Steve Ellison: The Lion Has Roared

Saturday, January 4, 2020 - by Steve Ellison

Amos was an uneducated farmer, but the Lord called him to perform the function of a prophet.  His prophetic words recorded in Amos 3 ought to inspire us and motivate us to heed what the Lord says.   Chapter 3 begins with the Lord reminding the nation of Israel that He had chosen them to be His special people and that He had rescued them from slavery in Egypt.   Then He tells them that with privilege comes responsibility.  Because of their belonging to Him, their conduct will be judged and punished if need be.  Chapter 3 continues with a list of seven rhetorical questions, followed by a declaration from the Lord and “The Question”. 

 

God begins his questions by asking one that carries no negative connotations and contains nothing to fear.  It simply sets the stage for understanding cause and effect.  The next four questions use the animal kingdom to generate anxiety and fear in the hearer.   A lion roaring produces a fear that freezes the prey.   A lion growling in his den makes us understand that he is preparing to eat his prey.   A trap is set for a purpose and the prey is snared unaware.

  God uses human experience to get his message across in the next two questions.  He asks a pair of questions certainly related to war and possibly related to natural disaster.   A trumpet sounding in an ancient city always brought anxiety and fear to the people.  It meant an armed enemy was approaching.  The last of the seven questions is certainly rhetorical; it reads more like a declaration; it has an expected answer.   When calamity or disaster came upon a city, the people of Israel knew that it was because the Lord decreed it.  This is not the main point of the passage, but it is a related and significant minor point.  In times past, God’s people had a firm belief in the sovereignty of God.   They believed in His absolute power and control over all things.  Today, if you asked God’s people if they believed that, the vast majority would answer yes, God is sovereign and holds absolute power over all things.  Believers pass the test of faith when speaking in generalities, however in specific cases, they often do not.  For at least the last 35 years, it has been increasingly difficult to find anyone who believes that God is responsible for any war or any natural disaster.   Those who dare to publicly say such a thing are quickly silenced and publicly humiliated.  The Bible is filled with instances of God controlling, even sending war and natural destruction.   God has not changed.

 

“The Question”, the main point of Amos 3 comes in verse 7 and 8.  God declared that He is sovereign and that He always reveals His plan to His prophets.  Thus, the word of the Lord through Amos is validated; the people of God should take heed. Amos declared that the Sovereign Lord had spoken and anyone with good sense would be compelled to proclaim the word of the Lord.   The lion has roared.  God Himself has roared.  Israel had better take notice; fear is appropriate.  The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord.  With privilege comes responsibility.  Israel found that out and the Church should learn from Israel’s experience.  God expects His chosen people, those whom He has called, to obey Him.  He will hold us accountable.  The rest of Amos 3 paints a picture of judgment.  When the Lion roars, who will not fear?   Save yourself a whole lot of grief, repent before you hear the Lion of the Tribe of Judah roar.  When that Lion roars you will be frozen in your tracks, unable to speak a word in your defense.  


Forward Grief Support Group Starts Feb. 15

Family Search Invites Pulic In Greater Chattanooga Area To Participate In Family Discovery Day

Steve Ellison: Will We Be Treated Any Differently?


Forward is an ecumenical group that offers mutual support for those who have lost a spouse. First-Centenary United Methodist Church in downtown Chattanooga will host a new small group, seven ... (click for more)

From Feb. 26-29, Family Search will host RootsTech, the “world’s largest family celebration event designed to help individuals and families discover and celebrate their family heritage – past, ... (click for more)

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. ... (click for more)


Church

Forward Grief Support Group Starts Feb. 15

Forward is an ecumenical group that offers mutual support for those who have lost a spouse. First-Centenary United Methodist Church in downtown Chattanooga will host a new small group, seven sessions in all, beginning Saturday, Feb. 15 from 10-11:30 a.m. in the church parlor. "These groups offer space for the newly and sometimes not so newly bereaved to share experiences and ... (click for more)

Family Search Invites Pulic In Greater Chattanooga Area To Participate In Family Discovery Day

From Feb. 26-29, Family Search will host RootsTech, the “world’s largest family celebration event designed to help individuals and families discover and celebrate their family heritage – past, present and future.” 2020 marks the 10-year anniversary of the event where “photo organizers, storytellers and family historians from around the globe come together to help you discover ... (click for more)

Breaking News

8 Dead In Tennessee River Fire At Scottsboro That Destroys 35 Boats

Eight people died on Monday morning in a fire that raced along the Tennessee River at Scottsboro, Ala. A man said his daughter and five grandchildren are among the victims. Seven other people were hospitalized. Officials said 35 boats were destroyed. Most of the vessels docked at the Jackson County Park were houseboats. Witnesses said they could hear cries coming from ... (click for more)

Governor Lee To Deliver Second State Of The State Address Next Monday

Governor Bill Lee announced that he will deliver his second State of the State address to the General Assembly and fellow Tennesseans next Monday at 6 p.m. CST. The joint session will be aired statewide and take place in the House Chamber in the Tennessee State Capitol. “ I’m looking forward to sharing my vision for the future of Tennessee, including my legislative and budget ... (click for more)

Opinion

What Downtown Needs

Dear Jim and Kim, Thank you for launching River City's effort to look at what can be done to re-energize and protect the Riverfront area. I will not be able to make it to meetings this month so I decided to jot down my thoughts. I would appreciate it if you would include a copy of this email with the feedback "record" for Wednesday's community meeting. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Troubling Mystery

It is, very candidly, the biggest mystery of my life. I am at a place where I am able to figure a lot of things out, even trying to find reason in insanity, but ever since I was in high school, I have been staggered by the fact one man was able to turn an entire nation into willing henchmen that would massacre millions of innocents. Such evil has been unfathomable to me. Yesterday ... (click for more)