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21 Amos(3)


While praying for forgiving of the Lord

Amos 7:10-17
Acts 3:19-26
T Be afraid of only the Lord

 Till now, we have seen it twice that Amos who was only a herdsman of Tekoa of south kingdom was called as a prophet and was sent to the Northern Kingdom. Amos told about them; "The one who lost a heart of pity to squeeze poor people", "The one who performed the unjust judgment, and twisted fairness of God", "The one who adopted a bad habit to be immoral of sex of Cannan religion and violated a sacred place of God, and have abandoned that it was sacred people by oneself" and "The one who stained holy place as the Israeli center, and have been separated from God distantly"; and therefore he told a severe message when they would be judged by God by all means for that. However, while he was talking so, Amos showed the sorrow in a dirge for Israel that would be judged by God and suffered extinction by Assyria. It may be said that Amos is the prophet who hid gentleness in the root.

 This morning, I want to watch another aspect of Amos. It seemed to be the reign end time of the second Jeroboam, but, the priest of Bethel, Amaziah accused Amos to king. "Amos has conspired against you in the midst of the house of Israel; the land is unable to endure all his words. For thus Amos says, 'Jeroboam will die by the sword and Israel will certainly go from its land into exile'" (10-11) Amaziah, the faithful priest to King, marked Amos as a dangerous person. There is it in 7:9; "The high places of Isaac will be desolated and the sanctuaries of Israel laid waste. Then shall I raise up against the house of Jeroboam with the sword.", and, when he was the person who plunged a country into danger, Amaziah accused Amos. Actually Jeroboam died from an illness, but, there was increasing of worry of sword in the inside and outside of the country, so, he would not be able to ignore this message of Amos. In fact, next King Zechariah fell down by a sword. However, before a messenger of King has arrived, Amaziah suggested to Amos that "Go, you seer, flee away to the land of Judah, and there eat bread and there do your prophesying! But no longer prophesy at Bethel, for it is a sanctuary of the king and a royal residence."(12). Amaziah recognized Amos as a prophet, and therefore he seems to have entreated Amos to escape dogmatically, before Amos was arrested as a rebel by King and executed. He would think that he did not want to fight against a prophet of God. However, Amaziah was afraid of power of King than God. And it may be said that this is the route, we human being has followed to the present age. We want to regain our obligation to be afraid of God.


U Tell words of the Lord without compromising

 It is an answer of Amos, but at first, we want to look from his mission, one of 2. "I am not a prophet, nor am I the son of a prophet; for I am a herdsman and a grower of sycamore figs. But the Lord took me from following the flock and the Lord said to me, 'Go prophesy to My people Israel.'" (14-15) "I am not a prophet, nor am I the son of a prophet"; it will show that there was a professional prophet group in those days. What Amaziah said to him; "Go, you seer, flee away to the land of Judah, and there eat bread and there do you prophesying!", it seems being based on circumstances of such background. Would Amaziah think that Amos had been sent by a prophet group? If it would be so, it will get into trouble with the south kingdom behind an organization to arrest and punish him. Because Amaziah has understood it enough that south kingdom enlarged a territory and prospered under king Uzziah, if two countries would fight, apart from victory or defeat, the Northern Kingdom would be hurt by all means and get tired, he knew it enough. Definitely, it was under the situation of shadow (king would be killed by a sword). Amaziah has expelled Amos to Judah dogmatically; when must not let the two countries fight, it is imagined his conclusion that he was troubled, and was given.

 However, Amos was not going to keep such tactics, but denied a relation with human authority that Amaziah was afraid of, plainly; "I am not a person of a prophet group". It was compromise that Amaziah proposed; if he would receive it slightly cleverly, he did not need to lose a pipe with the Northern Kingdom. Amos was not a mere worker of stock raising and agriculture, and was regarded as one of the influential people of managing workers, and of course, he might have such world common sense enough. However, he seemed to have left this country in defiance of the common sense daringly. While he was jeopardizing life, but he was not going to stop telling words of God. While allotting an income of Tekoa for own support, he seemed to have continued standing as a prophet. However, it is consideration of God, and it tells importance of serving words of God without being bothered about a human being. We of the present age may follow it, too.


V While praying for forgiving of the Lord

 "And now hear the word of the Lord: you are saying, 'You shall not prophesy against Israel nor shall you speak against the house of Isaac.' Therefore, thus says the Lord, 'Your wife will become a harlot in the city, your sons and your daughters will fall by the sword, your land will be parceled up by a measuring line, and you yourself will die upon unclean soil. Moreover, Israel will certainly go from its land into exile.'"(16-17) About priest Amaziah; he was written down only here, but he who was in the important position that supported Jehu dynasty was expelled to a foreign country after Jehu dynasty extinction, I image it. Shallum who became King to son Zechariah king of Jeroboam in rebellion; he had to give compensation to the people who took part in coup d'etat, and it is thought that he provided it by confiscating from people of Jehu dynasty. The possibility that Amos have heard this ending in south kingdom is very big, and because this prophecy was left like this, it is thought the imagination that the prophecy about Amaziah was realized like that is very big.

 The Jehu dynasty died out with priest Amaziah. Because the reign of king Zacharias was only half a year, and both dynasties of Amaziah and Jeroboam were put up by anointing to Jehu by Elisha, they would get nervous for words of a prophet especially, and it may be said that it rather hastened the extinction by fighting against prophet Amos. Not only Jehu dynasty, but Shallum king was only for a little one month and next Menahem spoiled Shallm; for the throne, and a coup d'etat was caused in sequence and it invited in the days of anarchy extinction for about 40 years after Jehu dynasty. Amos seems to tell a state of confusion of this country and acceleration to extinction after the anarchy times, by telling the future Amaziah. Under the occupation of Assyria, Israeli men were arrested and moved, their wives became harlots in a town, their sons and daughters were hung on a sword, their land which Israelis owned was measured and were divided by a rope, and people of other countries came to settle down. However, we want to hear words of Amos; it is in 7:2. "Lord God, please pardon! How can Jacob stand, for he is small?"

 There is it in a sermon of early stage of Peter that the first church was born, in this way. "For you first, God raised up His Servant, and sent Him to bless you by turning every one of you from your wicked ways." (Acts 3:26) It seemed that this servant was Jesus, but as for the person sent by God, old prophets have been similar to Him. The reason why they were sent was that they should pass on a severe message like Amos, however, in that severe message, it is loaded with a wish that Jehu dynasty repents and wants to get a blessing of God. Would they be models of Jesus? They would expect forgiving of God while telling it.