God is fed up, which means He is filled up with the sins of the Israelites and He has told them through the prophet Amos that they have reached a point of No return God said He would not forget their sins in Amos 8:7 and this means that they cannot be in relationship with God because we have to have our sins forgiven in order to be in His presence. Because their sins will not be forgiven they will mourn which also means to regret. The presence of God is what they will never experience for all of eternity but God is giving them what they really wanted since they ignored the presence of God on earth.
The word Judgment sounds very negative and for some people on the Day of Judgment it will be a day of regret, pain and sorrow but for some people it will be a day of rejoicing. When a judge makes a verdict someone usually has a favorable ruling and they are happy with the judgement that was given so judgment, although sounding negative does not have to be a negative experience. Amos has another vision from God and although Amos was able to thwart God’s judgment from the people earlier their unwillingness to stop worshiping other gods along with their treatment of people made it where God was done giving them chances. We will all face God one day and that means we will all face judgment. Before we step off this earth we should know what the judgment of God is going to be about.
Read Amos 9:1-6 I saw the Lord standing beside[a] the altar, and he said:“Strike the capitals until the thresholds shake, and shatter them on the heads of all the people;[b]and those who are left of them I will kill with the sword; not one of them shall flee away; not one of them shall escape.2 “If they dig into Sheol, from there shall my hand take them; if they climb up to heaven, from there I will bring them down.3 If they hide themselves on the top of Carmel, from there I will search them out and take them; and if they hide from my sight at the bottom of the sea, there I will command the serpent, and it shall bite them. 4 And if they go into captivity before their enemies, there I will command the sword, and it shall kill them; and I will fix my eyes upon them for evil and not for good.”5 The Lord God of hosts, he who touches the earth and it melts, and all who dwell in it mourn, and all of it rises like the Nile, and sinks again, like the Nile of Egypt; 6 who builds his upper chambers in the heavens and founds his vault upon the earth; who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out upon the surface of the earth— the Lord is his name.
The Lord gives the judgement
“I saw the Lord standing beside the altar” The one standing is the one who is in charge and on the Day of Judgment there will be no question as to who is in charge of the judgments that will be given. The altar was the place where communion with God took place because that is where the sacrifices were made and forgiveness of sins were received. The people would normally look forward to going to the altar of God but what Amos told them would have shocked and in disbelief. The place where God would meet His people in Grace is now the site of Judgment against them.
Many people tell me they look forward to the day when they will stand before God for their actions but I believe we do not have the proper perspective on the awesomeness of God and just how small we really are. Because we have a low view of God, a high view of ourselves and a lack of understanding of Gods Holiness, we think we will be ready for that day based on our own works and behavior. The story of Christianity is that Christ is the only way we can be prepared to meet God because Jesus is the one who makes us acceptable to God.
You cannot hide from God’s Judgment
“Not one of them shall flee away, not one of them shall escape” Amos let them know that no matter where they went or whatever route they took God would find them. There is not one person who will escape the judgment of God. One of the most beautiful verses about God is that we never leave His presence no matter how dark life gets or what we are going through. All the promises of God to His children are dreadful to those who want to escape Him.
Psalm 139:7-10 Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? 8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!9 If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,10 even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. (See Also Romans 8:38-39)
The end times talk about a similar scenario as people try and escape Gods Presence and remove themselves from His judgment.
Revelation 6:15-17 Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave[d] and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, 16 calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, 17 for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”
Hebrews 4:13 says that no creature is hidden from His sight and will give an account. God’s judgement is fair and true because God sees and knows all. Every action, every thought and every intention of our heart is seen by God . This is the reason we have to accept the free gift of Jesus Christ for our sins to be forgiven because God not only sees us as others sees us but He sees us for who we really are.
Read Amos 9:7-10 Are you not like the Cushites to me, O people of Israel?” declares the Lord. “Did I not bring up Israel from the land of Egypt, and the Philistines from Caphtor and the Syrians from Kir? 8 Behold, the eyes of the Lord God are upon the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from the surface of the ground, except that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob, “declares the Lord.9 “For behold, I will command, and shake the house of Israel among all the nations as one shakes with a sieve, but no pebble shall fall to the earth. 10 All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword, who say, ‘Disaster shall not overtake or meet us.
Judgement because of Evil
“Are you not like the Cushite’s to me?” The people thought they had special favor with God but God lets them know that they are just like the evil Cushite’s in His eyes. It would be like God telling you that you are just like Hitler or Charles Manson in His eyes. Israel did have a special relationship with God and it was through them that they were supposed to be the light of the world (Gen 12:1-3) and through them that salvation would come to all people through Jesus Christ. Just because God chose to work through the Israelites did not mean they could live however they wanted and just because God brought them out of Egypt it did not mean that they could ignore His standards. The Israelites were on a covenant relationship with God which gave them promises but it came with conditions. The Blessings of God were because of a fruitful, righteous life and the blessings of God were not promised to those who ignored His ways and His prophets.
God viewed them as evil because of their false worship and their treatment of their fellow man.
Some of what they did we would not see as evil but we are not going by our standards but Gods. We all have a tendency to make what we do not a sin and we all have a tendency to live our own lives and make up our own rules but we are called to live by the rules of God. Do you call evil what God calls evil?
The Righteous will escape God’s Judgment
“As one shakes with a sieve” Many of us long for the world to be different than it is and for evil to be done away with, wars to stop and people allowed to live in peace. Roman 8:22 says that even the earth is groaning and longing for the day God will make all things right again. God’s judgment is not about destroying people it’s about removing evil from this world. Judgment is a positive thing and something we all look forward to when God establishes the earth back to His original design. God will shake out those who do not belong in His Kingdom like a farmer shakes out the wheat.
God’s view of us as people is either as sinners or as saints. In our view we may look the same but God is going to sift out those who belong to Him from those who do not and we may be surprised at who is and who is not in Heaven. Matthew 13:24-30 says the weeds and the wheat are growing next to each other until the harvest and then they will be separated. God is always ready to forgive sin but make no mistake your sins cannot be ignored because either Jesus has to pay for them or you will be held accountable for them. God’s grace makes a relationship with Him possible but a relationship means that there are two mutual parties responding to each other. God has reached out to a dying world and provided a way to be back in a right relationship with Him by coming and dying on the cross for our sins. If you continue to ignore what God has done and the invitation He has given then you will be thrown out of His presence. (Matthew 22:13)
Taking sin lightly, not confessing sins are some indicators that you have not responded to God. We all sin but it is our view of that sin that shows our relationship to God. Many people believe in God but live their lives as if He does not exist. This is exactly what the people in Amos day were doing. They were acknowledging God to a point but lived their lives as if He did not exist.
Romans 4:7-8 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; 8 blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.”
Some are falsely teaching that God accepts everyone as they are but we have to be forgiven in order to be accepted. If God accepted us as we are then there would be no reason for Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our sins. Jesus died so that our sins will be forgiven by God and to reject the work of Christ on the cross is to reject that forgiveness that is offered.
2 Corinthians 5:21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
The great exchange is that Jesus took our sin and we were given His righteousness. For those who have accepted the gift of Jesus Christ God now sees you as righteous and your name will be written in the book of life. God will no longer see you as evil but perfect because Jesus is perfect.
Revelation 20:11-15 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. 13 And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. 14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
“What binds these millions of people together is the common view that they will be accepted by God on the basis of their goodness. …What these people lack is the righteousness that God requires for entry into Heaven.” (Your Eternal Reward, Erwin W. Lutzer, PG. 161)
Justice in the United States of America is demonstrated by a blindfolded woman which is to show that no matter who you are you are judged fairly. Justice with God is with His eyes wide open because God is perfect and He judges based on His own character
Amos gives them warnings to try and get the people to change but they do not realize they are not on good terms with God. God’s warnings are not to be taken lightly and sin is not to be as well. We all have a tendency to not call certain things in our own lives sins but we are to live by Gods standard and not our own. How will the Day of Judgment be for you? Will it be a dreadful day or a wonderful one? If you accept the free gift of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins then all the sins in your life will not be brought up. (Romans 8:1)