Amos 5:7-9 O you who turn justice to wormwood and cast down righteousness to the earth! 8 He who made the Pleiades and Orion, and turns deep darkness into the morning and darkens the day into night, who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out on the surface of the earth, the Lord is his name; 9 who makes destruction flash forth against the strong, so that destruction comes upon the fortress.
Silence the Truth about God
The people are known for the injustice towards their brothers and Amos is letting them know that they have turned justice to wormwood which was a plant that had a bitter taste. So justice did not mean what it was supposed to mean but became like a bitter taste in the peoples mouth as they knew that the system had become corrupted by the rich. The people have also poisoned the truth about God by their actions and the fact that they have mixed in other religions with their worship of God. They have been ignoring the warnings from God and even ignoring God Himself by creating a god of their own making.
Many people try to silence God not by saying there is no God but by making Him into something He is not. Some are outright trying to say there is no God but they are ignoring all the proof that God has provided for us that He exist.
Romans 1:18-20 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,[g] in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
Psalm 19:1-2 The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above[a] proclaims his handiwork. 2 Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.
Amos is saying that the things about God by using two well-known constellations, Pleiades and Orion, that declare that God is sovereign. (Job 9:9; 38:31) Similar to how we have people credit evolution with the creation of the Universe, Amos was battling the influence of the Canaanites who credited the gods El and Baal with the creation of the Heavens. Whether it is evolution or other gods or even mother nature they are all ways of taking away from the sovereign God who not only created the Universe but who also holds it together. (Colossians 1:17)
Amos then says, “The Lord is His Name” letting the people know clearly that the one who creation is pointing to. Our world can try and say there is no God but creation will constantly scream that there is. Science is constantly pointing to God even though people are trying to suppress it and hide the truth. They hide the truth because if we acknowledge there is a God then we have to submit to His will and His ways and we do not want God to be God of our lives but we want to be the rulers of our own destinies.
Amos then goes on explaining Gods sovereignty over the rainfalls and the floods and lets them know that God will bring forth judgment for the injustice that is taking place. The people do not see themselves as being a part of God’s wrath they believe they are going to receive God’s blessings. It is human arrogance that believes that they do not deserve divine wrath because we are good on our own accord without Jesus Christ and it is human arrogance that says there is no God or at least a God we need to save us.
Read Amos 5:10-13 They hate him who reproves in the gate, and they abhor him who speaks the truth.11 Therefore because you trample on the poor and you exact taxes of grain from him, you have built houses of hewn stone, but you shall not dwell in them, you have planted pleasant vineyards, but you shall not drink their wine. 12 For I know how many are your transgressions and how great are your sins—you who afflict the righteous, who take a bribe, and turn aside the needy in the gate 13 Therefore he who is prudent will keep silent in such a time, for it is an evil time.
Silence those who speak the truth
The Gate was the place where people could take their case of being treated unfairly and present it to elders and jurors and get justice for how they were wronged. Like going to a courthouse there were rooms and meeting places to hold hearings and rule on injustices but the witnesses who tried to speak out against the injustices taking place were silenced either because of threats of violence or because they were frustrated that no one was listening. Truth refers to something complete, blameless, and honest and because of the corruption of the courts the truth was being silenced.
In America our freedom of speech is being squelched by people that say you should not talk about certain things like religion in public. Most people do not want to offend anyone so instead of telling people the truth we “mind our own business” or we stay silent. Offending someone today is considered a sin because it is viewed as the worse offense someone can do to another. As Christ followers we are not given the choice to stay silent and whether or not someone is offended is due to the person not the message that is being delivered.
Mark 16:15 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.
A) We cannot be silent about Jesus
Is this statement Jesus said about Himself true?
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
If what Jesus said about Himself is true then all faiths cannot be equally valid and true. Either Jesus is the way to Heaven or He is a liar. The Gospel, which means Good News, is based on an event that took place so we tell the news what people do with that news is up to them. Christianity is based on the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and that His death makes us acceptable to God. Many people in our society are not about rejecting Jesus outright but making Him one of the ways to get to Heaven. It is no longer about rejecting Jesus it is about accepting all religions as true and whichever one you pick is up to you.
We are to proclaim the good news of what Christ did for the world (John 3:16-17) but whether or not they accept the news or even look into further is not our responsibility. I am not saying we should be rude or nasty as we tell the news but we do have an obligation to share it even if they get offended by it.
B) We cannot be silent for the sake of our children
Neil Postman wrote a book called The Disappearance of Childhood. In it he says that we ask children to embrace mature issues, themes, and experiences long before they are ready. Physical appearances between children and adults are disappearing and many parents wanting their children to fit in and have given into culture. Every other parent gave their kid a smart phone so you feel the pressure to do so. Every other parent allows their kid to dress a certain way so you feel the pressure to do so. Every other parent allows their kid to see that movie or watch that show so you feel the pressure to do so. The average age to begin viewing pornography is eleven years old. (Generation Z James Emery White, pg 58) Bathroom issues, transgender issues, where are people going to change at school are issues that our children have to face and if we sit back silently then those who are pushing an agenda will dominate our culture. We will be called intolerant, or told we are on the wrong side of History but by being quite we are allowing people to not only damage themselves but the children that these laws will affect.
“The intolerant label was enough to strike fear into the heart of my teenage daughter. That was more than twenty years ago, and the cultural environment has only gotten worse since then. Here’s the irony: some of the most vocal advocates for tolerance are completely intolerant of thos who express their belief in biblical morality, especially if they do so in the public arena.” (The Beauty of Intolerance, Josh and Sean McDowell, PG,49)
People do not want to hear that the way they are living is wrong and many people have justified their sins that they think that even God accepts their lifestyle. To follow God means to call sin (unacceptable behavior to God) what He calls sin. People today who relied on science for backing up their lifestyle choices have abandoned science in order to continue down a path that is wrong. Gender is scientifically male or female and so we see that science is acceptable as long as it does not hinder the lifestyle I choose to live. The reality is people are searching for something and they think the freedom to change genders or to be gender neutral will lead to happiness.
“The problem is, self-determined morality may feel good for a while, but eventually most young people begin to sense that they are somehow out of alignment with reality. they wheels begin to wobble and they begin to veer into other lanes, causing damage to themselves and others. … we have a great opportunity and privilege to offer real answers that are credible and relevant.” The Beauty of Intolerance, Josh and Sean McDowell, PG 222)
C) We cannot be silent because of fear
They hate him who reproves in the gate and they abhor him who speaks the truth. (10)
Therefore he who is prudent will keep silent in such a time for it is an evil time. (13)
Some say those who were speaking the truth were being threatened physically and so they just remained silent out of fear and some say that those who spoke truth were ignored so they waited for God’s judgement that was pronounced in verses eleven and twelve. Are you willing to be hated for speaking the truth? It is easy to be silenced in our culture that says that you should not talk about religion or politics but one of the reasons we cannot discuss those things is because we do not know how to have civil conversations about things we disagree on. Our news shows have become shouting matches and people are mimicking that behavior in the streets and because most people are willing to discuss their views but not argue them they remain silent out of fear.
“An uncomfortably large segment of Christians would rather agree with people around them than experience even the mildest conflict. According to this perspective, it’s never right to criticize people or their decisions and lifestyles. By adopting this value without much reflection, many Christians have stuffed their convictions. When Christians cram their deepest beliefs so far down, there’s little hope those beliefs could ever affect real conversations. …but taking ourselves out of the conversation to avoid conflict doesn’t help anyone.” (Good Faith, David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons, Pg. 18-19)
God sent His son and now He is sending us into the world for the same reason He came which is to save people from the wrath of God. Not everyone will listen but we are called to not be silent and we are to help people see the lies they believe by speaking the truth even if it makes them uncomfortable. We are told in scripture to be the light for the world and if we are not the light where will people turn when they realize they have been told a lie?
Acts 18:9-11 And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, 10 for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.” 11 And he stayed a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.
The apostle Paul was wrestling with what to do since he was receiving so much opposition from people and God showed him in a vision that God knew that people would receive Him so Paul needed to not be afraid but speak the truth. Sometimes we see the people in the Bible as super human but the Apostle Paul was human and even he was struggling to stop talking because of the opposition he was facing. We all struggle with fear of being liked but God reassures the apostle Paul and it is the same encouragement we can have that God is using us for His purpose. We cannot be silent because God is with us and there are people who will give their lives to Him because of us sharing the news about Jesus Christ.
Romans 10:13-14; 17 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?[c] And how are they to hear without someone preaching? So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.