Amos 9:1-4

Like a Roaring Lion – Part 13 Amos 9:1-4   1) God despises pretense (9:1a). “I saw the Lord standing beside the altar. . .”   ·         One hundred and eighty years before the time of Amos, Jeroboam I led the ten northern tribes to become the kingdom of Israel. This would have been 931/930 B.C.   ·         So what did Jeroboam I do? He’s the only leader ever to do this. He decided to use religion for political gain.   ·         1 Kings 12:32a records what happened: “And Jeroboam appointed a feast on the fifteenth day of the eighth month like the feast that was in Judah, and he offered sacrifices on the altar.”     ·         I Kings 13:1 says, “And behold, a man of God came out of Judah by the word of the LORD to Bethel. Jeroboam was standing by the altar to make offerings.”   ·         Jeroboam I is at the altar of his new temple in Bethel just like Solomon had stood at the altar in Jerusalem (1 Kings 8:22). But Jeroboam I’s temple is illegitimate. A man of God from Judah has come to say so and 1 Kings 13:2 says, “And the man cried against the altar by the word of the Lord. . .”   ·         J. A. Motyer:  “Amos watches Jeroboam but even as he watches the scene changes. . . The counterfeit is replaced by the real, the human by the divine, the king who had come to prop up his dynasty by the King who had come to throw it down. The day of pretense was over and the war on pretense had begun.”[1]     ·         Pretense  - “An attempt to make something that is not the case appear true; a false display of feelings, attitudes, or intentions.” So, God despises pretense.   2) God cannot be evaded (9:1-4).     o   Unfortunately, we don’t get the wordplay in English that we do in Hebrew, but there is one here. The text says that “the one who flees” will not be able ‘to flee,’ nor will ‘the escapee’ be able ‘to escape.’     ·         A merism “describes opposite ends of a spectrum as a way to refer to a comprehensive whole.”     ·         Look at the last phrase of verse 4: “. . . and I will fix my eyes upon them for evil and not for good.”  Evil here is equal to the concept of harm; it’s not a moral pronouncement.     ·         But remember, while our circumstances may not be good, our God always is. [1] Motyer, p. 194.