Saying the Things People Don’t Want to Hear

by Jeffrey W. Hamilton

Text: Amos 7:1-9


I.         God brings to Amos a vision of terrible destruction – the destruction of the northern kingdom, Israel - Amos 7:1-9

            A.        Israel had failed to measure up to God’s standard. They were no longer straight. They were no longer true. They were like a leaning wall ready to collapse.

            B.        All because of their persistent idolatry and its associated sins.

            C.        Amaziah, a priest of the idols of Israel, protested Amos’ message - Amos 7:10-13

                        1.         He accuses Amos of being disloyal

                        2.         He states that people can’t stand listening to him

                        3.         He thinks Amos is better off going south into Judah (we don’t want your kind here).

                        4.         Amos was forbidden to speak in Bethel because it was a seat of government.

II.        The life of a prophet was hard because the message was often unpleasant.

            A.        Amos wasn’t the only one - Amos 2:11-12

            B.        David complained that his words were distorted - Psalm 56:5-6

            C.        Jeremiah once wanted to quit - Jeremiah 20:7-10

III.       People will assign their problems to the bearer of bad news

            A.        Ahab accused Elijah of stirring up trouble - I Kings 18:17-18

            B.        People want Jeremiah dead - Jeremiah 26:8-11

            C.        Jeremiah was accused of ruining the moral of the troupes - Jeremiah 38:3-4

            D.        Jesus was accused of treason - John 19:12

            E.        Paul accused of upsetting the whole world - Acts 17:6-7; 24:5

IV.      The prophets had to tough it out

            A.        Isaiah 50:7 - Set his face like flint.

            B.        Jeremiah 1:17-19 - Jeremiah needed to fortify himself

            C.        Ezekiel had to be tough - Ezekiel 3:8-9

            D.        We can never be embarrassed about the message - Romans 1:16

            E.        Instead we glorify God - I Peter 4:16

V.        The treasure of God doesn’t always come in bright packages

            A.        Amos was a herdsman and a producer of animal feed - Amos 7:14-15

            B.        Moses had difficulty speaking - Exodus 4:10

            C.        The apostles were uneducated men - Acts 4:13

            D.        The purpose was to place focus on the message and not the messenger - II Corinthians 4:7

VI.      Why bring this up?

            A.        People don’t want to hear rebukes - II Timothy 4:1-5

            B.        When James Robinson, an avowed and openly homosexual man, was made a bishop in the Episcopal church, the archbishop of Nigeria in that same organization denounced the appointment saying, “It would be an abomination for this man to be an appointed Bishop.”

                        1.         Robinson’s response was, “I am not surprised or angry about what the Bishop of Nigeria said, I don’t doubt his sincerity or faith to our Lord, in fact he is being true to his own journey to God – so am I. I don’t know if any of us can do any more than that, I have no doubt that we can believe exactly opposite things, each walking our faithful journey with God; for our walk is imperfect. My hope is that somehow we can keep coming to the communion rail together until we get it figured out. I am going to continue coming to the communion rail, and I hope that the Primate of Nigeria would come as well.”

                        2.         What a response! He claimed that people can believe exactly opposite things and still serve God!

                                    a.         He is so much like Israel in the days of the Judges - Judges 21:25

                                    b.         Well did Paul warn us - Ephesians 4:17-20

                        3.         In Canada the courts ruled that speaking against homosexuality is “hate speech.” It is forbidden.

                                    a.         We cannot be cowards.

                                    b.         We must speak the truth. Sin remains sin - I Corinthians 6:9-10

            C.        When Jesus told us to be lights, consider that light contradicts darkness - Matthew 5:14-16

                        1.         It is why the world rejected Jesus - John 1:4-5

                        2.         To often we are timid to tell people that they are living sinful lives. Who then is hiding the light of God? - Ephesians 5:11-17

                        3.         The righteous will contend with the wicked - Proverbs 28:4

            D.        Rejoice in standing for the truth - Matthew 5:10-12

VII.     Oh, and what ever did happen to Amaziah? - Amos 7:16-17

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