Seven Questions

Amos 3:1-6 Hear this word that the LORD hath spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying, [2] You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities. [3] Can two walk together, except they be agreed? [4] Will a lion roar in the forest, when he hath no prey? will a young lion cry out of his den, if he have taken nothing? [5] Can a bird fall in a snare upon the earth, where no gin is for him? shall one take up a snare from the earth, and have taken nothing at all? [6] Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?

“Let’s go camping,” the Great Detective Sherlock Holmes says to his friend Dr. Watson one day. “Jolly good!” replies Watson. So the two pack up their gear, head into the woods, set up their tent and by nightfall, are sound asleep. Hours later, Dr. Watson is awakened by a nudge from his friend Sherlock. Dr. Watson, Look up! What do you see?” Awakened from a deep sleep his friend was annoyed. “I see the sky, full of stars.” Sherlock Holmes said “What does that tell you?” Dr Watson thinks for a moment then replies, “Well, given the thousands of stars, it’s improbable that ours is the only planet capable of sustaining life. Therefore, other beings like ourselves are likely out there somewhere, looking back at us. Is that what it means?” Holmes looks at his over educated friend. “No, you ninny! It means someone has stolen our tent!”

When bad things happen our response should be to stop, to consider, then to go beyond ourselves and LOOK UP. To turn to – not against but to – the Creator and Lover of our souls. God loves His Children. He said of His children through the Prophet Isaiah:

Isaiah 49:15-16 Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. 16 Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.

It is popular among young Millennial women today to get a tattoo of her child’s name and footprint on their bodies, usually on the tops of their own feet. God has engraved us on the palms of His hands and on the soles of His feet – not with ink and pens, but with nails.

The Father sent the Son to the Cross. The Son allowed Himself to be humiliated and harmed so that God could redeem us. We are all offered salvation because God stooped. He stooped from Heaven to earth. He came from a Throne to a Manger.

God gave Himself for you and for me. God wants us to walk with Him. But He must lead in this waltz. He must lead in the dance of life.

1 Walking Is A Beautiful Picture Of Salvation. God asks in verse 3:

Can Two Walk Together Except They Be Agreed?

A person is saved to walk with God. A people are saved to walk with God. Salvation is more than fire insurance for eternity … it is a way of life. Our passage starts …

Amos 3:1 Hear this word that the LORD hath spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt ….

Egypt” is an Old Testament picture of the unbelieving world, and “Israel” a beautiful picture of God’s Family of Faith. Israel was both lost and enslaved in the midst of Egypt. Israel cried out to God – and God heard their cry. God raised up a man named Moses – a humble man – to preach the word of salvation to His people. Nine times God sent Moses to Pharaoh – the King of Egypt – the King of the World – to demand “let My people go so they can worship Me” (Exodus 9:1 et al). Nine times Pharaoh refused to release God’s people.

The fingers of the world will hold on to you, draw on you, try to enslave you if it can. The devil does not want to release the lost soul. When the preacher preaches “repent” the evil whispers “repent from what? You are not that bad. God will love you whether you follow Him or not. Stay the course. Walk with me. Follow me. It’s your life, and I will support your right to it.” Pharaoh hardened his heart against God but refused to let the people go.

But then God told His people to take a Lamb without spot or blemish. The Lamb was to be killed, and God said:

Exodus 12:13 (NKJV) Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.

Death would come to every household who refused to do as God said. Those who heard God and followed His instruction would be saved from death. But those who heard but did not do as He said would die. And those who refused to hear would die. Can two walk together except they be agreed?

  • Some might say “Blood of the Lamb? Why can’t I use the Blood of the Bullock, or the Blood of the Goat? Why must it be the Blood of the Lamb? Because God said it was to be the Blood of the Lamb. “When I see THE Blood I will pass over you”. God was looking to see what Blood was shed. If it was not as He said there could be no agreement. Can two walk together except they be agreed?

  • Some might say “I have a crippled lamb, a lamb that is blemished. Why can I not use that Lamb?” It might be a lamb, but is it THE Lamb OF GOD, the Lamb that God specified? God said in …

    Exodus 12:5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year.

    “It SHALL BE”. Following God is not optional. Can two walk together except they be agreed? Pharaoh saw obedience to God as optional because he set himself on the throne of his life. If you wish to walk with God, if you wish to be saved, then you must heed His Word. His Word is a lamp unto my feet, a light into my path (Psalm 119:105).

  • Yet some might say “I will sacrifice the Lamb without spot or blemish, but why must I do it at a specific time? Why must it be the evening of the 14th? Why not tomorrow?” Again God says “Can two walk together except they be agreed?” The Scripture says:

    2 Corinthians 6:2 (NLT) … At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you. Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation.

Oh Precious Ones, how many have been eternally lost because they put off what God said to do today? So many have said “I will wait for another time”. But the wise person is like the Philippian Jailer who, reprieved from death, fell on bended knee before the Apostles and cried out:

Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

and when he was told “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house” (Acts 16:31) he did not debate with neither God nor man. “Can two walk together except they be agreed?” God has set the standard. Kill the Lamb. Hide under the Blood. Believe on the Crucified and Risen Savior and YOU SHALL LIVE.

2 If We Want To Walk With God Then We Must Acknowledge That God’s Way Is Always The Right Way. We may not understand why God directs as He does, but God is always right. There is no higher Authority than God. There is no Supreme Court to appeal to – He is Supreme and Absolute. What He has said is true and stands forever. The world despises this!

In this Post Modern Super Tolerant Me First America no one wants to believe that there is a standard. When I was a young boy and ran a race, the one who crossed the finish line FIRST got the FIRST PLACE ribbon. The ones who crossed afterwards were recognized, but given no ribbon. Child Psychologists have determined from the time of Dr Spock that such things are damaging to the esteem of the child. So today the race is run, but all the children are given prizes. I watched my grandchild Micah playing on his Oriels team while we were on vacation. Children were allowed unlimited swings at the ball – three strikes were not out. When they were unsuccessful at hitting the thrown ball then it was placed on a stand where the child could strike at it repeatedly until it was hit. When the children ran the bases if the opposing team tagged them with the ball or got to the base before the runner did it was NOT an out. It was ignored. Some would say that they were young kids just learning the game …. but if there is no standard nor any penalty then it is not a game, it is just confusion.

God’s Way is not confusion.

1 Corinthians 14:33 Our God is not the Author of confusion, but of peace.

Daniel 9:8 O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee.

God asks seven questions in our text today. God always asks good questions. The questions God asks us are not designed to give HIM information, but to give US information –to teach us truths that will benefit us in life.

When God asked Adam “Where are you?” it was not because He wanted to know where Adam was (for God knows everything – even our thoughts). It was because He wanted ADAM to examine where he was and how he got from blessing to cursing.

Listen to me, Beloved. God wants to bless us. He wants to love us black and blue. But two cannot walk together except they be agreed. God illustrates the depth of this first question with three pairs of questions.

a The First Pair Of Questions Ask:

Amos 3:4 Will a lion roar in the forest, when he hath no prey?
will a young lion cry out of his den, if he have taken nothing?

No lion “walks” with it’s prey. When a lion roars it is because it has caught and is about to eat it’s meal. That “Unhappy Meal” might walk INSIDE of the lion, but there is absolutely NO AGREEMENT between the two.

God’s Word to His people is not to be taken as the roar of the Lion …. but it is to be taken seriously. The Lion of Judah does not want to devour or make merchandise of His people. God loves His people.

Zephaniah 3:17 – The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

God looks down over His people and cherishes them. When I was a young father I would often hold my babies in my arms and sing over them, kissing them and getting their sugar. Oh how I loved them and love them still. I am way inferior to God! He loves us, not as an Unhappy Meal but as His Beloved. Ron Edmondson wrote:

The God of the universe, the same God who paints a sunset, shapes a mountain and plans the waves at the beach, has chosen to love us, not because of who we are, but because of who He is. Our role in this is to BE-LOVED.”

We are all loved of God. But God’s people by faith in Christ are especially loved. God said:

Proverbs 8:17 I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.

God loves us – but if we reject His leading and His love then we cannot expect to be blessed. The prey is not blessed when the Lion finds it. God does not wish to consume us … but if we are His He does not want us to be consumed of sin and Satan either!

b The Second Pair Of Questions Ask:

Amos 3:5 Can a bird fall in a snare upon the earth, where no gin is for him?
shall one take up a snare from the earth, and have taken nothing at all?

The first pair of questions speaks of Lions and their Prey. The second set of questions speaks of Fowlers who trap birds for a living. A Fowler will put a snare on the earth and leave it there until he has caught the birds he wanted to keep. Some say that God is like a Fowler who snares man for profit, and lays snares to trap us. This is absolutely not true.

God’s commandments are not a snare – they are God’s Care.

Heading into many small towns are things called speed traps. Speed traps exist to capture and fine people. Speed have nothing to do with right or wrong … it is just a local government’s way of dishonestly but legally raising revenue. The speed limit will be posted 55 mph, but the speed trap will have an overgrown sign or a sign hidden in a blind curve with 35 mph on it – and a sheriff directly behind it. That is dishonest.

God has NEVER been dishonest with His people. The people He saves are people who are supposed to willingly walk with Him. “Can two walk together except they be agreed?”. God is very clear in His Word that His people are to …

Deuteronomy 5:33 (NIV) Walk in obedience to all that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.

There is no blessing to anyone who will not follow God.
God is not diminished if we do not follow Him … we are diminished.

When God led Israel out of Egypt they were to follow God both night and day. Following God they passed through the Red Sea as if on dry land. But when God’s people got to the Jordan and refused to follow His Word the Lord let them wander in the wilderness for forty years.

Malachi 2:2 (NIV) If you do not listen, and if you do not resolve to honor my name,” says the Lord Almighty, “I will send a curse on you, and I will curse your blessings. Yes, I have already cursed them, because you have not resolved to honor me.

Saved and blessed to enter the Family of God every believer is to be a Christ Follower, a Doer of His Word. Jesus said:

1 John 5:3 …. this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.

God’s Commandments are not a snare nor are they burdensome to His Children. (John 6:63) God said “the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life”. God’s Words are not a snare. They are the words of a loving Father to His cherished Children. We are called to a life of obedience if we belong to God.

c The Third Pair Of Questions Ask:

Amos 3:6 Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?

When 9-11 hit our nation people began to talk about God. Some people stated that 9-11 was a result of our unwillingness as a nation to repent and follow God. There was a very large debate in the media, and many among Christianity began to mock one another. Some said:

A God of Love would never allow such a thing to happen!

And others,

These attacks came because we as a nation have turned from God.

R Albert Mohler Jr, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky stated “There is no doubt that America has accommodated itself to so many sins that we should always fear God’s judgment and expect that in due time that judgment will come. But we ought to be very careful about pointing to any circumstance or any specific tragedy and say that this thing has happened because this is God’s direct punishment.”

What did God say in Amos? Did He point to the sinners of the nation and declare that they were the reason that judgment was coming? No, He told His people saved by Grace:

Amos 3:2 You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.

Judgment was coming on the nation because God’s people – the ones of whom He said “you only have I known” – because His people were not being His people. God went on to ask the two questions:

Shall a trumpet be blown in the city and the people not be afraid?

When I was stationed in Korea and heard the air raid sirens go off my heart beat faster. That air raid siren was blowing because the enemy were positioning themselves for an attack. What would happen? Would I be shot? Was I where I needed to be with the Lord. And WHY are the enemy positioning themselves? Hence the second question:

shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?

Shall trials and tribulations come to a Church, a Community, or a Country, and God had NOTHING to do with it? No Beloved – God is in control. The Lord declares:

Isaiah 45:7 (NIV) I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the LORD, do all these things.

Proverbs 16:4 HCSB The LORD has prepared everything for His purpose— even the wicked for the day of disaster.

It is not God’s way to indiscriminately destroy people. I heard one preacher say “God in His love always wills what is best for us. In His wisdom He always knows what is best, and in His sovereignty He has the power to bring it about.” God is concerned less about our temporal and more about our eternity. This physical life that we now inhabit is but a tiny part of the life that each and every one of us has in store.

Are you prepared for eternity? Are you resting in the everlasting arms of God?

When tragedy happens the Bible tells us that God is the One Who either ALLOWED it or CREATED it. And all trials …. ALL of them, from 9-11 to the Holocaust and even to personal and private tragedy … all are under the purview of God. The Bible says:

Lamentations 3: 37-38 (NLT) Who can speak and have it happen if the Lord has not decreed it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things come?

Trials make us stop and think. The God of the Bible is the same God Who:

  • Sent Israel to march around Jericho for 7 days, causing the walls of that city to fall and the inhabitants to die. Why seven days? I submit that it was to give the inhabitants time to REPENT and turn to the Creator of all.

  • Had Noah preach for 120 years before flooding the entire earth, killing all but 8 souls. Why? Why 120 years? I submit that it was to give the inhabitants time to REPENT and turn to the Creator of all.

  • Had Jonah, the reluctant prophet, go to Ninevah and preach “In forty days Ninevah will be destroyed!” Why 40 days? I submit that it was to give the inhabitants time to REPENT and turn to the Creator of all.

God told His people (Amos 3:11) “An adversary there shall be even round about the land; and he shall bring down thy strength from thee, and thy palaces shall be spoiled.” You shall lose your palaces – your prosperity. Why? Because those who claimed to be His people rejected His Word. God was giving them an opportunity to repent, to turn and walk with Him.

3 The Safest Place To Be Is In The Company Of God. “Can two walk together except they be agreed?” My responsibility as a Christ Follower is to follow My Lord one step at a time and one day at a time. He is God, and I am not. God controls everything! The Bible tells us that our God is the only Ruler, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords (1 Timothy 6:15). God‘s Throne may be in the heavens, but He rules everything and everyone (Psalm 103:19). His Word sustains the universe (Nehemiah 9:6; Hebrews 1:3). God moves the nations about as checkers on a checkerboard (Isaiah 5:26; Amos 3:9-11; Habakkuk 1:12). The Psalmist reminds us that ….

Psalms 75:6-7 (KJV) For promotion [cometh] neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. 7 But God [is] the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.

God is in charge! Whatever situation I find myself in, I must trust not my riches nor my resources but God’s Ruling Word.

God allows nations to rise and fall. Arthur C. Custance wrote in his Doorway Papers – a series of books that relate Biblical truths to scientific fact –

God dictates the rise and fall of nations; as Job put it (12:23): “He increaseth the nations and destroyeth them; He enlargeth the nations and straighteneth them again.” And so likewise in Psalm 47:6-8: “Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises. For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding. God reigneth over the heathen: God sitteth on the throne of His holiness.” It is indeed a cause for praise!

We who belong to the Lord live to glorify Him, to lift Him up. Walk with God. Read His Word daily. Immerse yourselves in His Presence, for here in His arms is where I am strongest!

I’m going to end with these words. Francis Chan in his book Forgotten God wrote:

The fact is God is calling. The Spirit is beckoning. The real question is will you follow? Will you listen? {God} calls us to do something, a particular thing, and we have the choice to obey or not. … Did God lead you to where you are now?

. how would you be missed if you left this place? What would change? Basically, what difference does your presence here make?

. If everyone gave and served and prayed exactly like you, would the Church be healthy and empowered? Or would it be weak and listless?

. {God’s} purposes are not random or arbitrary. If you are still alive on this planet, it’s because He has something for you to do. He has placed us on this earth for purposes that He orchestrated long before we were born (Ephesians 2:8-10). Do you believe you exist not for your own pleasure but to help people know the love of Jesus and top come fully alive in Him?

May God touch your hearts with His Word.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. I am looking for the Church. Most of what I see today is not the Church, but clubs, where members sit in padded pews and drink deeply of self. I am looking for a people willing to be righteous not self righteous, serving not served, In short, I am looking and praying for a people who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. I hope I find this people before it's too late.
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