||Bible from 30,000 Feet, The
||Destination: Joel; Amos; Obadiah
||Joel 1-3; Amos 1-9; Obadiah
It was 1947 when a young Bedouin boy was tending his flock in the caves near us here in Cameron; throwing a rock in a cave he heard a crash of pottery, and discovered what came to be known has the Dead Sea Scrolls. These scrolls are a collection of about 900 documents including text from the Hebrew Bible. They include the oldest known surviving copies of biblical and extra biblical documents. With that background we'll open the Old Testament and fly over three prophetic books. Let's review Joel, Amos, and Obadiah.
How many of you had one of the first cell phones ever? Show off hands, first cell phones. Okay, I'm talking about the kind of, they looked, they were about as big as small children. Remember those, they were like a brick. How many had those? Okay, when you had it you thought that was cool didn't you? That was so cool, it's like, look how small this is. Okay then they got smaller and smaller and now they're like this big you just, hello.
And it seems as years go on with technology they became smaller and even more powerful, they can do more things like the new iPhone I don't have the new iPhone but they just came out with another new iPhone that can do so many cool fast things that's like a whole another computer. I want you to think of that when you think of the minor Prophets, when we talk about the minor Prophets, know that God can say a lot in a small package and the minor Prophets can be as bold and as impacting and they were as some of the guys who took a lot of chapters to say what they said.
All of it inspired by God but when we talk about Minor Prophets we're simply talking about size not importance brevity is what we're talking about. So we're going through again the Minor Prophets at last section of the Old Testament where God packs a punch with just a view words.
Now, tonight we're going to cover three books we're going to fly over three of the Minor Prophets because some of them are really short. For instance, The Book of Joel only three chapters and again this is the 30,000 foot thing so it's like we're already over it. The Book of Amos nine more chapters and the Book of Obadiah has one single chapter shortest book in the Old Testament so all three books total up to 13 chapters. We can do that in one night.
So here's what we're going to do. Look at it in terms of topography, the first guy Joel speaks to the south Judah, Jerusalem. The second guy Amos speaks to the north Israel at the town central Bethel that was the capital. Bethel was the Capital of the ten northern tribes just as Jerusalem is the capital of Judah. So the first guy speaks down south the second guy speaks up north. The third guy Obadeeah, Obadiah, Obadeeah, Obadiah goes east and speaks to a nation outside of the borders of Israel to the nation of Edom.
Now I'm going to give you titles for all three books because we want to outline tonight these books in three sections because there are three books. The Book of Joel, here's the theme "The Day of the Lord", "The Day of the Lord" is the theme of the Book of Joel and I'll explain what "The Day of the Lord" is. The Book of Amos, "The Denunciation of Nations" that's easy to figure out what that is, bunch of nations were listed they all have a bad rap given to them they're all denounced. And number three the Book Obadiah, not deeah, is "Doom on Edom", "Doom on Edom." So "Day of the Lord", "Denunciation of Nations", "Doom on Edom" those are the three sections that form our outline of these three books tonight.
Let's go the Book of Joel chapter 1 verse 1. We're dealing with an area the south, it's the 9th century BC, Joel is preaching to Jerusalem and to those in Judah and something Joel does and you see it right after that but I want to warn you of it. Joel takes an immediate circumstance as the lens through which he predicts the ultimate circumstance. He see something immediately happening God judging he sees that a lens to talk about something that will ultimately be God's judgment.
So from the immediate to the ultimate, I would even put it this way, he goes from the immediate to the intermediate to the ultimate that is he sees something that is going to happen a natural disaster a plague of locust that is coming to swarm through out Judah, he sees that as a model of coming devastation in the intermediate period of time with the Assyrians that will come down that becomes a lens for something further ultimately on the horizon, that is ultimate judgment the worst time of history, the tribulation period; so immediate, intermediate, ultimate.
I'll tell what it's like. This is how I remember the book of Joel. At home I have a pair of glasses, that I wear contacts but now I have glasses at home and I want to take my contacts out, but my glasses these days different than they used to be. The glasses I wore today are graduated vision. It's a nice way of bi-focaling people, that is, if I look at the bottom part of the lens I'm seeing something right here immediately if I look through the middle part of the lens it's sort of intermediate I can see my computer screen, the top part is where I can see everything beyond that, the ultimate. That is how the Book of Joel is laid out and by the way many of the prophets in the Old Testament are laid out and written in that same format something immediate, that looks about something coming up later in the future that could even speak about that being a model of the ultimate judgment.
Verse 1, "The word of the Lord that came to Yoel." His name Joel means Yahweh is God. "The son of Pethuel." "Hear this you elders and give ear all you inhabitants of the land, has anything like this happened in your days or even in the days of your fathers, tell you children about it. Let your children tell their children and their children another generation." In other words, have you guys ever seen what's happening like this?
Now describe it, "What the chewing locust left, the swarming locust has eaten." He's speaking about a natural disaster of an invasion of locust that ate everything in the land of Judah. "So what the chewing locust left the swarming locust has eaten what the swarming locust left the crawling locust has eaten, what the crawling left, the consuming locust has eaten." Now there's four kinds of locust mentioned. Either there's four different varieties of locust that all came in on top of each other or it could be that these are four stages of the growth of a locust that can happen very rapidly and one is giving way to another stage and more consumption is going on and they finally mature.
Verse 6, "For a nation has come up against my land strong and without number his teeth are like the teeth of a lion and he has a fangs of a fears lion he has laid waste my wine." Now the vineyard, the wine is the symbol of Israel, Isaiah chapter 5. "And ruined my fig tree [also symbolic of that land], he has stripped it bare and thrown it away its branches are made white."
What is coming in the immediate is an unusual swarm of locust, now locust were common in that part of the world but this was different because this is seen as part of God's judgment to get people to wake up and turn back to the Lord. Now, there is a type of locust and most scholars that write about this book believe it's the short horned grasshopper only 2 inches long, wing span 4-5 inches long. It comes in quickly, breeds rapidly and can migrate a long distance, they breed in the deserts but then they consume the agricultural areas and nothing that is green is left, absolutely wipes it out.
When these locust appear, they appear in clouds that are a 100 plus feet tall 4 to 5 miles long and they say when the whole herd of locust comes in it looks in the middle of the day like a total eclipse of the sun. It darkens everything and when they leave everything on the trunks of the trees, the bark is stripped completely bare, the earth even looks as if it has been burned, scorched. Now, there's a couple of notable invasions of locust in history, 1866 northern Africa Algiers, capital of Algeria so severe was the plague of locust, 200,000 people died from the famine that followed. So it's severe, the worst one that ever hit the Middle East that is recorded was recorded in 1951 every green thing was destroyed for hundreds of thousands of miles.
Verse 15, here's the segue; "Alas for the day, for the day of the Lord is at hand. It shall come as destruction from the almighty." So there's the theme of this book, "The Day of the Lord" five times it's mentioned in this book, Yom Yahweh, "The Day of the Lord", twenty-six times in the Bible it is mentioned. "It's not the food cut off before our eyes joy and gladness from the house of the God." Chapter 2 verse 1, "Blow the trumpet, [the shofar the ram's horn] in Zion, and sound an alarm in my Holy mountain let all the inhabitants of the land tremble for the day of the Lord is coming, it is at hand a day of darkness and gloominess, the day of clouds and thick darkness like the morning cloud spread over the mountains."
"A people come great and strong, the like of whom has never been; nor will there ever be any such after them even for many successive generations." What was local and immediate the swarm of locust would give way to something more wide spread and intermediate the Assyrians that would come down and take the north captive, that would give way to something global and ultimate a world wide judgment that will involve every single nation on the earth, "The Day of the Lord."
Now let me just unpack the meaning of that "The Day of the Lord" is not a twenty-four hour period, it's not like what we have Thanksgiving Day and then we have Christmas Day and then we have "The Day of the Lord" that's on a special little day. No, "The Day of the Lord" is not the twenty-four hour period, it's a process that both unfolds and intensifies and here's the process, its God supernaturally intervening in man's affairs by judgment; God supernaturally intervening in man's affairs by judgment. This today is not "The Day of the Lord", this is man's day, we're having our hay day. We're playing; we're having our little foray with autonomy, our own little deal. One day, God will say, "Enough is enough; I'm done with that my day will be initiated.
Now this day, man's day, the times of the gentiles if you want to get technical prophetically will be interrupted in the future but what the Bible calls "The Day of Christ", a phrase mentioned four times in the New Testament that's when Jesus Christ appears, appears for His church takes us away which brings in a seven year time period called "The Tribulation" or "The Day of the Lord", a day of judgment, a period judgment that intensifies.
If you read through the book of Revelation and by the way, there is no more subject in prophetic literature that is more detailed than this, "The Day of the Lord" is the most detailed predictive element in all the prophecy.
Revelation alone chapter 6 through 19 the subject matter is "The Day of the Lord", and it begins with seals being torn off of a scroll, seven sealed judgments, followed by seven trumped judgments, followed seven bowl judgment being poured out and each phase is more intense and more devastating. God is intervening. Now look at the description in verse 2. Speaking about this people that is coming and, "Like of whom there has never been nor will there ever be any such after them." It does remind us of what Jesus said in describing "The Day of the Lord" and how bad it would be, said there will be a time of great tribulation such as has never been since the beginning of the world, no ,nor ever shall be.
You might be thinking, well, how, how bad could it really be? I mean things are really bad now. You check the gas prices out, oh this is a cake walk compared to what's coming up ahead. It is indescribable, in fact it is hard to get your mind around the description in Revelation chapter 6 through 19, it's going to be very bad un-parallel said Jesus. Now "The Day of the Lord" comes suddenly, quickly when people aren't expecting it. It says in 1 Thessalonians, "The Day of the Lord will come unexpectedly like a thief in the night".
Now, here's why that will be because it begins with "The Day of Christ" taking the church up in the rapture, no one knows the, day the hour. That could happen in any moment, when it does, that day starts, "The Day of the Lord", 7-year period. I was thinking of that today. I was bicycling early this morning and I was thinking about, you know if the Lord came back. Let us say the Jesus Christ came back tonight, in 7 years you do the math, its 2008, so 7 years would be what, okay yeah that day, that's when the kingdom age will begin, the thousand year reign of Christ.
So "The Day of the Lord" as horrible as it's going to be is going to usher in "The Day of Christ" ruling and reigning with his saints for a thousand years and then ultimately into the eternal state. Something else I want you to know is before we move on this "Day of the Lord." It comes it says in verses that we just read from the Almighty, comes from the Almighty. It's "The Day of the Lord." It originates with God, it is from His hand, this is God's judgment upon the earth.
This is God's tribulation upon the earth and one of the reasons I believe the church will not be present for the great tribulation period is simply this, Jesus said, "In the world you will have tribulation." But that's the tribulation that originates from the world but the tribulation that originates as judgment from God, God has promised to guard His children from that period and this is "The Day of the Lord", the judgment from His hand.
Now verse 12 through 13 is called "The Personal Repentance." In chapter 2, verses 15 and 16 are called "The National Repentance." Verse 18, "Then the Lord will be zealous for His land and pity His people, the Lord will answer and say to His people, behold I will send you grain and new wine and oil and you will satisfied by them. I will no longer make your reproach among the nations." See how this is turned now? Judgment and then I'm going to heal you God says. "But will remove far from you the northern army, [now watch this, the northern army] and will drive him away into a barren and desolate land with his face toward the eastern sea [that is the Dead Sea and its back toward the western sea that is the Great Sea, the Mediterranean]. His stench will come up and his foul odor will rise because he has done monstrous things." Now it is believed that the locust swarm came in from the north and moved quickly down south to Judah and decimated all of the shrubbery.
Even as the Assyrians came from the north in 722 and swept in upon those in Israel in the north. It could be though for looking immediate, intermediate and then ultimate. That in the ultimate view the northern army that is mentioned could be the very army described in Ezekiel 38 and 39. The War of Gog and Magog, the Russian army where God says in that passage, "you will come up against my people Israel like a cloud to cover the land, swarm, I will put hooks into your jaws and I will bring you down".
This could be a reference to Russia attacking the nation of Israel which is the Ezekiel 38 and 39 battle scenario which isn't I believe the battle of Armageddon in the day of the Lord. I think it could be something as a part of it at the beginning that culminates in Armageddon but I don't necessarily see them as the final battle together. God says I'll put a hook in your jaw and I'll draw you down I don't know for sure but the hook that draws Russia down could be the sword of Islam. There has been a proliferation of a Muslim population in Russia, and very sympathetic that country toward the Muslim cause and alliances have been made as you know with Iran, Persia also part of the coalition of Ezekiel 38 and 39 that will come and attack Israel.
A common thread among all these nations is they hate one nation and that is the Jewish Nation, they hate Israel. However God says, "When that army sweeps down Zachariah 14, Ezekiel 39." God says, "Israel, you don't have to worry I'm going to stand up for you, in fact I'm going to wipe out that army so bad, it's going to take professional barriers, 7 months to bury the dead and they're going to bury them east of the Dead Sea." Ezekiel 39.
So it's going to be a devastating blow to those who would attack Israel. Verse 28, "It shall come to pass afterward, [watch that word that], that I will pour out my spirit and all flesh, your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams your young shall see visions, also on my men servants and maid servants I will pour out my spirit in those days, I will show wonders in heavens and in the earth, blood, fire, pillar of smoke, the sun shall be turned into darkness the moon into blood before the coming of the great and terrible [or our translation] awesome Day of the Lord."
Now notice it says, after ward, "After the day of the Lord comes this beautiful promise of the spirit of God being poured out." It's interesting that the Jewish day begins with night. A Jewish day in the reckoning of the Jewish calendar, the day doesn't begin with morning, it begins with evening, and so as soon as the sun goes down, the three stars come out that is the beginning of the day and it's a twenty-four hour cycle from the night fall to the next night fall. That's because of the Genesis account. It says an evening and morning were the first day; an evening and morning were the second day, so it always begins with night. It is always dark first and then the dawn comes and it is like, that is how the day of the Lord is going to be. Dark, horrible, painful, wretched but then the day will dawn, the day of the Lord will bring in the reign of the kingdom age and Christ ruling and reigning for thousand years upon the Earth.
Now, are you familiar with this passage, do you recognize this as popping up any where else, what we just read? Sure the book of Acts chapter 2, and you are probably thinking about now, wait a minute if this refers to Israel and this refers to after the day of the Lord, the tribulation then why did Peter stand up on the day of Pentecost and say "It's now fulfilled". Well, he did not say it's now fulfilled, he did stand up on Pentecost and he did quote the book of Joel but I just want to share with you what it exactly he said, if my Bible will open, there it is.
This is that which was spoken off by the prophet Joel, Peter says, "On the day of Pentecost." Acts chapter 2, "it will come to past in the last days says God that I will pour out my spirit on all flesh, your sons and daughters will prophecy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams and all my men servants and all my maid servants, I will pour out my spirit in those days and they shall prophecy and I will show wonders in heaven above and signs on the earth beneath blood, fire, vapor of smoke, the sun will be turned into darkness and the moon and the blood before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord and it shall come to past that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved."
So Peter quotes the Joel passage including the part of the judgment smoke, the fire, great tribulation period, now why does he quote it? Because just as the locust plague and invasion predicted the future judgment on the world, so to Pentecost God pouring out His Holy Spirit on the Jewish nation in Jerusalem was predictive of the out pouring that would yet come upon Israel in a greater capacity in the last days. One was a harbinger, familiar with that word of the other, it portended something greater, one portended the other and so to the out pouring the out pouring of God's spirit in the last days.
Chapter 3 verse 9, "Proclaim this among the nations, prepare for war wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw in there let them come up." Armageddon is implied; I believe here when all the nations assemble against the Jewish state. Look at verse 10 "Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears. Let the weak say I am strong, assemble and come all you nations gather together all around, cause your mighty ones to go down there, O Lord."
Verse 13, "Put in the sickle for the harvest is ripe. Come, go down; For the wine presses fall, The vats overflow--For their wickedness is great" This language is very similar to Revelation 19 when Jesus is going through wine press, treading the wine press and bringing in the vintage for the judgment; same illustration of judgment. Now did you catch verse 10? Does it sound sort of familiar but like backwards, it is. It is the exact reverse of Isaiah chapter 2; verse 4, "and they will beat their swords into the plowshares and their spears into the pruning hooks." That's what is says in Isaiah.
By the way that is written over the doors of the United Nations, there is a plaque that has Isaiah chapter 2 Verse 4 and the idea is here we are gathering together United Nations striving for world peace. It's a great idea but one has to precede the other, before they beat their swords in the plowshares, they're going to take everything they can and go to war, they're going to take their plowshares and beat them in to swords, there's going to be bloody battle before there is world peace. The war comes before the peace.
Now, just a quick word on this I would be happy to discuss it with any one afterwards. We did a little more in depth in the Sermon on the Mount. Some hold the view of total passivity, total passivity, no guns no weapons. We'll never engage in any battle, no fight any one, it's all love, all love no war and, and that's what we all want, by the that is called The Millennium but they think that if we can beat -- I'm, I'm honest, I'm serious, -- we can be totally passive the world would be great and what you will do if you take that Tolstoyan philosophy of total passivity he believed in no police state even, image if we had no police force, it's great, I wouldn't get a ticket, yeah but think of all the lunatics that will be driving around you and you and I begin -- accidents all day long.
Okay, you say total passivity; they'll be some thug just waiting out there for to you beat your sword into a plowshare, so he can a beat plowshare into a sword and all it does when you do not acknowledge the fallenness of man and keep a strong police state and a strong military is you are opening the door for more oppression world wide or locally to occur, that's the nature of man.
Study world history, only 8 percent of world history has ever been a time of peace, the rest is been filled with war and there's people who would love to decimate other nations in totality like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who wants to wipe Israel off the face of the earth, that is just step one step two, wipe the United States off the face of the earth with nuclear weapons. So, it says here, "beat your plowshares into swords, get the weapons in your pruning hooks into spears, let the week say I am strong go to battle." Verse 20, "But Jewish shall abide for ever and Jerusalem from generation to generation for I will acquit them of the guilt of bloodshed whom I had not acquitted for the Lord dwells in Zion."
So the day of the Lord, it's going to be a tough, hard the worst time ever the tribulation, the great tribulation period but it does not stop there, it's going to usher in the great day of the kingdom age peace on this earth and then a new heaven and new earth. One will bring the other. One door opens to something greater.
I heard a story about young couple, they went on their honeymoon, this is hilarious they were so tired from driving all day long, they got to their hotel late, they were so tired, they were just hoping the room would be ready and so the man behind the desk smiled and gave them the key said, "its ready", go up to the room, they open the door and it's like the worst room ever; they couldn't believe it. There's no view, there was no bed, honeymoon night no bed, just a fold out couch, they were tired, they don't want to fight, they unfold the couch, they just collapse, go to sleep, wake up the next day.
The husband is a little ticked off, goes down to the front desk, shows the key goes, "you know what it's like the worst room ever, first of all it's very small and has a little fold out bed". He goes, "Oh, you didn't go through the other door." See that's just the first room that is foyer to the grand honeymoon suite, that's just in case you had somebody else, I do not know that you were, but there is a fold out couch, they went up and showed them, take the second door and open, it's huge, beautiful view of the ocean suite.
They should have just kept going through the next door. The day of the Lord will usher into that beautiful suite of God's glory and manifest in the kingdom age. So the day of the Lord is the time of divine reckoning. God will show the world, He is supreme, it will be a time spiritual out pouring, there's going to be a bigger revival in the tribulation period then ever before in history. People coming to know Christ and their sins forgiven.
Number 3; it will be a time of international fighting. Nations will fight each other but principally nations will want to get rid of one nation and that is the nation of Israel. The nations of the world will come against that little country and finally the day of the Lord is the time of Messiah's coming, when he will rule and reign personally from Mount Zion in Jerusalem and rule the earth. Now the book of Amos; famous Amos. Now if Joel was the day of the Lord, Amos is the denunciation of the nations.
Okay get this. Joel lived down south, right, and he preached to the southerners the Jerusalemites. Amos was also from down south but he preaches to the northerners. He goes all the way up to Bethel, the city of Bethel, the, the capital city and has messages for them. Now he is from a little town called Tekoa and if you were with us in Israel, this last trip remember when we were in the shepherds field over looking Bethlehem and if, if you can remember this at the edge of Bethlehem was a little conical shaped hill out toward the desert called the Harrodian Hill just a little bit south of that is the town of Tekoa where this guy is from.
He is a rural guy, he is not a professional preacher, he's not a professional prophet, you might say he was a non prophet organization and if you just quickly excuse that and quickly look at chapter 7 verse 14 for just a moment notice what he says about himself, "I was no prophet nor the son of a prophet but I was a sheep breeder [or a herdsman] and the tender of sycamore fruit." So he's a country guy. He's a rural guy, he's a farmer; a farmer that God called to be a preacher. As J. Vernon McGee says; remember J. Vernon McGee? Okay, J. Vernon McGee, he says, "He's a country preacher, God called him to the city." That's my J. Vernon McGee. No don't please, please. God rest his soul, he spoke here one time years ago. Let's, let's move on.
Okay, Amos was a contemporary of another prophet. We read about that prophet last week. He was the prophet, anybody here, Hosea, okay Hosea. Amos was a contemporary of Hosea. They preached to the same people same time, same people group, God's message, but different style, different style.
Hosea spoke from the heart; he was a prophet from the heart, broken heart, not Amos. Amos was a prophet in your face not from the heart, in your face; he has really denunciatory; his whole series of messages in this book.
Let's take chapter 1 and 2. Let me kind of give you the outline of chapter 1 and 2 is the roaring of judgment. I will tell you why I use the word, because it says in verse 2 that the Lord said, he says, the Lord roars from the mount Zion, this is the roaring of judgment. They're predictive elements. Chapters 3, 4, 5 and 6 are reasons for judgment and the last part of the book; the last few chapters are a series of visions or representations of judgment.
Verse 1, "The words of Amos who was among the sheep breeders of Tekoa which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah, the king of Judah and the days of Jeroboam, the son of Joash, king of Israel, two years before the earthquake."
Now, Josephus claims, you know who Josephus is, that Jewish historian guy. He claims that this earth quake occurred when King Uzziah, remember King Uzziah, he was the good kind who brought spiritual reform, but when he got a little bit older he got a little cocky, a little arrogant, he would said, I want to be a priest and it says that when he was older his heart was lifted up to his own destruction. Second Chronicles 26, "he transgressed against the Lord by entering the temple of the Lord to burn incense."
He thought, you know I'm the king, I can kind of do whatever I want, I've been a good king, I've loved God, I would like to be a priest. So, he just put on a priest outfit and walked in and started burning incense. God struck him down with leprosy. You don't enter; intrude into that office, unless God calls you. So, Josephus said that's the year the earthquake happened.
Now six nations are given any denunciation, just going to quickly go through them. Verse 3; Thus says the Lord: "For three transgressions of Damascus and for four I will not turn away." Verse 6; Thus says the Lord: "For three transgressions of Gaza and for four I will not turn away, its punishment." Verse 9; Thus says the Lord: "For three transgressions of Tyre and for four I will not turn away its punishment." Verse 11, "For three transgressions of Edom and for four [and you're going by this point, okay I get the idea]."
Now, when you read that three transgressions and four, it's not to be taken arithmetically. Okay, that is a word by the way, arithmetic. It is to be taken idiomatically. It's like God is saying, enough is enough or this is the straw that breaks the camel's back. As the old Hebrew way of saying that phrase, for three transgressions and for four. Okay, I am done now, God is saying.
Verse 13; "For three transgressions of the people of Ammon and for four I will not turn away its punishment." Chapter 2, verse 1 Thus says the Lord: "For three transgressions of Moab and for four." So, several groups, all around the nation of Israel, all around them and there's one charge that they're guilty of, messing with God's people, messing with God's covenant people, the Jewish people.
I got a question for you. When is the last time you met a Philistine? Oh! At the other day I met that Philistine. No, you may have called them a Philistine, but he wasn't of the Philistine of a Phoenician heritage. Anybody met a Phoenician recently? Or when is the last time you saw a Canaanite. All of these nations that poise themselves against Israel are done. By the way every world Empire, even in recent history as well as ancient history, Egypt once ruled the world, no more. Germany once ruled the world, no more or they tried to, that was their ambition. They were very strong power; everyone has been dealt with by God.
Now, in Matthew chapter 25, you don't have to turn there, there's a judgment called "The Sheep and The Goat" judgment and the judgment is based upon how people treated the least of these my brethren. There will be a judgment at the end of the tribulation period just prior to the kingdom age, prior to "The Great White Throne Judgment", prior to "The Millennial Kingdom" and his government setup, there will be a judgment of the nations on how they treated the Jews during the tribulation period principally 144,000 of them who turned to the Messiah.
They will be so persecuted as you know from reading the Book of Revelation, those 144,000, it will be impossible to survive economically unless they are befriended by some of the gentile nations and based on that kind of activity, "The Judgment of The Sheep and The Goats", those nations from the tribulation period how they treated the 144,000 will be dealt with. I believe that judgment takes place as we said Sunday at the end of Daniel chapter 12, that 30-day period from the coming of Christ and then there is a 45-day period which can include a lot of things setting up for the kingdom age.
Verse 4; sorry I'm talking so fast, but we are flying over. Verse 4, Thus says the Lord: "For three transgressions of [ah-oh] Judah," wait, wait, wait Judah, that's where Jerusalem is, yeah keep reading, "and for four I will not turn away its punishment because they have despised the law of the Lord and have not kept his commandments. Their lies." Now, that word lies is an idiom for idols. They trust in an idol, a false god, it's a lie. "There lies lead them astray, lies which their fathers followed."
Verse 6; Thus says the Lord: "For three transgressions of [Where?] Israel." Who what group is this prophet preaching to Israel, he up in Bethel, he went from south to north, he's preaching right to the heart of Israel, the northern nation. "And for four I will not turn away its punishment, because they sell the righteous for silver and a poor for a pair of sandals." Boy, Amos is going rattling of these nations and I, I, I can picture the crowd. Here's this fiery little prophet, this country preacher out there, preaching in Bethel and he says, yeah, Moab they're toast and all the guys up in there are going, yeah, they're our enemy, good Hallelujah, that's good preaching preacher.
And then he goes rattles off all these other nations, yeah, yeah. Then he gets to Judah and they're kind of starting to scramble a little bit, so that's like a little too close to home. Now, Judah and Israel have been rivals for a long time by this point in history. They didn't quite get along very well and so, you know, they thought, well, I can still nod to this preaching, this is still pretty good, after all they're not like our best friends down south.
But, then he says, Oh! Did I mention for three transgressions and for four you too Israel? This is what he's doing. He's drawing a bull's eye, starting way out here in big circle; take care of those nations way east and way, way up north of Damascus and way down to Philistine and down here and then over here a little closer and then, then Judah and then right in the middle, bam, you.
Now it is important. These other nations, these other pagan nations God's judging them and not for the same reason. He's judging them because they have sinned against let's call it, general revelation, that's a theological term, general revelation. They're sinning against their conscience. They don't have any revelation from God. They don't have the holy scriptures like the Jews have, but because they messed with God's people and they have treated each other in a way that sins against their own conscience, killing people flagrantly etcetera, God's going to judge them for that.
They've sinned against general revelation however, Judah and Israel, they had the Bible, they had the prophets. Of all the people they should have known better, but they turned to idols and rejected God's revelation. So, their punishment is going to be very, very severe. As we read Sunday in Peter, the time has come for judgment to begin with the house of God. So, God is dealing with Judah and with Israel. Chapters 3 through 6 are 5 messages, 5 messages preached by Amos and 3 tells them the judgment that is coming and outlining it he then gives them reasons, this is why God is going to judge you. Now, these 5 messages begin in a similar manner.
The first three messages begin and you will see it in chapter 3, verse 1, hear this word 3 messages by Amos begin, hear this word, that's the beginning of a new message, the last 2 messages begin by saying, woe to you. So, hear this word, hear this word, hear this word, woe to you, woe to you. That's how these 5 messages pan out.
Reason number one, chapter 3 verse 1, they're being judged because they hold a privileged position. "Hear this word that the Lord has spoken against you oh children of Israel against the whole family which I brought from the land of Egypt." I didn't bring the Philistines from the land of Egypt and protect them for 40 years in the wilderness or the people in Damascus. I did it to you. "You only have I known, you only have I known from all of the families of the earth, therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities."
Now I can just hear those people in the crowd as Amos is preaching this. How could he say that? How could a God of love judge us? We're the chosen people. And God would say, that's why I can judge you because you're the chosen people. Punishment is commensurate with privilege. Right? Isn't that a Biblical principle?
Too much is given, much shall be required. If you are given a lot like prophets, word of God, written and oral revelation, inherent and God will hold you accountable for it. Too much is given, much shall be required. Reason number 2, is they have prophetic revelations. Verse 7, "Surely the Lord does nothing unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets. A lion has roared! Who will not fear? The Lord has spoken! Who can but prophecy?"
Whenever God did something, He revealed what He was going to do through prophetic revelation. God was going to destroy the whole world in the flood, but He told who first. Noah, he warned Noah first. Noah, I'm telling you warn other people. God was going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, before He did that He told Abraham. Remember Genesis chapter 18, shall I withhold this thing from Abraham. And when there was going to be seven years of famine in Egypt, God told Joseph. Even Jesus warned his disciples of what was going to come in their life time in the persecution.
So verse 8, "A lion has roared! Who will not fear? Just as fear is the result whenever you hear a lion. Now, if you were at the zoo recently, I love to go to the zoo when the lion roars, I love that sound. You hear it everywhere. I love it; you know why I love it? Because there is cage there. I wouldn't love it if there weren't bars, I wouldn't go, Oh! That's great, I would have fear when a lion roars. Also, in the same manner if the Lord speaks and the Lord speaks about future judgment, it should also bring that measure of fear.
What God is saying, is none of this should surprise you after all I have told you through My prophets, the Lord does nothing unless He reveals it through the prophets and the Lord has revealed that through Hosea and now through Amos to you up in Bethel. Chapter 4 gives the third reason and that is the oppression. Israel's persistent oppression of other peoples, therefore, they will be brought into the captivity. And chapter 5 and 6, I'm kind of breezing through because I'm looking at the time. Chapter 5 and 6 is a song, okay it is a song. It is not a happy song. It is not like, don't worry, be happy. It is sort of like, you better worry.
It is a funeral dirge. This is the singing prophet from Tekoa. It's a lamentation and there's nothing left to do, but cry. Verse 1; "Hear this word which I take up against you, a lamentation, O house of Israel. The virgin of Israel has fallen. She will rise no more. She has forsaken her land, no one; there is no one to raise her up." Chapter 5, verse 27, "Therefore I will send you into captivity beyond Damascus, [that's the Assyrian captivity], says the Lord whose name is the God of hosts.
Chapter 6, verse 1, "Now he's up in Bethel, right, he's up in the north. Now watch what he's, he's pointing his finger down south in this verse. "Woe to you who are at ease in Zion, [that's Jerusalem down south] and trust in Mount Samaria, notable persons in the chief nation, to whom the house of Israel comes.: Verse 3, "Woe to you who put for off the day of gloom, doom who cause the seed of violence to come nearer."
Now the word woe, is a word in Hebrew, oi. You've heard that, oi? When somebody is upset oi vey. Originally oi was an expression of grief and lament at the death of a person. So, those first three messages, hear this word, the last two, woe, oi God is saying, an expression of grief, woe.
You know what I do when I read a woe? I spell it differently. It says, W-O-E whenever I see a W-O-E, woe, oi. I read it W-H-O-A, whoa. Whenever I read a woe, it is like whoa, slow down pause, think about this, not so fast because whenever there is a woe, it is a warning and I want to take it to heart, so when it is a woe, it is woe. Slow down, don't, don't just rush off. Let, let the spirit of God deal with us in wordily if there is any woe that needs to be dealt with.
I can't resist, I love the story about the guy who bought a horse from a preacher. Now the preacher trained up the horse, but the horse was different because most horses you would say giddy up and you go woe to stop it. Well, instead of giddy up, the preacher trained the horse to respond to praise the Lord. You say praise the Lord; the preacher said that horse will take off. If you want to stop don't say, woe, preacher said, say amen.
So it is praise the Lord and amen, not giddy up and woe. The guy said, got it. He gets on the horse, stoked and kicks it no response and then he goes, praise the Lord. Horse starts walking and trotting. He says again, praise the Lord, the horse starts running. Third time, praise the Lord, the horse is running as fast as he can toward a cliff and the guy knows the cliff is there and he sees it and he says, breakneck speed, his not really great at horses, he doesn't know what to do, he panics and so the first word he thinks of is, woe and shouts up woe, pulls on the reigns, woe, the horse is not slowing down, he's hauling toward the cliff. Then he realizes just before he reaches to the cliff he goes, amen. Horse stops right on the precipice and the guy is sweating bullets and he says, Oh! Praise the Lord.
I, I couldn't resist. Whenever I read woe, I think of that as well. That's called comic relief in a long and intense study. Chapter 7 through 9 we're going to briefly, I'll tell you about them, it's a set of visions. This guy sees wild and crazy things. Now there's a difference between a vision and a dream. You see a dream at night when you're sleeping, you're not coherent. Your thoughts aren't -- you're sleeping.
A vision you see while you are awake, God's revelation to this prophet as while he was awake not sleeping he saw a vision. Chapter 7 he sees three things. First vision, swarming locust that's the invading Assyrian army similar to what Joel saw. He also sees beginning in verse 4 a consuming fire. This is probably a coming drought and then starting in verse 7 he sees in a vision a dangling plumb line, that's a little weight at the end of string. When you want to build a wall you, you plumb it. You, they didn't have the levels like we have. They, they would plumb it and make sure it was straight perpendicular and they would build up with a plumb line.
So, God was measuring their activity based upon the absolute plumb line truth of His revelation that He had already given them. He's measuring them against the truth of the word of God. That's the three visions he sees. Now, chapter 8, he sees a vision of a basket of ripe fruit. Now this ripe fruit is speaking of the coming judgment, fruit is ripe, is ready to harvest. That's judgment by the way.
A lot of times you think, well harvest that's a, that's a time of evangelism. In the Bible harvest is a time of judgment. The fruit is ripe, you gather the fruit because it is the end of the reason, it's over. Revelation 19 Jesus goes through the vintage, the grapes, with a sickle and He's reaping and He's harvesting and that's the picture of His final judgment on the battle of Armageddon.
In the civil war Julia Ward Howe was looking at the decimation of people in the United States, relatives killing each other. North divided against south, hating each other and it's so caused such distress, the swords dripping with blood and she prayed and God gave her a song she said, it was all about the second coming when there will be one final ending battle that will bring in world peace and she wrote "The Battle Hymn of the Republic."
"Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord. He's trampling out at the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored. He's loosed the fateful lightening of His terrible swift sword. His truth is marching on." That's what she longed for, for Jesus to come and end it all.
So these visions chapters 7 through 9, by the way 9 has two more visions and we will close the Chapter 9, vision of God judging and a vision of future blessings. Okay, these visions that are shortly, tersely, beautifully put here, think of them as trailers, not in a trailer park, but when you go to the movie theater, you go to the movie theater. If you're like me, I love the best part of the movie is the first ten minutes of the show when they show all the previews. I'm done I could leave after that because I've just seen the best of the next six movies that are coming out. The rest you see usually see them, oh man trailer was so much better, right.
What is a trailer? A trailer is a preview of coming attractions. A vision is a trailer; it is a preview in the prophet's mind what God is going to do on a grand scale in the real show, wide screen edition. Verse 11 chapter 9; "On that day I will raise up the tabernacle of David which has fallen down, repairs its damages, raise up its ruins, rebuild it as it is in the days of old. I will bring back the captives of my people of Israel. They shall build the waste cities and inhabit them; they shall the plant the vineyards and drink wine from them. They shall also make gardens and eat fruit of them and I will plant them in their land and no longer shall they be pulled up from the land that I have given them says, the Lord your God."
Now, today they are back in the land since May 14th 1948. That's a fulfillment I believe of scripture. However the spiritual restoration has not yet happened. There's glimmers of it, there's hints of it, but the final full spiritual awakening will happen in the day of Lord when all Israel will be saved, that is all representatives from all 12 tribes, a 144,000 they will be saved. Now, we have the Book of Obadiah. One chapter, I'll breeze, we are almost done. Joel; the day of the Lord, Amos; the denunciation of nations, Obadiah, not Obedia Obadiah. Actually in Hebrew would be Ovadya, so it is more accurate. This is the Doom of Edom. You go, who's Edom?
It is modern day Jordan, modern day Jordan. The headquarters of the nation of Edom or the place some of you have visited, the Rock City of Petra, that impregnable ancient fortress, but this is a chapter, a book, a short minor prophet devoted to the Doom of Edom.
Obadiah is a one hit wonder. We don't know anything about him. We know nothing about him, there is like 8 or 9 different Obadiahs in the bible, we don't know if this is anyone of those other ones or he's alone, we don't know where he's from, where he's born, we don't know if he was north of south, we don't know who his parents are, we don't know his friend's name, his sandal size, we know nothing about Obadiah. The only thing we know is what his name means. His name means servant of the Lord or worshiper of the Lord.
He just kind of comes on the scene gives a one hit wonder and then he gone. You know what a one hit wonder is? Every now and then somebody will write a song, it's like a hit song and they never make another one after that. Here's a few of them, I was on a web-site; 19, 1968, Iron Butterfly "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida." Do they do anything else that was like cool? No. 1977 Debby Boone's huge hit, "You Light Up My Life", 1996, Los del Rio, "The Macarena" and the year 2000, the Baha Men, asking that very provocative question we are still looking for the answer to, "Who, Who, Who Let the Dogs Out, Who?" Those are one hit wonders, Obadiah is like that, it is like short and he's gone nobody knows who was he, where did he go?
Verse 1, the vision of Obadiah. Thus says the Lord concerning Edom, [east of the Dead Sea]. Verse 3, "The pride of your heart has deceived you; You who dwell in the, [watch this] clefts on the rock, whose habitation is high, you who say in your heart, who will bring me down to the ground, though you ascend as high as the eagle and though you set your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down, says the Lord."
Verse 11, "In the day that you stood on the other side." If you have an NIV you have a better rendering of that verse, in that day you stood aloof, aloof, you stood off to the side when the Jewish people in Jerusalem needed your help, you stood aloof, far off, when plunderers were plundering them.
"In the day that the strangers carry captives, his forces, when foreigners entered his gates and cast loss for Jerusalem, even you were one of them." Now Edom do you know where they descended from? They were the descendants of a guy named Esau. Esau was the brother of Jacob. Jacob's name was changed to Israel. So Israel and Edom have had bad blood for a long time.
They were born these twins and when Esau came out, Jacob was grown up in his heel, so there, there was a struggle even from the very beginning. Later on when Moses wanted to take the children of Israel through Edom, they were refused. Later on David was hassled by the Edomites, Solomon hassled the Edomites, Jehoshabeath hassled by the Edomites, Jehoram hassled by the Edomites. There's always been this antagonism against them. They were prideful; they're, they're pride first of all was in their security.
Now, remember Indian Jones and the Last Crusade? You say what does that have to do with Bible. A lot, have you ever seen the movie? Remember how they went through that narrow passage way in that tunnel and then they saw that huge temple carved in the rock, right where they are looking for the Holy Grill. Remember that, are you tracking? That's the City of Petra. They went and filmed it there. So, I just want you to put that your mind that's all. The passage way into Petra is only at point 15 feet wide, hundreds of feet tall and goes for a mile. Some places your shoulder is just close to the sides. You usually go in one at a time. Chariots never went through that, they were too wide, it narrows out.
It was said by the ancient historians, twelve men could guard the whole city. They thought they were impregnable, nobody could march against Petra. God says, I will bring you down; I don't care where you are at. As you go into this city, thousands of ornate alters, tombs, homes were carved into the solid rock. It's all in illustration of Proverb 16:18 which says, "Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall." Any time somebody says, I'll never fall. Oh! Please, can we talk?
Verse 13; "You should have entered the gate of My people on the day of their calamity. Indeed you should not have gazed on their affliction in day of their calamity. Nor laid hands on their substance in the day of their calamity." We believe that this book was uttered and then written probably in 585 B.C. a year after the Babylonian sacked Jerusalem and this is about that and as Jerusalem is being sacked and looted the Edomites came in behind the Babylonians and they sacked and looted as well. They took stuff from their brother and brought it back to Edom. God says, I remember that.
Verse 14; "You should not have stood at the crossroads to cut off those among them who escaped nor should you have delivered up those among them who remained in the day of distress." As people were trying to escape Jerusalem, they were standing at the crossroads killing them. They were escaping to find refuge in a country maybe even like Edom, but once again they were not allowed. They were handed over to their enemies. So, "Day of the Lord", "Denunciation of the Nations", "The Doom of Edom." South, north and east, all of that is covered by these three prophets.
I want to close on a note, on a thought. I want to piece up together from you. Bible from 30,000 feet, we want to connect the dots and the whole of scripture, I want to end with the tale of two kings. That is a king from Edom and a king from Israel. They both faced each other. I want to tell you about them. One was named Herod the Great. Herod the Great was I Du Maine; I Du Maine meant he came from Edom, his background was I Du Maine. Herod the Great killed babies in Bethlehem; Herod the Great successor Antipas killed John the Baptist. His motto was, "What's in it for me?" That's one king.
A few years later he would face or interface, I should say, an Antipas would face another king, the king of the Jews, the King of Kings, Jesus Christ whose motto wasn't, what's, what's in it for me, but, what's in it for you, how could I get you to heaven, how could I get you saved, how could I give My life, not take your life, give My life, to ensure that you are right with God.
Those are the two philosophies, those are the two kingdoms, those are two kings that people follow today. What's in it for me, I want to go my way, I want to my advance my cause or I will follow the one who gave his life and was his servant.
The king of Edom, I Du Maine king, Herod the Great or Jesus the greatest. I don't want to pass this up either; the second king Jesus has a plan that involves your life personally. It's not just so He could have a book written about Him and bunch of people gathering and singing songs about Him. He has a plan for your life, He's alive right now. Herod is dead; they just found his tomb two years ago. Jesus Christ is alive, He still changes lives, He'd love to get a hold of your life.