderness to possess the land of the MRI.
In other words, God says, I was the one who gave you this land by grace.
I was the one who thought your battles I rescued you when you were in slavery and the way you responded that is now by exporting others and by twisting the system in your favor by courting what I gave you the goes on. He says he says and I raised up some of your sons for profits which you commanded the prophet, saying, you shall not prophesy after I delivered you.
You need to know what I wanted what I had to say you can trust me to deliver you out of slavery from Egypt, but you couldn't trust me to guide you in your life and so you just turned a deaf ear to what I said it. He thought of the things I was saying didn't really apply to you most infuriating to God in all of this, Amos said, is that they did all this while remaining fervent in their religious devotion they came right on in the church acted like nothing was wrong.
It was like Isaiah prophesied right after Amos would say these people honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. They stroll on in the church and sing my praises, but their hearts are a million miles away elsewhere. And that's demonstrated by what occupies them the rest of the week because you realize that what you really believe about God is not demonstrated by how loudly you worship on Sunday.
It's demonstrated by how you live the rest of the week. What when Amos got done with this section of the sermon the amen's had died down significantly remind me the story I heard about the woman in church was so excited to hear the pastor was finding a purchaser may have sent to the pastor gets up there. He starts preaching against drunkenness and pornography and she's like preacher preacher the sins of any sort preaching about corruption in Washington and she's like freight terms were neighbors like he is on fire this morning we start talking about the sin of gossip. He's like you just need to mind his own business he freaking way to walk the bridge. The bridge between Amos as they, in our day is not hard when the make right.
I can stand up here all day long talk about moral corruption in Hollywood, the violence and degradation of women depicted in certain kinds of rap music or how vulgar TV shows have gotten for the secularist agenda being crammed down our throat by media education establishment. I can talk about activist judges who were misusing their positions in our country to curtail religious freedoms by the corruption and hypocrisy of groups like Planned Parenthood, the evils of Islamic terrorism for the wickedness of religious persecution in places like Russia or China or North Korea. And I can talk about how bad all those things are and how surely God is displeased in the judgment of God is coming on Thursday and were all like a preacher preacher just like Amos is audience.
So what happens when the spotlight been turns on us.
The way the Amos did with Israel and phalluses go back through it. How many of Israel's sins. Do we also see replicated in the church. Don't we live in a country where justice has often been perverted in favor the rich were too often we have seen underprivileged or minorities oppressed even at times treated like they were subhuman in a country where the rich can still work the justice system to benefit themselves were minorities have historically been treated differently before judges or in schools and there is plenty of evidence that it continues to happen.
No, not everywhere all the time, but certainly in enough places that it should bother us and maybe were not personally guilty of it ourselves. But do we show empathy for those to whom it is happening and respond like we would respond if it were happening to one of our kids.
On another front, sometimes I hear Christians justify abortion you listen well, you know. Imagine what her life would've been like if you had to have the kid shipped so much going for.
She was only one or family that did the college and doubted just messed everything up, as if that justified the taking of human life, the killing of somebody made in God's image is that not also a perversion of justice. I know Christians who live in sexual immorality throughout the week and then stroll in and sit in church on the weekend because all yeah they want God to be a part of their lives. But in this area they want to do what they want and then they come in on the weekend and see I have decided to follow Jesus like AW toes are used to say Christians don't usually tell lies. They sing them for those who no longer tell the truth to their friends about what the Bible says about sexual immorality, because it's just easier to go along with it and not get the reputation for being that guy or that religious chickens always saying unpopular things you might not be doing it but you go along with it. You're complicit with it may be in our church this weekend we have married men and women who are cheating on their spouse and they justify about well you just understand how bad my marriage is to understand how poor of a job my spouse I iron I'm just lonely and I need year we made a mistake getting Mary back. We got married, has it that excuses what they're doing. There are plenty of Christians and churches across America who work in businesses that use questionable even if legal means in order to exploit those with less economic power, and of course justice and Amos's day. We have Christians who live in luxury while evil around them perish, evangelical Christians, which is the kind of Christians that we normally get labeled as evangelical Christians, on average of about 2.4% of their income to God's work and a lot don't give anything a lot don't give anything to do it. Jesus was a prophet similar to Amos said to the religious people on his in his day to look at them. He says you know what he says you tie you tied which means give 10% you type everything in your you tied down to the spice and the Met and acumen.
I have told you this before but when you tied your spice drawer that's varsity when you shall be offering and only 10% of your income. Enjoy your some spices and acumen and their peers and present my pepper and Jesus says it and you that's great.
I'm glad you tied all those things but you haven't even gotten to the weightier parts of the law. The later part of the law are to love other people like you love yourself and that means to use your money to show mercy to them and use your money to take care of people, whether it was beyond 10% are not. Most Christians in America aren't even out the time they wouldn't even have reached the standard that Jesus was saying didn't even get to the weightier parts of the law, by the way, 80% of those at this church. Aren't there either in the irony is, the richer you get, the less percentagewise Utah five. That's also true of this church. The families in our church to self identify as making less than 45,000 a year are twice as likely to be tithers, as those who self identify as making more than 150,000 covered one, more wealthy God justify percent will. That's just a huge sum of money is like, you know, I mean decision I made 25,000 a year. I of course I die. But now this is so much more money and I'm just not sure what I'm supposed to do with Mike right and God gave you that huge amount of money for you to Stuart not to insulate yourself from suffering.
He gave it to you to help for you to help alleviate suffering. You might make a huge amount of money, but there's a huge amount of people who don't know Jesus.
And there's a huge amount of suffering in our world and God gives it to you. He multiplies it, and he blesses you so that you can use it to alleviate suffering not insulate yourself from it only asked that question to you which direction is your money taking you the money that you make which direction is it taking you is it taking you away from pain and away from suffering an inconvenience for is the money, taking you deeper into the pain and suffering an inconvenience about us. Be very careful how you answer the question because how you answer will determine whether or not you are really a disciple of Jesus.
Whether you're just a religious hypocrite like Amos is talking about. Let's be honest, I'm talking to a group of people and I am part of a group of people for the most part have grown up in privilege like the people of Amos's day for some of you it is been the privilege of being a part of the majority culture so that you tend to get the benefit of the doubt when others do not. For others of you.
It is the privilege of getting a good education and having a good job are growing up in a country where you had lots of opportunity even being lower wage in this country carries with it privileges that some of the richest people in other countries do not have trust me I've been there and I've lived there all of you are privileged to be very clear.
Usually there is nothing immoral about being in a position of privilege.
There's nothing that you should feel guilty about, but justice demands that we use that position a privilege to help empower those who don't currently share it to make sure that they get treated equally under the law, and that the doors of opportunity stays open.
The damage they do to us. We love talking about the sins of others, but would not Amos probably say many of the same things about what he was saying about Israel and you listen I know I noted talking about our sins is not of many popular but I wonder when I was going through this and try to listen to the Holy Spirit and trying to really interpret Amos correctly. I wonder knows what you have people walk out while I'm speaking or they walked out just now. One of our campuses, or at least their composing angry emails to me in their mind on. Listen, I know I know and I don't is not popular. I don't like doing this but here's what we have to do it. God makes clear to Amos. If you want my presence, you will take sin seriously and those who don't take sin seriously. Don't take me seriously. People who treat sin lightly. Don't take God seriously and churches that tolerates and alienate Christ, so that's the charge. He gives against Israel will sadly Amos's voice was not the only one heard that day was another preacher, TV preacher, big ministry, but knew his name's bought his books wasn't on the radio that was an Messiah and MSI, the priest of Bethel is easy to get a pretty good position he's in the Jeroboam, king of Israel same.
Amos has conspired against you in the midst of the house. The land is not able to bear his words this other preacher Amazon.
I am also claiming to speak for God, rose up to oppose Amos told the king that Amos was a radical in a troublemaker given Jeroboam the vanishing God's word will hear not only what we want to hear what we need to hear important truth to remember from our teaching today here on Summit life with pastor JD Greer. There's more to come. In this study, but in the meantime you can listen again free of email@example.com this is the last week to get our latest resource is a 20 day devotional from pastor JD help us fully understand the love of Christ is called what is the gospel. We learn pretty quickly about the Bible is not from the Old Testament to the New Testament all tells one story of redemption. We also find that we can't separate the gospel experienced from the mission experience. I recently asked Pastor Janie what that means exactly 1 of things we say is that if you truly experience the gospel it's going to always propel you outwardly carry the gospel to others. You see, the stark reality is that, at most, only one third of our world is Christian. More than anything else. You and I have a responsibility in our generation to make sure they have a chance to hear the gospel before it's too late. And so I want to see us Summit life take that responsibility seriously. We do that to the radio we do that by going on mission trips we do about planting new churches. We want you to be a part of all of those things will reach out to us in JD Greer.com would love you to become a gospel partner with us, just as a way of saying thank you to you. We would love to put in your hand. Some of the resources that we provide to this like his new 20 day devotional. I have: what is the gospel that will take you more deep into the gospel and I promise you press into it. You can find this sweet compulsion pushing outward to carry the gospel to people who don't know whether that's a son or daughter who lives in your house neighbor across the street somebody in the bar across the language you don't know you know that you got to do something. Get the gospel to them to come check it out in JD where.com and join up with us today. This brand-new 20 day devotional written by Pastor Janie comes with everything you donate to support this industry level $XXV or more special bonus gift.
This meant just for you to for an additional small dollars. The book of John Scripture number when you can't remember to bring your copy of the gospel 20 day devotional copy 528 35 20 easier to get online here.com Molly data that's inviting you to join it again next time. As we continue our study right here on defendant line JD Greer