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19 Amos(1)

What we should hear now?

Amos 2:6-16
Romans 2:6-11
T Called as a prophet
 The third of genealogy of prophets, it is Amos this morning. We can understand him only from this Amos, but may seem to consider his personality, generation and purpose to be almost settled from mark evidence among this book. At first I am brief and will talk about a background to have you understand a message of this Prophet slightly well.

 There is it in 1:1; "Amos, who was among the sheepherders from Tekoa,". Tekoa was a well known town where king Rehoboam surrounded 18q south of Jerusalem of fortresses for national defense. Amos, "a herdsman and a grower of sycamore" (7:14), he was called as a prophet and left his hometown and moved to the Northern Kingdom and conveyed a message about the Northern Kingdom mainly. He who was a shepherd and had run agriculture seems to have been a manager of laboring people, and seems considerably to have been a high person of an intellectual level. He was a inhabitant of south Judah kingdom, but he seems to have been called directly suddenly by God without belonging to a prophet group of shrine position. There is it in 1:1; "The words of Amos, who was among the sheepherders from Tekoa, which he envisioned in visions concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam son of Joash, king of Israel, two years before the earthquake.". In the days of the second Jeroboam, it has become clear by archeological excavation, but, about this earthquake, it is thought that it would be BC760 year approximately, 50 years later from Elisha. At that time, Assyria was weakened most under the powerless third King Ashur-Dun, but, Uzziah and the second Jeroboam just gained expansion and prosperity of each kingdom with the aid of such situation. The days of their prosperity continued for about 40 years.

 There is it in 1:2; "The Lord roars from Zion, and from Jerusalem He utters His voice;", but Amos seems to have worked on the prophecy that put not only the Northern Kingdom but also all Israel in a field of vision. This was the declaration that the Northern Kingdom and south kingdom would be done condemnation of together, if they did not reform themselves, but, it lets us feel a special feature as a prophet of Amos like a person who went out of a field, because their concrete crime is highlighted here.

U As a sentence to us

 It is from 2:6-16 this morning. There is it; "For three transgressions of Israel and for four I will not revoke its punishment, because they sell the righteous for money and the needy for a pair of sandals."(6). This is a thing same as way of speaking to Gaza, Tyre, Edom, Amon, Moab, Judah and how to say for 7 countries in Chapter 1-2; but, as for the way of speaking of "for three....., for four.....", and it is the really emphasized speaking way! And problems of the Northern Kingdom were advocated as that climax. The sentence to the Northern Kingdom was a breach of contract as people of selection of God whereas a cause of condemnation of seven other countries was betrayal of a military alliance or immorality in war. Four concrete crimes were uncovered.

 There is it; the first crime of Israeli condemnation is that "Because they sell the righteous for money and the needy for a pair of sandals."(2:6). There was it with "the righteous", but, the ground that they were sold to slaves was only that they were poor. Originally, Israel was people of selection of God, and they aimed at a nation state by forming a community of love from consciousness all people are one of God's family, "but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the Lord" (Leviticus 19:18); it was a kind of utopia. However, because they demanded same sense of values with the other race which lived in Cannan, they were accused that they had lost brotherliness by deep attachment to money and lost sight of God, too. Not only Israel but also we of the present age will have to stop it to the mind firmly.

 Second, it is said; "These who pant after the very dust of the earth on the head of the helpless, also turn aside the way of the humble;"(7a). There is the same way of speaking in Isaiah; "So as to deprive the needy of justice, and rob the poor of My people of their tights,"(10:2), it seems to be told about the unjust trial that poor people is sacrificed. And it came out to an allegory of Jesus (Luke 18:1 -8); the unjust judge in Israel would be likely a commonplace. However, because their true judge is God, if they put their standard to that One, they should be fair for that trial. It accused this was heavier than the first crime. The reason is because they ignored fairness of God.

V What we should hear now?

 The third is that "And a man and his father resort to the same girl."(7). Father and a child……, it was not only sexual immorality, but, there were the disgusting manners and customs called shrine prostitution and a professional sodomite of various religions, in Cannan, and such a thing has entered Israel. Under the name of Cannan culture intake, they polluted the sacred of God……; the third crime was that they abandoned that they were chosen as the people who show the sacred of God. Sacred; it meant what is distinguished from other races as a country of priest, but, because they abandoned it, it was accused that it was a more serious crime.

 Fourth, they were criticized with that "And on garments taken as pledges they stretch out beside every altar, and in the house of their God they drink the wine of those who have been fined."(8). There is it in Exodus 22:26; "if you ever take your neighbor's cloak as a pledge, you are to return it to him before the sun sets,"; because, it was indispensable as their bedclothes. Besides, they (probably, priests) used it as their own bedclothes in a side of an altar. Wine would be similar injustice, too. Not only the people who served God in a shrine having committed injustice but also shrine, their center, lost that function for greed, and there was already neither consciousness as the chosen people nor the significance of being there. We may hear that it is the sentence of God and their convictions cannot be avoided. In these four crimes which become gradually serious things about God in this way, we are taught serious need to give a revision to our sense of values (what we value most).

 However, there was a thing to want them still to remember. It was about God Oneself. At the time that Israeli advanced to Cannan, it was told about Canaanite who fought against Israel; "Yet it was I who destroyed the Amorite before them,"(9). Verse 10 points at arrived Israel from Egypt who were slaves in there, and Verse 11 points at prophets and Nazirites having been put up for Israel. I often touched it till now that a prophet was a pride of the Israeli chosen people, but Nazirite was also a person sacred by God, too. God was anxious about Israel like that. If they remembered such a thing a little and reformed themselves, the declaration of condemnation to them would be withdrawn. Therefore both Elijah and Elisha worked for it, and prophets were put up as a messenger of that pity of God.

 I do not want to mention the judgment told later than Verse 13. I feel deep sorrow of God, here. Now, will it be a leap to hear this message telling to us? I feel that the hand of God seemed to have remained silent has begun to work in these days. Of the crime that heard apply to us one by one, and none of us can rebel or hear this as other people's affairs. There is it; "God, who will render to every man according to his deeds:" (Romans 2:6).