Steve Ellison: Will We Be Treated Any Differently?

Friday, January 24, 2020 - by Steve Ellison

Amos is an unrelenting attack on the all-pervading unrighteousness of God’s people.  No one was exempt, not the general population, not the political leaders, and certainly not the religious leaders.  By the end of chapter five, God had rejected Israel’s feasts, their solemn assemblies, their celebrations, their sacrifices, their singing, their worship, etc.  In short, God was sick of His people.   Amos chapter six begins with a proclamation of woe to the leaders in the southern kingdom of Judah and to the leaders in the northern kingdom of Israel.

God uses sarcasm to emphasize the attitude of their heart.  They evidently believed, seemed to refer to themselves, as the most important people in the most important of all nations.  There is some truth in that claim, but they have forgotten two deeply significant points.  They failed to acknowledge where their blessing came from.  They also failed to realize that to whom much is given, much is required.  They not only did not carry out their responsibilities, they took advantage of the general population, so that they, themselves, could live in luxury. 

 

God continued on. He reminded them of three cities that had been defeated and occupied by foreign powers. God said take a look at those three cities, consider their circumstances. Next came the question: Do you suppose you will be treated any differently than them?  If God judged and punished those cities, He will surely judge and punish Israel and Judah.  I think that application can be made to the Church.

 

The Holy Spirit was not through with the lecture. He pointed out that the promises of the nation’s leaders that judgment was not coming or if it was coming, it was far off in the future, were not correct. God described their luxurious, complacent, unworried lifestyle in graphic word pictures.  Then He said: and all the while you refuse to “grieve over the ruin of Joseph”.   I see more than one legitimate interpretation of that phrase.  It is certainly possible that more than one interpretation could be accurate and correct, especially in prophetic books.   It could mean that these leaders, while living in luxury, refuse to do anything regarding the plight of the poor and needy all around them.  Joseph’s brothers refused to do anything about his plight in the bottom of the well.   Don’t forget that the brothers put him there and that while Joseph was in the well, they were plotting his downfall.  Also remember that they wound up selling him into slavery. Seems eerily like the actions of the leaders of Judah and Israel in Amos’ day.

 

There is another way to look at refusing to “grieve over the ruin of Joseph”.  It could be that God was chastising the leaders of Judah and Israel for declaring that judgment was not imminent, specifically that the northern kingdom would not fall.  Joseph can certainly be used to represent the ten northern tribes, just as Judah is used to describe the two southern tribes.  Living a complacent, luxurious lifestyle, ignoring God’s warnings is no way to stay in right relationship with God.  Refusing to repent invites judgment. God will not be mocked.  Man will reap what he sows.

 

I see both interpretations as true and accurate in God’s people during Amos’ day. I see both interpretations as true and accurate in God’s people in my time. The book of Amos speaks to a people who greatly resemble modern day Americans. It is as if the Holy Spirit, speaking through Amos, is describing the 21st century United States. In short, God was sick of His people in Amos’ time. Could it also be true that God is sick of His people today? Do we suppose we will be treated any differently than them? I refer you to Amos 5 and 6.


Bob Tamasy: Mice, Mousetraps And Free Cheese

"Looking Forward And Planning For The Future" Is Sermon Topic At Middle Valley Church Of God On Sunday

Olivet Baptist Hosts Go Red - Love Your Heart On Sunday


Who doesn’t like free stuff? Every week I scan through the local grocery store flyers for the “buy one, get one free” deals. If what I’m looking for isn’t among the store’s offers this week, ... (click for more)

Middle Valley Church of God, at 1703 Thrasher Pike in Hixson, announced that Pastor Mitch McClure will lead a "Looking Forward and Planning For The Future" on Sunday, at 10:30 a.m. Pastor ... (click for more)

Olivet Baptist Church, 740 East M L King Blvd., will host a Go Red - Love Your Heart event on Sunday at 4 p.m. at the Kingdom Center. Go Red focus on cardiovascular disease and stroke prevention ... (click for more)




Church

Bob Tamasy: Mice, Mousetraps And Free Cheese

Who doesn’t like free stuff? Every week I scan through the local grocery store flyers for the “buy one, get one free” deals. If what I’m looking for isn’t among the store’s offers this week, I usually wait until it’s available on the two-for-one sale. Of course, it’s not really “free.” The store had to pay for the extra item I receive, and its cost is absorbed by profits generated ... (click for more)

"Looking Forward And Planning For The Future" Is Sermon Topic At Middle Valley Church Of God On Sunday

Middle Valley Church of God, at 1703 Thrasher Pike in Hixson, announced that Pastor Mitch McClure will lead a "Looking Forward and Planning For The Future" on Sunday, at 10:30 a.m. Pastor McClure will continue a sermon series on the absolute promises of God and how they relate to the Bible and the Holy Spirit in the 10:30 a.m. service. Pastor McClure will lead a prayer and ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Billy Hawk, Who Once Faced Life In Prison After Cold Case Murder Conviction, Walks Free

Billy Hawk’s nearly 40-year-long saga came to an end after Hawk pled nolo contendere to a lesser plea of voluntary manslaughter in Hamilton County Criminal Court on Monday morning. This plea will set Hawk free, as he has already served the five-year prison sentence required. Under terms of the plea, Hawk will be forbidden from speaking to the victim’s family. District Attorney ... (click for more)

Report Says Former Soddy Daisy Police Chief Gann Met At Hotel With Wife Of Officer Who Had Suffered A Stroke

An internal affairs report says former Soddy Daisy Police Chief Jeff Gann met at a hotel in Dayton with the wife of a Soddy Daisy officer who had recently suffered a stroke. The investigation was carried out by the Sheriff's Office at the request of Soddy Daisy City Manager Janice Cagle. Ms. Cagle said she was told on Feb. 3 that Gann had been seen at mid-day on Jan. 30 at ... (click for more)

Opinion

Earl Freudenberg: Seeing Charlie Coolidge Brought Back A Flood Of Memories

Seeing Charles Coolidge at the Heritage Center that bears his name has special meaning to me. I first met Mr. Coolidge while attending Kirkman High School downtown. I would wait on the Southern Coach Line bus at 3 rd and Market Streets in front of Chattanooga Printing operated by the Coolidge Family. Mr. Coolidge’s office was right at the front. One day this gentle voice said, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Marines Get It Done

In the wake of my Sunday story, which detailed the heroics of Marine Lt. General Chuck Pitman and the time he “borrowed” a Chinook helicopter to stop a serial killer in New Orleans, there came a little-known story that seems to have gotten overlooked during the 9/11 attacks on our country in 2001. When the hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 slammed into the west side of the Pentagon ... (click for more)