Amos 3:1-7 This passage both funny and sad. Amos uses a series of satirical
questions to point out the folly of God’s people. Israel believed their sin was ok
because they were God’s people but it is the fact that they are God’s people that
made their sin all the worse. This is where hypocrisy is destroying mission. God not
hypocritical he expects his people not to be perfect but to confess and be broken
over their sin (the whole sacrificial and cleansing system demonstrates this).
Israel confusing to those on outside because they are not counter – community and
the church today is giving off same confusion. If you are here and don’t know Jesus
we have probably confused you by not living for Jesus as one family but for
ourselves as individuals. Please look at Jesus and not Israel, not religious right and
not us alone but us pointing you to Jesus.
3:2 Church is the New Israel the New family. Family and covenant!
3:3 God walked with Israel his family and they stopped walking with him. Israel
breaks covenant. Who are you walking with? Walk with God. God recognizes when
we are not walking with him. Recognizes that departure from his path. We pretend
we are on same path when we are not. Confess when you stray.
3:4 A lion does not roar while it is hiding but after it has pounced. Amos warned.
Jesus warned! Luke 12:1-9 It is kind to warn. It is cruel not to warn. Promises,
warnings and commands for God’s covenant people.
3:5 It is your own sin that has entangled you. There is no excuse for our sin. We sin.
It is folly to hide our sin. It is folly to pretend our hearts are more pure than they are.
It is like a bird in a snare with bait in its mouth saying, it wasn’t tempted by the bait.
WE DO THIS. Do you excuse your sin? Do you dress it up? Are you confessing and
crying out to God or are you still trying to protect your reputation? Stories what
have you left out and are you ashamed of? Why?
3:6 Are you listening to warnings? – Tsunami in SD. What if you ignored warnings?
Jesus looks with compassion on those who vulnerably need him and judgment on
those who pride-fully don’t. Mark 2:13-17 sick need physician.
Only Jesus was the faithful family of God. Only Jesus walks perfectly with the Father.
Jesus fulfills the Old Covenant and ushers in a new covenant where we are God’s
family not by birth but new birth. Not by obedience but by Jesus obedience. This
passage is about Jesus. Jesus is the point.
Jesus frees us to be a counter-community of confession. Our sins are forgiven
because of Jesus so we can confess and not hide them. Jesus is our true reputation.
God’s people are a counter-community of need that are transparent and honest
about this need. A community that takes God at his word and so takes his promises,
warnings and commands seriously. God warns this is a trap that will destroy you
and God’s people to take that seriously. Not ignore and say I know best – EVERYONE
is doing that. God’s family to be different a family that listens to their Father!
Confess and repent when you have walked away, heed the warnings of King Jesus,
confess when you are trapped in sin. Don’t pretend you were not baited by the
ugliness of sin. No you are in trap because your evil heart loved sin and hated Jesus.
Confess this don’t dress this. Amos is blowing a trumpet run from sin to Jesus!
Everyone deep down hears this trumpet and deep down knows they need grace. The
gospel allows us to confess the need for grace.
John 3:30 What the Spirit did in John. You only rightly confess if you believe that
Jesus must increase and you must decrease. Otherwise we will still dress up
confession and even use it to make us increase. This is how skewed we are.
Truth is refreshing. Keeps us from fighting to control what we can’t control. God is
great so we don’t have to be in control. God must increase so I must decrease my
reputation, my control, me everything must decrease. This is good news! Allows
rest. We can’t rest when we believe we must increase. We can’t ask for help or
confess when we believe we must increase.
Israel believed Israel must increase and so they would never be punished but Jesus
must increase and in Israel’s case punishment increased the holiness of God.
Mission will embrace this. Mission will realize that He must increase. I must
decrease. In all of life it is not about me it is about Jesus. My reputation is dead and
Jesus reputation is alive! My life is dead but my new life in Jesus is alive. My old
identity is dead but my new identity in Jesus is alive. In Jesus we are God’s family the
church. We get to be shaped by God’s promises, warnings and walk in obedience to
them. We get to be a new covenant people.
Are you a confused unbeliever trying to figure this mess out? Truth is it is not about
you. It is about God and his plan for all of creation, his community. It is bigger than
you. But it is also big enough to include you. God has invited you into his family, his
story, his work. He has done this to increase his name. He invites you to live out the
very identity you were created to live out. Confess this and embrace it.
We are the family of God. We are family of sinners that need Jesus. Kaleo Jesus must
increase and we must decrease.