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Enemies will surround the land
Bible Passage Amos 2: 10- 3:12
This content is part of a series Bright Morning Reflections, in topic 2023 & book Amos.

Enemies will surround the land

  • Rev. Bright Mawuena Nfodzo
Date preached June 26, 2023

SCRIPTURE 📖
10 Furthermore, I brought you up from the land of Egypt, leading you in the wilderness for 40 years, to take possession of the land of the Amorites.

11 I also raised up your sons to be prophets, and from your young men I raised up Nazirites. Is this not true, people of Israel?” declares the LORD.

12 “But you forced the Nazirites to drink wine, and commanded the prophets, ‘You are not to prophesy!’

13 “Oh, how I am burdened down with you, as a wagon is overloaded with harvested grain!

14 So the swift runner will not escape, the valiant will not fortify his strength, and the mighty warrior will not save his life.

15 The skilled archer will not be able to stand, the swift runner will not survive, and the mounted rider will not preserve his own life.

16 Even the bravest of elite troops will run away naked at that time,” declares the LORD.

1 “Listen to this message that the LORD has spoken about you, people of Israel. It concerns the entire family that I brought from the land of Egypt:

2 ‘You alone have I known from among all of the families of mankind; therefore I will hold you accountable for all your iniquities.’”

3 “Will a couple walk in unity without having met?

4 Will a lion roar in the forest without having found its prey? Will a young lion cry from its den without having caught anything?

5 Does a bird fall into a snare on the ground without any bait in the trap? Will a trap snap shut when there is nothing to catch?

6 And when an alarm sounds in the city, the people will tremble, won’t they? If there is trouble in a city, the LORD has brought it about, has he not?”

7 “Truly the Lord GOD will do nothing he has mentioned without revealing his purposes to his servants the prophets.

8 A lion has roared! Who will not fear? The Lord GOD has spoken! Who will not prophesy?

9 Announce this in the fortified citadels of Ashdod, and in the fortified citadels of the land of Egypt. Tell them, ‘Gather together on the mountains of Samaria; look at the great misery among the citadels, along with the oppression within Egypt.’

10 Because they do not know how to act right,” declares the LORD, “they are filling their strongholds with treasures that they took from others by violence into their fortified citadels.”

11 Therefore this is what the Lord GOD says: “An enemy will surround the land. He will pull down your defenses, and plunder your fortified citadels.”

12 This is what the LORD says: “Just as a shepherd might save from the lion’s mouth only two leg bones or a scrap of an ear, the Israelis will be saved in a similar manner— those in Samaria who sit on the remains of their broken beds, and those in Damascus who lie on the edge of their couches.”

 

BACKGROUND
God rescued the Israelites from the Egyptians and led them during difficult times in the desert. God had richly blessed the people of Israel, bringing them out of slavery, destroying the former inhabitants of Canaan, and giving them a prosperous land to dwell in (verse 9-10). He gave them prophets and Nazirites for their spiritual upbuilding, but they rejected both (verse 11-12.

Nazirites were a group of people who had made special promises to God. Some of these promises were,

1) not to cut their hair,
2) not to drink wine,
3) not to touch dead people or things.

Samson and Samuel were Nazirites. The kings also told the prophets not to speak for God. The kings did not want to hear what God said.

Amos uses pictures to send a message to the people in Israel. They will be like a heavy cart on very wet ground. They will not be able to get away from God’s judgement. This will be a sign of judgement.
God will therefore crush His people, as an ox-cart loaded with grain crushes whatever is beneath it. Nothing will save them from His judgement. They will be destroyed (verse 13-16).

Many Israelites thought that because they were God’s people, they could do as they liked without fear of punishment. On the contrary, says Amos, God’s choice of them to be His people is all the more reason why He will punish them if they are disobedient (3, verse 1-2).

To prevent the people from thinking that He is making idle threats, Amos points out that He has good reason for speaking with such boldness. He gives a list of illustrations to show that there is a reason for everything. For example, if people go on a journey together, the reason is they have arranged it. If a lion roars, the reason is it has caught its prey. If a bird-trap shuts, the reason is a bird has been caught in it. If troops assemble for battle, the reason is the city fears an attack (verse 3-6). So Amos asked those seven questions above (from verse 6) to confirm his message.

Likewise if a prophet speaks boldly, the reason is God has given him a warning to pass on to the people. They should therefore take notice (verse 7-8).

Amos tries to shame the people of Israel (capital: Samaria) by inviting their enemies (Ashdod, Egypt) to come and see how bad the nation is, with all its oppression, lawlessness, violence and greed (verse 9-10). Israel will surely be conquered and plundered. The only things that will remain as a reminder of former luxury will be a few scraps of furniture. The remains of the nation will be like the remains of a sheep that has been attacked and eaten by wild animals (verse 11-12).

LESSONS✍🏽
🔷 God will punish His people who do not obey His commands or instructions

🔷 Believers may make a mockery of themselves and their enemies will laugh at and defeat them if they do not walk according to God’s commands

PRAYER POINTS🙏🏽
💥 Ask God to forgive your disobedience
💥 Pray that you will do the will of God always

CONCLUSION📙
As God gives us life daily, so must we also be ready to give back our life to Him, to live according to His instructions and obey His words. God’s blessings and favour will come upon us if we remain in Him and do His will.
AMEN

In series Bright Morning Reflections