31 March, 2006

Let's Discuss This Passage from Amos

I have been reading in Amos today and these verses from Amos 2:10 - 16 have just struck something within me. I am posting these verses from the Modern King James Version and then again from The Message. I am going to reserve comment right now, as I am interested in what other see without my input first.


Amos 2:10-16 MKJV

10) Also I brought you up from the land of Egypt and led you forty years through the wilderness to possess the land of the Amorite.

11) And I raised up prophets from your sons and Nazarites from your young men. Is it not even so, O sons of Israel? says Jehovah.

12) But you gave the Nazarites wine to drink, and commanded the prophets, saying, Do not prophesy.

13) Behold, I am pressed under you, as a cart full of sheaves is pressed.

14) And refuge shall perish from the swift, and the strong shall not strengthen his power, nor shall the mighty deliver his life;

15) nor shall he who handles the bow stand. And the swift-footed shall not save; and the horse rider shall not save his life.

16) And the stout-hearted among the mighty shall flee away naked in that day, says Jehovah.


Amos 2:10-16 MSG

10) And yes, I'm the One who delivered you from Egypt, led you safely through the wilderness for forty years And then handed you the country of the Amorites like a piece of cake on a platter.

11) I raised up some of your young men to be prophets, set aside your best youth for training in holiness. Isn't this so, Israel?" GOD's Decree.

12) "But you made the youth-in-training break training, and you told the young prophets, 'Don't prophesy!'

13) You're too much for me. I'm hard-pressed--to the breaking point. I'm like a wagon piled high and overloaded, creaking and groaning.

14) "When I go into action, what will you do? There's no place to run no matter how fast you run. The strength of the strong won't count. Fighters won't make it.

15) Skilled archers won't make it. Fast runners won't make it. Chariot drivers won't make it.

16) Even the bravest of all your warriors Won't make it. He'll run off for dear life, stripped naked." GOD's Decree.


Libby said...

I take it as God saw them through and extremely difficult time, helped them win their battles and gave them direction as to where their path should go next, but after they got comfortable, they didn't want to move on. It sounds very much like the seeker movement churches that say, "Don't shout! Don't prophesy! Don't speak in tongues or allow the Holy Spirit to manifest! We don't want to offend anyone!" So they reject the direction God is leading.

I want our young to "dream dreams" I want them to prophesy! Lord help us to not make the same mistakes of the Israelites...AGAIN!

Sean McKee said...

God is saying that he gave Israel prophets and Nazarites (men dedicated to serving god) but they (Israel) caused them (prophets and Nazarites) to stumble, corrupted them, and silenced them.

God says Israel is blocking God from helping them so therefore everything they do will be hindered and/or fail.

Hummm, I wonder why the church is having so many problems getting people saved and creating commited Christians?

Sarah said...

What are looking for? Are you asking what the passage actually means? Or, what our interpretation is on how this applies to our church, the church body, etc.?

Libby said...

I took it to mean the latter, but I could be mistaken.

michigan preacher said...

I see it as the Israelites weren't growing comfortable, they were in
outright rebellion. Check out vs. 7-8 in the NLT: 7 They trample helpless people in the dust and deny justice to those who are oppressed. Both father and son sleep with the same woman, corrupting my holy name. 8 At their religious festivals, they lounge around in clothing stolen from their debtors. In the house of their god, they present offerings of wine purchased with stolen money.

Verse 9 is where God begins to remind them of what he has done for them. Yet, rather than let the prophets prophesy what God commanded them, and rather than have godly Nazarites being an example of holiness, in the midst of their sin, they stifled them, and they led them astray.

I think that it serves as a warning to us to allow the examples of those he has raised up to challenge us to live in holiness, rather than silence the witness of those he has put around us. We need to allow them to influence our lives. Perhaps the scripture that fits here is in Proverbs 27:17 "Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another".

We know that in these last days that this is going to happen, as 2 Tim 4:3-4 tells us, "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables"

Well, that's my take. Thanks for making me think on a lazy Friday, Darrell!

Deborha's Palm Tree said...

Shutting the mouths of the prophets was not a good thing! What a rebellious bunch! The fear of God was definately not in them or around them and they certainly didn't want anybody (the prophets) reminding them of what God has done or will do. There was even a covenant broken here concerning the drinking of the wine. God is saying to them that He is going to cause them to remember. Groanings....fear...grrrrroooooaaaannnnniiiiinnngggggs. Hmm?

Sean McKee said...

Are you just trying to get a free sermon for this Sunday?


Darrell said...

Nahhh! I'm smarter than that. I won't use this in a sermon for a month or two!

I'll get to my thoughts on this on Monday. Too busy the past couple of days.

Darrell said...

Actually, you guys did a great job with this passage, and each of you added something significant. One of the things that I felt about this passage, Jeff pointed out. We often speak of the church becoming "comfortable" which is a politically correct way of saying we are in rebellion. We don't want to admit it this plainly, but it is an either/or situation. You either obey God or you disobey God. Partial obedience... even 99% obedience means that we are DIS-obedient to God!

As I read this passage, I saw that they were not only being disobedient, but they were in fact comfortable in their disobedience, and they did not want anyone telling them they were in disobedience, so they sought to corrupt the prophets (mouth-piece for God) The fact is, God was trying to deal with them, and he had sent them prophets to speak to them, yet they so did not want to hear the voice of God that they pulled the men of God down to their level. This is a common tendency today. There is an old saying that says, "Misery loves company." This is the case of folks in the church world today.

The hard reality is that when you begin to walk in absolute obedience to the Lord, others are not going to like it. They will begin trying to trip you up, or to talk about you, trying to undermine you. If that does not work, they will try to chase you away from them. People do not want to be told that they are not as good as they are trying to make everyone think they are. They know in themselves what they are and where they are, but they work so hard trying to convince others around them that their life is pleasing to God. They are miserable, and they want to make you miserable. In the church, IF God begins to move, look for these folks to head for the door. They lay out of church. They leave early, and they will eventually leave the church... unless of course they become willing to repent of their ways.

As I read this passage, I am taken by the words of the Lord as he seemingly says, "I'm really trying to help you out, to bless you and keep you... but you sure are making this difficult!" You know, if I were God, I'd get pretty impatient and say, "You're just wasting good air" and zap 'em. (Good thing I'm not God, don't ya think?) But God keeps trying, keeps striving and trying to woo us back to Him. (Thank God he didn't give up on me!)

I also think that there is a clear warning here to not silence the messengers from God. Maybe I will post more later, but this is already way too long.