HOME PAGE   |   CONTACT PAGE   |   OUR CALENDAR 

OUR SITE MAP ... DOZENS OF BIBLE STUDY PAGES

RECENT MEETINGS

 STANDING WITH THE BAGWELLS 

 
 

To e-mail, call or write the Bagwells, just visit our "Contact" Page.

  AMOS 4:6-13

UNDISCERNED JUDGMENTS

Properly interpreting the daily events in our lives!

A Verse-by-verse Bible Study from one of the greatest Prophets who ever lived, Amos, the country herdman from Tekoa and gatherer of sycomore fruit!

 

 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
II Timothy 2:15

 

 

 

"And I also have given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and want of bread in all your places: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD. 7 And also I have withholden the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city: one piece was rained upon, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered. 8 So two or three cities wandered unto one city, to drink water; but they were not satisfied: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD. 9 I have smitten you with blasting and mildew: when your gardens and your vineyards and your fig trees and your olive trees increased, the palmerworm devoured them: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD. 10 I have sent among you the pestilence after the manner of Egypt: your young men have I slain with the sword, and have taken away your horses; and I have made the stink of your camps to come up unto your nostrils: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD. 11 I have overthrown some of you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and ye were as a firebrand plucked out of the burning: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD. 12 Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel: and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel. 13 For, lo, he that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is his thought, that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, The LORD, The God of hosts, is his name." Amos 4:6-13

 

LESSON 1, INTRODUCTION, POSTED WEDNESDAY MORNING, OCTOBER 24, 2007, FROM A MOTEL ROOM IN JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA:

The Prophet Amos is one of the greatest Preachers who ever lived. At least that's my evaluation of him. Bold and Biblical is he! However, at times, being a Prophet, Amos simply lets the Lord speak through him! Then he might add a closing word to the sermon, as directed by the Holy Spirit.

Such is the exact pattern in Amos 6:6-13, our Text for a few days.

"And I also have given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and want of bread in all your places: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD."

Here Amos begins. Just think how closely he must have walked with the Lord! They were certainly on "speaking terms," but much more than that! Amos 3:3 asks, "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" Of course not!

God and Amos, intimate friends!

"Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God." James 2:23

"Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend for ever?" 2nd Chronicles 20:7

Then Jesus to His Disciples in John 15:15. "Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you."

Amos knew God well!

Those long lonely weeks with his sheep were also spent with the Almighty it appears!

This short sermon from Amos gives us a inner view into the working of God's Mind, His Thoughts! Remember, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9

God obviously links certain events on earth with other just-as-certain spiritual truths!

Why has this famine come?

Why no rain?

Why have the crops ruined?

Why all these plagues, pestilences unnumbered it seems?

And fiery destruction?

Could it be God is trying to get a Nation's attention?

He says, right here in Amos 4, that His Goal is repentance!

He only wanted Israel to "return" unto Him!

And, after all, for a Nation who had so enjoyed God's bountiful blessings again and again ... that's not asking too much at all!

The Lord willing, Verse six next.

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 2, VERSE 6, CUMMING, GEORGIA, OCTOBER 27, 2007:

The verse perfectly illustrates a "cause and effect" sequence. At least from God's point of view!

The Lord says to Israel, through the lips of Amos the Prophet of course: "And I also have given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and want of bread in all your places: yet have ye not returned unto me." Amos 4:6

God sent them famine, no food ... yet they did not consider the cause of their calamity!

No one asked, "Why?"

But there was a Force behind their hunger, a Cause, Almighty God Himself!

Ever think of a famine as a "gift?"

God does!

Our trials can be blessings, IF they keep us holy and pure and righteous!

The verb "have given" translates "nathan" in Hebrew. It's a "perfect" verb, indicating completed action. God did not send famine perpetually, but according to His timing ... and even then to bring Israel back into fellowship with their Lord, their heavenly Husband! "For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called." Isaiah 54:5

"Cleanness of teeth," the very expression is synonymous with going hungry. "Cleanness" is spelled "niqqayon" and means blameless! It is translated "innocent" four of the five times it appears in Scripture! Have we ever thought of our teeth sinning? Apparently they can! Can certain foods be wrong? They surely were in the days of the Mosaic Law!

The noun for "teeth" is interesting. "Shen" also can mean "ivory" (10 times in Scripture) and "sharp" (2 more times). It is founded on the verbal root "shanan," to pierce, to prick!

The noun "city" is "iyr" in Hebrew and originally means "to open the eyes, to awake," then "to guard!" The idea is presumably one of protection in a crowded environment, an individual then not being alone. But many cities nowadays are the most dangerous places you can be! Famine in the cities suggests that possibly there is still food out on the farm, in rural areas.

But not for long!

The verse continues ... "and want of bread in all your places."

Everywhere now, no food!

"Want" or "choser" just means a "lack" of something. Poverty because the food supply has failed!

"Bread" is the standard noun "lechem," solid food, including meat! "Bethlehem," for example, means "house of bread" in Hebrew.

The Lord expected that this hardship would drive His people back to Him!

It did not!

God is surprised it really seems! "Yet have ye not returned unto Me."

Jesus when on earth was surprised, actually shocked, at few things! After all, He is God! But this amazed Him: "And He marvelled because of their unbelief." Mark 6:6

The verb "returned" is "shub" and means "to go back, to repent," that kind of idea. Repentance is a viable, yea critical, Bible doctrine! Although it is often explained away today, diluted by means of modern philosophy, Jesus still enforces His words in Luke 13:3. "I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish."

The ministry of problems!

Keeping me close to Jesus!

Paul saw this truth so clearly that he once wrote: "Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong." 2nd Corinthians 12:10

Even when God "chastens" and "whips" us as His dear little children, He loves us and desires only our welfare, spiritually! "For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?" Hebrews 12:6-7

Troubles, even times of famine, turn the hearts of the wise toward the Lord!

Of course fools just continue in their sin! "A reproof entereth more into a wise man than an hundred stripes into a fool." Proverbs 17:10

America no longer even considers the possibility of God's judging Hand!

Not yet anyway!

                                                                                      --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 3, VERSES 7 AND 8, FROM CUMMING, GEORGIA, OCTOBER 29, 2007:

The Lord and the weather, that's what Amos is preaching today!

God is speaking through His Prophet to the people of Israel: "And also I have withholden the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city: one piece was rained upon, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered." Amos 4:7

Using a simply active voice verb, "mana," God has "denied or refrained or hindered" the rain!

This links God and meteorology!

Heat and cold, moisture and drought, wind and calm, all are at the command of the Lord God Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth!

The great God who sent rain for forty days during Noah's life is the Same God Who sent draught three years and six months during Elijah's lifetime!

The noun "rain," in Hebrew "geshem," means anything from a heavy downpour to a gentle shower of life giving water upon this earth. In fact, four times in the King James Text "geshem" is translated "shower or showers," including Ezekiel's famous "showers of blessings" promise! It's root, "gasham," however does mean "to shower violently."

The Hebrew word for "month" is "chodesh," suggesting the new moon! "Chadash" means "to be new," then ultimately, "to rebuild." Amazing, each month, a new beginning!

Three months before harvest is perhaps the most disastrous time for a draught to hit! Hopes were high, only to be dashed to pieces! "Harvest" is derived from "qatzsiyr" and means "to sever or to cut!"

Then God surprisingly "causes rain" again, but only on selected cities! "Matar" here is framed as a hiphil verb, causative in nature. God sent the rain, active voice verb! He is the Agent for the whole event!

The noun "piece" is "chelqah" and means a parcel of land, one plat here and another there!

"Withered" translates "yabesh," meaning "to be confused, to be ashamed, to be dried up!"

But the spiritually blind Israelites of Amos day just ignored God's Hand in all those current events!

Surely this verse is teaching us that God sits over human events, His Hand on the throttle!

But, what is God's goal in all this?

"So two or three cities wandered unto one city, to drink water; but they were not satisfied: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD." Amos 4:8

The weather was designed to make God's people repent of their sins! The Lord wanted them to "return" to Him! Again "shub" means "to come back!"

The verb "wandered" is interesting. "Nua" means "to quiver, totter, shake, stager, waver or tremble!" They're sickly as they travel! Dehydrated one would imagine.

And while our verse does not say that water was nonexistent in certain cities, it had rained in places remember, it does tell us that such water was not sufficient, not satisfactory! "Saba," the word for "satisfied," means "filled to the brim, sated!" Not content!

Even the water had become hypocritical!

Then again, maybe it wasn't water they wanted, but more wine!

The amazing thing here is not God's miraculous control of the weather! It's the ineptitude and dullness of the people!

Yet, the same thing is happening in our Country today!

From fires to hurricanes to droughts to floods to towers falling ... is not God in control of it all?

Is He not saying something to an apostate Nation?

It's a strong verse, but it certainly fits here. "The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God." Psalm 9:17

Yet Jesus did say, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls." Matthew 11:28-29

And Isaiah preached, promised really: "Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else." Isaiah 45:22

America, listen!

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 4, VERSE 9, WRITTEN OCTOBER 30, 2007, FROM A MOTEL ROOM IN MEREDOSIA, ILLINOIS:

The Prophet Amos continues his diatribe against sinful Israel, a deserved rebuke from God.

"I have smitten you with blasting and mildew: when your gardens and your vineyards and your fig trees and your olive trees increased, the palmerworm devoured them: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD." Amos 4:9

The Lord can "smite!"

This verb, "nakah" in Hebrew, means "to hit, strike, beat or even slay!" It's obviously a strong dramatic word. It begins the Hebrew sentence as well. This syntactical position gives the word power and emphasis in the whole verse.

God, after all, had already prophesied His future "smiting" of Jesus on the Cross, to save our souls from Hell. "Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted." Isaiah 53:4

God reserves the right to yet again "smite" the earth also! "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse." Malachi 4:5-6

"Blasting" is some sort of crop malady. "Shedephah" means something plagued with a "blight." It's root, "shadaph," means "to scorch!" Maybe just the blazing heat of the sun had burnt the crops beyond fruitfulness. Remember, there had been no rain.

"Mildew" is spelled "yeraqon" and means something that's "pale," lacking color. The lexicon says "vacuity of color." Sickly vegetation! The word, in Jeremiah 30:6, is applied to humans too, "pale" in expression. "Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness?" He's talking about the coming "time of Jacob's trouble," the Tribulation!

The noun "garden" can also mean "orchard," spelled "gannah" in Hebrew. It's only found twelve times in all the Bible. I think this is its loveliest occurrence of all: "For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations." Isaiah 61:11 here promises things yet to come. In Latin "orchard" means a cultivated yard. It's hortus plus geard.

"Vineyard" translates "kerem." It, in the King James Bible, means "vineyards, vines" and even once, "vintage," in Job 24:6. Grapes are good.

"Fig trees," or "teen" in Hebrew, may have developed from some foreign word borrowed by the Israelites. Of its 39 uses in the Bible, 23 of those are rendered as "fig tree" and the other 16 as "fig or figs." The tree or the fruit ... or both!

Their "olive trees" were to be cursed also! "Zayith" means "brightness!" This is because the oil, pressed olive oil, was used in household lamps to illuminate their homes at night.

But all these, gardens and vineyards and fig trees and olive trees, were to be "smitten" of God, due to Israel's sins and unrepentant spirit!

The Lord Jesus later will "curse" another fig tree! Remember? Mark 11 tells us. "And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet. And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it. And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple. And when even was come, he went out of the city. And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away."

Amazing!

He is the Same everywhere! This Jehovah of the Old Testament is also the Jesus of the New Testament!

These judgments in Amos 4 came exactly when the crops looked so good too! They were "increasing" when the trouble hit! "Rabah" just means they were growing, getting great! Great in size or quality or sheer number!

What happened?

Besides the drought?

"When your gardens and your vineyards and your fig trees and your olive trees increased, the palmerworm devoured them." The "palmerworm" is another name for a "locust" swarm it appears. "Gazam" just indicates the little insect in its younger stages of growth. It is built upon a root verb that means "to voraciously devour!"

However, the exact verb used for "devour" is different. "Akal" means "to eat," figuratively or literally. It's also rendered "consume" 32 times in the Bible. The action depicted here is on-going too, continuous, linear feasting! Until the crops are gone!

But, even after all this agricultural reversal, which no doubt would have perilously impacted the whole economy, the Jews remained set in their stubborn and sinful ways!

God noticed too. "Yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD."

God's ultimate goal in all these forms of chastisement was repentance! But none came, not once!

"Repented not" is nearly a watchword in the Book of Revelation! It's a sad sign of the times too!

In Revelation 2:21 God laments: "And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not."

"And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts." Revelation 9:20-21

Surprisingly, "And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory." Revelation 16:9

Then, "And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, and blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds." Revelation 16:10-11

Is the day of repentance gone forever?

Yet Paul's words are still in the Bible. "For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation."

Amen!

                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 5, VERSE 10, WRITTEN WHILE PREACHING IN MEREDOSIA, ILLINOIS, WEDNESDAY MORNING, OCTOBER 31, 2007:

The Prophet Amos lived in close communion with God!

So much so that he could pronounce God's very words directly and powerfully, upsetting many hearers in the process!

Listen: "I have sent among you the pestilence after the manner of Egypt: your young men have I slain with the sword, and have taken away your horses; and I have made the stink of your camps to come up unto your nostrils: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD." Amos 4:10

The opening verb, "have sent," is "shalach" in Hebrew and means "to sow, to cast out, to lay in place," that kind of idea. It sure makes God active in the daily affairs of mankind! Also "shalach" here is a Piel stem verb, expressing great intensity in the deed done! God is furiously trying to get Israel's attention, to bring her to repentance!

The noun "pestilence" is "deber," a plague of some sort. Watch! "Deber," our word here and "dabar," the Hebrew verb for "speaking, pronouncing, declaring" are obviously related! God speaks ... and the pestilence comes! This Same Great God can also speak blessing into one's life! Obedience or disobedience ... the choice is ours!

"Manner" is "derek" in Hebrew, a way or a road or a path. What God is about to do approximates the ten plagues of Egypt! But this time it will happen to His Own people who have become rebellious! The Jews were exempt from many of the plagues back in Moses' day! For example, when darkness engulfed the land ... "all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings." Exodus 10:23

The exemption has been cancelled!

Due to sin!

God will again in the future, the Tribulation, send a series of catastrophes quite like those of Egyptian history.

The term "young men" is spelled "bachur" in Hebrew and means the special young men, the choice young men. In fact, it's literally translated "chosen" twice in the King James Version, 2nd Samuel 6:1 and Psalm 78:31. That's probably what abortion has done in America too! Well, not abortion, supreme court justices and lawyers and doctors, all of them manipulating women for selfish purposes! To get votes or popularity or money!

God is judging us daily, while most do not even realize it! Three thousand little fetuses, boys and girls, murdered every day before one official homicide is recorded at the police station! How many brilliant minds have we lost, how much skill and talent? How many potential preacher boys?

If you don't believe me, read the whole line in Amos' sermon. God continues, "Your young men have I slain with the sword." The noun is "chereb," a knife or dagger or even axe being indicated as well as a sword. Some unborn babies are cut to pieces in the womb and the parts surgically removed! All under the name of "freedom" and "privacy," we do God's judging work for Him ... helping destroying our very future!

This sword could also imply terrorist activity! An enemy army! That was Israel's case for sure, the dreaded Assyrians came and executed this judgment of God! So history tells us.

Next their horses are "taken away" by the Lord! "Shebiy" means "to make prisoners" or "to enlist as captives." The horses apparently are not killed, just stolen! The noun "horse" is "sus" and means "to skip or jump" for joy! Can't you just see those horses prancing and pawing?

There go Israel's cars and trucks and weapons of war too! Horses at least served in all those capacities and much more too!

Now the "stink" of their camps is an expression that's harder to discern! The noun is "beosh" and is only used three times in the Bible, all being translated as "stink." It means a foul odor. "Bor," its root word, means a pit or hole deep in the ground. Maybe something has fallen therein and died! Maybe it was a holding pit for trash and filth!

This could indicate a spiritual stench in God's nostrils! Sin frankly smells bad to Jehovah! If so, God makes sure that the Jews' nostril get their fill too!

Or, of course, it could be quite literal, wholesale death on every side! Too many bodies to be buried at once would certainly litter a land in a short span of time, rendering it both dangerous and unhealthy and reeking with nauseous odor!

And this litany of terrible events is again concluded with a sigh from God, "yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD."

God is not sending pain and tragedy to Israel for no reason at all! No! The Lord longs to see His people return to Himself! Repent, chosen people! Come back to God, "Apple of His Eye!" Return to Your Husband, unfaithful Israel!

But, even with all these tragedies, they will not budge in God's direction!

Undiscerned judgments!

Wasted tragedies!

So ... all God can do is send more judgment!

And these tragic events usually increase in intensity and frequency as their predecessors are ignored!

Where will it all end?

The point of this whole Text is this: Come back to God!

Come home!

Get right!

Turn from those wicked ways!

And?

"Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you." James 4:8

But what else is involved?

"Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded."

Amazing!

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 6, VERSE 11, WRITTEN AT HOME IN CUMMING, GEORGIA, EARLY FRIDAY MORNING, NOVEMBER 2, 2007:

The Lord is "teaching" Israel, His Chosen People, by means of the Prophet Amos. What divine reasoning this Text presents!

Listen to the Lord plead with the Jews. "I have overthrown some of you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and ye were as a firebrand plucked out of the burning: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD." Amos 4:11

Using a graphic verb, God compares Israel's judgments to those of Sodom and Gomorrah! "Overthrown," in Hebrew "haphak," means "to turn over!" To violently disarrange!   This action is now complete, no longer continuing.

To more precisely determine the meaning of "overthrown" here, we must revisit Sodom and her suburbs. Using "haphak" for "overthrown" again, we read: "Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; and he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground." Genesis 19:24-25

The word could perhaps refer to the baptism of fire these wicked environs experienced. But, even more so, it sounds like an earthquake too! One that leaves no stone unmoved! No building standing! Massive destruction and probably widespread death! Now, listen to Amos getting ready to preach: "The words of Amos, who was among the herdmen of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel, two years before the earthquake." Amos 1:1

God has often shaken the earth when He is displeased, using such frightening events to warn His People!

The name "Sodom," ironically and appropriately, means "burning!" And "Gomorrah" means "submerged!" As if covered by rocks and debris ... after an earthquake!

Fire and brimstone, just molten sulfur, falling from above, plus the earth shaking from beneath ... what price sexual perversion exacts!

But God did something for Israel that He refused to do for Sodom, other than Lot and some of his family that is. He delivered some, a remnant anyway.

The Lord "rescued" the children of Abraham. "Plucked out" translates "natzsal" and means "snatched away or delivered!" Our verb here is a hophal infinitive in Hebrew, passive voice and causal in implication! For some reason, Grace I think, God did not destroy Samaria!

Here's an Old Testament prayer for God's "natzsal," God's "deliverance." It is found in Psalm 25:20. "O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee."

When He saved us, He plucked us out of the burning too!

A "firebrand" is a stick or other piece of wood or burnable substance that is, at the last second, delivered form the fire! "Ud" is built upon a verb stem meaning "to rake together." Picked out of a whole pile of burning material, I have been rescued!

Now watch the spelling on that Hebrew word "burning." It's "serephah" and is the root of Seraphim, among the angels of God! Remember Isaiah 6. "In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly." Next, "Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: and he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged."

Burning!

Purging sin!

This metaphor, brands plucked from the fire, is used elsewhere in Scripture too. For example, in Zechariah 3:2 we read: "And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?" And Paul may have had the word picture in mind when he penned: "If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire." And certainly Jude alludes to our Text: "And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh."

But the earthquakes were wasted, for the most part anyway!

"Yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD."

Here God bares His Heart, His Great Heart!

All these startling events were pre-designed to  bring Israel back into God's Arms, His everlasting under-girding Arms!

But she would not!

She did not link her reverses and tragedies and problems ... with her rebellion and sin!

Neither does America!

That leaves God only one choice, discipline even more severely!

And get ready, it's coming!

That a given!

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 7, VERSE 12, WRITTEN FROM HOME IN CUMMING, GEORGIA, SUNDAY MORNING, NOVEMBER 4, 2007:

It's one of the most misapplied verses in all the Bible!

We generally use it to invite people to Christ. "Prepare to meet thy God," we say. Probably unknowingly, we are quoting Amos the Prophet!

But when Amos preached those words, they were not part of a gracious invitation!

Rather, they constituted a warning!

Something dangerous was coming, something now unavoidable!

God had warned and warned and warned. Israel had ignored and ignored and ignored too.

For example: "And I also have given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and want of bread in all your places: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD." Amos 4:6

Then, "And also I have withholden the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city: one piece was rained upon, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered. So two or three cities wandered unto one city, to drink water; but they were not satisfied: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD." Amos 4:7-8

Plus, "I have smitten you with blasting and mildew: when your gardens and your vineyards and your fig trees and your olive trees increased, the palmerworm devoured them: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD." Amos 4:9

Again, patiently but more severely: "I have sent among you the pestilence after the manner of Egypt: your young men have I slain with the sword, and have taken away your horses; and I have made the stink of your camps to come up unto your nostrils: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD." Amos 4:10

See the unheeded warnings?

No doubt they all were explained away, very rationally of course!

Then the final act of God before catastrophe hits: "I have overthrown some of you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and ye were as a firebrand plucked out of the burning: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD." Amos 4:11

So, having extended His grace at length, God promises: "Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel: and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel." Judgment is coming! That's what Amos 4:12 is really saying!

Israel is going to meet God ... on a battlefield!

They will see His Hand fighting ... for the enemy Assyrians!

God will not intervene on Israel's behalf this time!

He's going to judge them for their many unconfessed sins!

Notice, here's a Nation being judged!

If it's happened in the past, it could happen again!

But back to today's verse. "Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel: and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel." Amos 4:12

It's a promise!

A promise of judgment!

Of chastisement!

Of a whipping from the Father!

Twice the verb "do" appears! God is in action here! "Asah" in Hebrew is built as a "qal imperfect" in both these instances, simple active voice with an incomplete sense of timing! God Himself is going to administer the punishment! He is the Actor! And this time of judgment is going to take a while! It is not immediately completed! "Asah" means "to accomplish, to fashion or manufacture" something! Here a severe lesson in right living for God's Chosen People! Truthfully, to some extent, Israel as a Nation has not yet gotten over this ordeal! The Ten Tribes are still reeling from this rightly deserved move of God!

Even the opening "therefore" has meaning! "Ken" is derived from "kun" and means something that "stands out," that is "erect" and "established." Nothing is now going to change God's Mind! He's going to "whip" Israel! Too many warnings have been ignored! Too many idols worshipped! Too much sexual perversion approved! Too many Prophets slain! Too much rebellion and sin!

Then, surprisingly, in a move of literary skill, the verb "prepare" is utilized. It is "kun" in Hebrew and we've just discussed it! Israel, "stand up" and take your whipping like a man!

You have boldly attacked God, now boldly admit you have been wrong!

As a niphal imperative here, "kun" or "prepare" is expressed as a command from God! No choices now! Israel refused, wrongly using the volition God gave her, God's warnings!

But now she cannot refuse His Chastisement!

The niphal stem of a Hebrew verb reveals a simple "passive" voice. If Israel runs or flinches or rejects this punishment, it does not matter! It is going to be brought upon her anyway!

She is not the initiator!

God is!

Israel is merely the recipient now!

The verb "qira" means "to encounter" someone! To come up against them either in a friendly or a hostile manner!

But, ironically, "qira" can also mean "to befall," an apparently "chance" meeting! And that's exactly how Israel will probably interpret it too!

America would too I suspect!

"God" is "elohiym," the God of Power, Creator of the universe! Almighty and here irreversible! Triune too! But Jehovah God did the warning! So, this is an "in-family" judgment! God has a covenant relationship with these people. They will some day yet return to him!

These reverses are remedial!

Tragically yet tenderly, God twice in this verse calls His people "Israel."

"Yisrael" precisely means "God prevails!"

He did ... and still does!

God rules!

God is King, Prince, Lord!

Prepare ... the promised judgment is coming!

I wonder if anyone in America is listening?

Only God knows.

                                                                       --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 8, VERSE 13, WRITTEN NOVEMBER 6, 2007, FROM A MOTEL ROOM IN ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA, WHILE PREACHING A REVIVAL MEETING IN THE AREA:

The Passage concludes with a doxology. At least that's what I'd call it. In it we soar to the heavens, too!

"For, lo, He that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is his thought, that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, The LORD, The God of hosts, is His name." Amos 4:13

Often in Scripture a statement of God's coming judgment is followed by a poem of praise toward the Judge!

God has warned, repeatedly! This is recorded in verses 6-11.

Israel has ignored those warning, each of them! See verses 6-11 again. "Yet have ye not returned unto Me," laments the Lord.

God promises a confrontation with His People, a coming Judgment! It happened too! The Assyrian Captivity in 721 BC was a devastating Act of God! That's verse 12. "Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel: and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel. "

Then comes our Text today, the "icing on the cake," so to speak! "For, lo, He that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is his thought, that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, The LORD, The God of hosts, is His name." Amos 4:13

The verb "formeth" is spelled "yatzsar" and means "to fashion" something, much like a potter does to the clay! In fact, "yatzsar" is translated "potter" seventeen times in the King James Bible! "Mountains," in Hebrew "hariym," apparently include the hills too!

God, not geological upheaval, formed the Rockies and Appalachians and every other mound of land too!

By the way, "lo" expresses "hinneh" in the Text. "Look" or "see" is its meaning. Just it's used here as an interjection, a word of surprise and wonder! It occurs over a thousand times in the Old Testament.

Then God is said to "create" the wind! "Bara" means "to make something out of nothing!" It can also mean, and does one time in the King James Bible, "to dispatch!" God dispatches the wind! It's translated as "cut down" twice too! God can calm the breezes! In fact, Jesus did! Mark 4:39 briefly tells us. "And He arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm."

The noun "wind" is "ruach," meaning "breeze, breath, or even spirit!" Once it's translated "air" and five times "mind" too! Whatever earthly commodity it is in a given Text, God created it! However, this is also the Old Testament word for Spirit as in Holy Spirit! Him God did not create! He is the eternal Third Member of the Godhead. God did not create Himself!

Why, now we're told God even knows man's "thoughts!" The word, "seach," means something like "communion." One talking to himself! It is built upon the verb root "siyach," indicating one's "ponderings," in other words "to converse." This word here is a hapax legomenon. This means a term that occurs only once in a whole body of literature.

The verb "declareth" is "nagad," meaning literally "to front." To expose! To make an exposition of man's deliberations! To expound! God knows every thought we have ... and can explain its source!

To "make," the next word in order, is "asah," that is, "to manufacture, to craft, to perform, to prepare or to maintain" even.

"Morning" is the noun "shachar." It means something like "daybreak." It is rendered as "early" twice in the King James Bible. "Dayspring" once and just "day" six more times. Its verbal foundation pictures "the dawn."

Then another rare word, "darkness" appears. "Eyphah" means that which is obscure. It's root, "uph," means "to cover."

God can turn dawn into dusk!

Light into darkness!

He has in the past, and He will yet again!

When Jesus was crucified, Matthew records: "Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour."

When the Tribulation comes, "And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, and blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds."

Then God "treads!" The verb "darak" means "to walk." But nearly a dozen times in the King James Text "darak" is associated with archers and bows and arrows, a warrior motif! Likely from the fact that a soldier must stand on his bow to string it tightly, pulling hard in the process. The great God Who treads His creation is about to fight, to judge sin, to inflict pain!

And get this! "High places" translates "bamah" in Hebrew. It means any elevated area or location. But most often it is used as a technical name for a cultic worship platform! Israel has been idolatrous! Yet at times "bamah" has linkage to a "battlefield" too! God is about to bring judgment against His people Israel.

Then the Text closes with two of God's great Names or Titles. He is the LORD, Jehovah God. "The LORD, The God of hosts, is his name." Jehovah is God's saving, redeeming Name! The Name through Which He enters into covenant relationship with us humans, those who are saved. He becomes our Father, our Husband, our Saviour! That's the power of the Blood of Jesus and the heart throb of Jehovah God!

He is too the "Lord of Hosts!" That's "Elohiym Tzsabah." And "hosts," while literally meaning any large group I suppose, most often involves a host of soldiers, armed and ready to do battle! The warring angels of Heaven, at God's side and ready to execute His orders! Again, sense the coming judgment here!

Furthermore, the Name "Lord of Hosts" is most often employed in the context of a backsliding people. Like Israel in our Text here, Amos 4:6-13. God is seeking to make them right! And He will hurt them, at least temporarily, to do so! The "pain" is worth the outcome, restored fellowship with God!

In a not too veiled manner, Verse 13 says our God is great ... and He is angry! He is about to judge His Chosen People!

Did Israel ever get the message?

Only after it was too late!

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 9, CONCLUSION, WRITTEN WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2007, WHILE PREACHING IN ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA:

It's a strange response to the Lord, but many pursue it relentlessly!

When God judges us, the purpose behind His actions is to bring us to the place of repentance.

Nearly always this is the case.

Of course there are exceptions. After Sodom and Gomorrah could not produce even ten righteous men, God opted for their destruction. There repentance was no longer the goal. Punishment was! God's righteous anger! "Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire." This is Jude Verse 7. That little Epistle has no chapter divisions, just 25 verses.

But normally God sends trials to help keep us close to Him! Especially if we are prone to wander!

For example, Amos 4:6. "And I also have given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and want of bread in all your places: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD."

Then Amos 4:7-8. "And also I have withholden the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city: one piece was rained upon, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered. So two or three cities wandered unto one city, to drink water; but they were not satisfied: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD."

Then sequentially Amos 4:9. "I have smitten you with blasting and mildew: when your gardens and your vineyards and your fig trees and your olive trees increased, the palmerworm devoured them: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD."

Next, Amos 4:10. "I have sent among you the pestilence after the manner of Egypt: your young men have I slain with the sword, and have taken away your horses; and I have made the stink of your camps to come up unto your nostrils: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD."

Finally, and very patiently, Amos 4:11. "I have overthrown some of you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and ye were as a firebrand plucked out of the burning: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD."

See the pattern?

It's obvious!

God wanted them to return to Him!

To repent!

To forsake their evil ways!

Israel failed to link their "problems" with God's Hand of Judgment!

Famine, drought, resultant crop failure, locust invasion, plagues of all sorts including natural disasters, terrorism involving massive deaths of their young men, destruction of their military and commercial enterprises, and finally ... some form of perversion! Their whole society was in upheaval!

But no one thought of God!

Had insurance companies existed then, the term "act of God" would no doubt have been invoked. But just to keep from paying certain claims!

More and more I am amazed to learn that Amos 4 is certainly not the only Old Testament place where people faced God's wrath, only to continue ignoring Him!

Here are a few!

"And in the time of his distress did he trespass yet more against the LORD: this is that king Ahaz." 2nd Chronicles 28:22

"For the people turneth not unto him that smiteth them, neither do they seek the LORD of hosts." Isaiah 9:13

"O LORD, are not thine eyes upon the truth? thou hast stricken them, but they have not grieved; thou hast consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction: they have made their faces harder than a rock; they have refused to return." Jeremiah 5:3

Yet God still hopes! "I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early." Hosea 5:15

Even Haggai! "I smote you with blasting and with mildew and with hail in all the labours of your hands; yet ye turned not to me, saith the LORD." Haggai 2:17

Now let's add a few New Testament examples.

"And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not." Spoken of Jezebel in the Church at Thyratira in Revelation 2:20

"And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts." Revelation 9:20

Finally, here's Revelation 16:10-11. "And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, and blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds."

See what I mean?

Now let's stop a few seconds and think about our Country. We who live in America I mean. If you are a resident of another Nation, and many of you are, apply this to your Land.

Have we had droughts, critical times of no rain?

Yes!

What about fires, uncontrolled and devastating?

Yes!

What about terrorism?

Yes!

Disease?

More than ever before it is so!

Loss of jobs?

Don't mention it!

Earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, tornadoes?

Mere natural occurrences, Brother Bagwell. They come in cycles!

I see!

In time we perhaps will realize that God has been trying to get America's attention for a long while.

No doubt, God is judging us already ... because of our blatant unconfessed sin!

And if our Nation does continue to follow rebellious Israel's path, specifically as described in Amos 4 ... get ready, God will likely unleash His "Sodom and Gomorrah" weaponry!

Do not say that it can't happen!

"The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God." So promises God in Psalm 9:17.

When God judged Pharaoh for his persecution of Israel, the King's heart was not moved! So, "Moses and Aaron came in unto Pharaoh, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, How long wilt thou refuse to humble thyself before me? let my people go, that they may serve me." There's the problem, described in Exodus 10:3.

It's pride!

Some people, many Americans apparently, will not humble themselves before Almighty God!

Pride!

Yet God even has a remedy for that!

Absolutely without exception, "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall." Proverbs 16:18

That word "destruction" is "sheber" in Hebrew and just means "a crushing or breaking or fracturing or bruising or hurting" of a thing!

And "fall," that's "kishshalon" and means "stumbling," which is almost always going to lead to a failure of some kind!

America is, temporarily anyway, mocking God every day she continues in her sin!

But Galatians 6:7 thunders, "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." That includes Nations too!

Enough has been said.

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

THIS HAS BEEN A SOBERING TEXT, NEARLY FRIGHTENING! YET VERY FEW ARE LISTENING! LET'S INDEED PRAY FOR OUR NATION!

 

 

Thank YOU for visiting our Website!

You are visitor number ...

Hit Counter

The Fundamental Top 500

 

Copyright 2007 DrMikeBagwell.org  All Rights Reserved.