LET GOD PUNISH THEM

 

1.   One of simplest teachings in the entire Bible is found in Rom. 12:19.

2.   Paul said that if we have an enemy we are to avoid getting even with him.

3.   If someone opposes us or has tried to hurt us we are to leave that person to God.

4.   God says that He will dispense justice.

5.   If retribution or vengeance is appropriate God says He will see that the person is punished.

 

6.   Even though God has made this promise, Christians face a temptation.

7.   Some secretly wonder if God will really do what Paul said.

8.   Others wonder if they are better qualified to punish an enemy.

9.   Some think they know how it should be done and they could do it a lot faster than God.

10.  Leaving an enemy to God can be a difficult matter.

11.  In some cases this can be a struggle.

 

12.  In this lesson I want to set forth a proposal.

13.  As difficult as the teaching in Rom. 12:19 may be, this is the best course.

14.  We can know this is the right course because of what is said at the end of Amos 7.

    

IN AMOS 7:10 WE READ ABOUT A MAN NAMED AMAZIAH.

 

A.  Amaziah was a pagan priest.

B.  He was a religious worker who helped people engage in idolatrous worship.

C.  This man was not on good terms with Amos.

D.  Last week we observed that this man misrepresented Amos.

E.  As Jesus, Paul, and others had lies told about them, so Amos experienced the same thing.

F.  Amaziah was very much opposed to God’s prophet.

G.  When we look at Amos 7 we find that the prophet let God take care of his enemy.

 

2.  To put this story in its context we must remember that Amos was doing the will of God.

3.  Notice verses 14-15.

A.  Amos was an average Hebrew.

B.  He cared for Sycamore trees and flocks.

C.  One day God called him from this way of life and made him a prophet.

D.  As Matthew was called from his tax collecting business and others were called from fishing…

E.  So this man was called to preach God’s word.

F.  Amos fulfilled God’s will.  He preached.

G.  The man named Amaziah and others like him didn’t care for the prophet’s message.

H.  Amaziah became so fed up he said (verse 12), “flee thou away into the land of Judah.”

I.  Amaziah also said to Amos (verse 13), “don’t prophesy in this area any more.”

J.  “This is where the king set up his own religion.”

K.  “This is where the king lives.”

L.  “You are not welcome in this nation.”

 

4.  These verses describe two very different people.

5.  One man is a servant of God who is trying to live as he should.

6.  We can compare him to a modern day Christian who is serving God.

7.  The other man is an enemy.

8.  Enemies like Amaziah are still in our world.  Nothing has changed.

9.  When we look at Amaziah we find that he apparently had a powerful position.

A.  He was considered to be a priest (verse 10).

B.  He apparently had access to the king.

C.  It seems that he spoke for the king or at least he had the king’s permission to oppose Amos.

D.  Amaziah was even able to make false charges against Amos.

 

10.  Amaziah had friends in high places but Amos was a common man.

11.  The prophet was from the working class of people that didn’t have special influence.

12.  Amos had not had any previous experience being a prophet.

13.  He was not a “prophet’s son” (verse 14).

14.  This could mean that none of his relatives were prophets.

15.  The more probable meaning is that a prophet had not trained him.

16.  Without divine intervention (help) Amos was sunk.

17.  Unless someone from heaven helped him the bad guys were going to win.

 

18.  AS WE LOOK AT THIS STORY WHAT DO WE FIND?  THE INSPIRED RECORD DESCRIBES DIVINE INVOLVEMENT IN THE LIFE OF AMOS.

 

A.  Let’s look at the information in verse 17.

B.  In this single verse 5 distinct points are made.

C.  READ verse 17.

D.  It has already been established that God told Amos to preach.

E.  It has also been noted that Amaziah said, “We don’t want your preaching; go south.”

F.  Amaziah deliberately opposed God, God’s message, and God’s messenger.

 

19.  Opposing God, God’s message, or God’s people are all very serious offenses.

20.  Amos had an enemy and the information in verse 17 shows that this enemy was going to be punished.

21.  The punishment inflicted upon Amaziah was anything but light.

22.  Look at the first penalty that Amos predicted.

A.  The prophet said that Amaziah’s wife would become a harlot.

B.  The nation Israel was going to fall into the hands of the Assyrians.

C.  During times of war and conquest people often face unusual problems.

D.  Survival during a time of war can be so difficult that some sell themselves.

E.  Others are forced to do things they would not normally do.

 

23.  According to the text this man’s sins caused his wife to be put into a very bad situation.

24.  His transgressions would create terrible problems for the people he loved.

25.  The first punishment was bad but Amos said that Amaziah would face a second judgment.

A.  Amaziah’s children would “fall by the sword.”

B.  This seems to describe extreme cruelty.

C.  According to ancient records the Assyrians usually took people captive.

D.  Women and daughters were taken for wives.

E.  Because this man chose to oppose a servant of God his children suffered.

F.  Sometimes terrible sins affect the sinner as well as others.

G.  Here is an instance of that.

 

26.  A man may lose his wife and children but he may still have some possessions.

27.  Today if people lose their family they may still retain a house, a car, and property.

28.  Look at punishment number 3.

29.  God said that Amaziah’sland” would be divided by line.

A.  Amaziah would have people survey his land.

B.  This didn’t mean that he planned to put his house up for sale.

C.  This meant that foreign invaders would come and take what he owned.

D.  These new owners would survey his property.

E.  This man’s sins would cause him to lose his wife, his children, and his property.

 

30.  Some live in places where they can start over.  People can sometimes begin again.

A.  Some who lose their family choose to remarry.

B.  From these marriages additional children may be born.

C.  When houses and property are lost some begin again.

D.  Notice judgment number 4.

E.  Amaziah was going to die.

F.  This man would have no where to run.

G.  He would not be able to rebuild his life.

H.  Not only would Amaziah die, he would die in a land that was unclean.

I.  This man would die in a place that was polluted with idolatry.

 

31.  There are times when we hear someone say, “I don’t want to die like that.”

32.  Or, “I don’t want to die there.”

33.  God said that even the place of this man’s death would be undesirable.

34.  We might think that death was the final punishment for Amaziah.  It wasn’t.

A.  The fifth judgment was described as “Israel being lead out of the land.”

B.  If this man had any friends or extended family they were going to be taken from their homes.

C.  They would be transported to a foreign land where they would be held in captivity.

 

35.  WHEN AMOS WAS OPPOSED GOD WAS AWARE OF THE MATTER AND HE DID WHAT PAUL SAID IN ROMANS 12:19.  GOD PUNISHED THE PROPHET’S ENEMY.  THIS PUNISHMENT WAS EXTREMELY SEVERE.

 

A.  It is clear that this punishment didn’t happen immediately.

B.  It did, however, happen.         

C.  When it happened it was a punishment far worse than Amos could have ever inflicted.

D.  This man lost everything he had.

E.  Letting God take of this enemy must have lifted a great burden from this prophet’s shoulders.

F.  This same burden can be lifted from the shoulders of every Christian.

G.  If we ever have an enemy the best thing to do is to leave him to God.

H.  At times we talk about the spiritual blessings in Christ.

I.  Here is a spiritual blessing.

J.  God will take care of our enemies.

K.  Even though God has made this promise many go through life plotting revenge.

L.  People think, “How can I get back at him without creating problems for me?”

M.  “How can I get revenge in secret?”

N.  Christian’s don’t need to ask these questions.

 

36.  In New Testament times people were taught to leave their enemies to God.

37.  This is what people did.

A.  Listen to 2 Tim. 4:14.

B.  Paul said that God would take care of Alexander.

C.  Even among the angels this principle is practiced.

D.  Listen to Jude 9.

E.  The devil is an enemy of all that is good and right.

F.  He is certainly an enemy of good angels.

G.  The archangel Michael said that God would take care of Satan.

H.  Someone once said that Christians must “contract out” our vengeance.

 

38.  We have heard of people of those who put out a contract on someone’s life.

39.  There is a sense in which this is true in the spiritual realm.

40.  According to Rom. 12:19 if vengeance is appropriate we must contract it out to God.

41.  We say to God, “Father, I have an enemy.  I am leaving Him to you.”

 

42.  At some point and time all of us will have an enemy.

43.  If we are a Christian we can turn that person over to God.

44.  The key to doing this is faith.

45.  Do we have enough faith in God to believe that He will fulfill His promises?

46.  What about other areas in life?  Do we really have faith in God?

47.  Do we really believe that God is who the Bible says He is and He will do what His word says?