19 April 2012

Judgment begins with the House of God

We read in the Bible: "For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?" (1 Peter 4.17) Tonight we began a study in the Bible in the book of Amos in the Older Testament. In a week you will be able to listen to the sermon on our website, but for now, here are some notes I took, II. The theme of the book
a. Lions roar in judgment
b. Against Israel AND the surrounding nations

III. Seven Judgment Sermons against the nations!
a. Surprise that it’s not against Israel (If in verse one God says "this is concerning Israel" then why does he begin with judgments against the nations?
i. Rather vs Damascus, Gaza, etc
ii. In other prophets, judgment on nations=salvation for Israel (Joel 3, Obadiah, Is. 13-20, Jere 46-51, Ezek 25-32, Nahum) so I'm thinking that Israel must have felt pretty ok. "Good on you God, you are going to give it to our enemies! Hooray!"

b. Formula is consistent with normal pattern
i. Messenger introduced
ii. General accusations
iii. Specific accusations
iv. Specific judgment announced
v. Closing / sign off

c. Crimes are called ‘acts of rebellion (transgressions)'
i. Even Gentiles are guilty of such sin

d. Crimes are called ‘acts of inhumanity’
i. Gentiles are again called to judgment (cf Hitler, especially today on Yom Hashoah)
ii. Vs Civilians in a war (1.3, .13),
iii. Selling of prisoners into slavery (1.6, .9) and violation of treaties
iv. Mistreating a king who has fallen (2.1)

e. Judgment for such evil is being vulnerable, (fire will destroy)
f. We see the numerical 3 for 4, etc.
i. Each of the 7 nations has done enough to warrant God’s justice to be applied in each circumstance. Or as my mother used to say, "I've had it up to here with you!"

g. Justice is commensurate with what we know of God
i. Nations held accountable for general revelation
ii. Judah is held accountable for Torah
iii. In fact, if the lesser nations cop it, what will happen to Israel?

IV. Damascus (1.3-5)
V. Five towns (1.6-8)
VI. Tyre (1.9-10)
VII. Edom (1.11-12)
a. Could be historic, but prob (treaty partner)
VIII. Ammon (1.13-15) , women, abortion

IX. Moab (2.1-3)
X. Judah (2.4-5)
a. Higher standards
If my people which are called by my name will humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then (God says) I will hear from heaven, forgive their sins and heal their land.

It is our responsibility (1 Timothy 2.1-8) to pray and to pray for governments, both civil and religious, so that we can live peacably, and we can avoid the punishment when God says "I've had it up to here with you."

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