CAN TWO WALK TOGETHER,
EXCEPT THEY BE AGREED?
Amos 3:1-8 (KJV)
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, 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?
7 Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.
8 The lion hath roared, who will not fear? the Lord GOD hath spoken, who can but prophesy?
This is quite an interrogation by God. He still wants answers from today’s world for these questions, and the trial is still in the future. The answers to these interrogatories determine where we stand right now, in being ready for that time of standing before the Judge, i.e. God.
GOD'S BLESSINGS ARE CONDITIONAL.
Because we have been so blessed, we will soon be judged for how we lived and walked with the Lord since we were saved.
God had saved Israel from Egypt, and given the promised land. Israel had been chosen of God for a special ministry to the world. Yet, the nation had sinned terribly. So God tells Israel that she would be punished "for all ...iniquities" (3:2). Only a remnant would be saved, as "two legs" of a lamb being saved from the lion's mouth (3:12). God promises to "visit the transgressions of Israel."
"Can two walk together except they be agreed?"
In the day of Amos, as it is in our own time, it was vitally important to know the one with whom you walked. Two can only walk together if they are heading for the same destination. If you are heading for Cleveland, and I am heading for Cincinnati, we must somewhere soon part ways. God says to Israel, we are heading two different directions, and therefore we must part ways.
As Israel had parted from the prescribed ways of God in those days, so the church of the last days has in many areas departed from God's prescribed ways. God had to judge Israel for its sins, and as Paul warned the church, we must also beware of failing God's will for we too will be judged.
"Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. Thou wilt say then, the branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in. Well, because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear. For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest He also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in His goodness; otherwise thou also shalt be cut off."
Unfortunately, the church today fits the same pattern as Israel of that day. God had to tell them to:
"Seek good, and not evil... Hate the evil, and love the good, establish judgment in the gate."
The church today is often seen discussing and even voting on issues as homosexuality, perversion, sexual license, and other deeds that are clearly condemned sinful practices. The abuse of those who expose and condemn sin, even when done in love, is denounced by many in the church. The church has become a social club. Gymnasiums and parties are more common than souls being saved. The people make a pretense of religion and faith, but their spoken desires of anxiousness for the Lord to return are lies.
They fight and fear death, of even the righteous, for they have their love on things of the earth. They are not prepared to meet God, and have many hidden sins. They denounce anyone who preaches a soul-saving repentance. They push out any prophet of righteousness. They would rather be in building project after building project, for the outward effects of religion is all they can boast of. Their inward hearts are black with sin and rebellion.
"Woe unto you who desire the day of the Lord."
The "day of the Lord" for these hypocrites and "tares" of the church will be a day of judgment, not one of blessing and reward. Some say they anticipate eagerly to reach heaven, but God warns that some had not better ask and desire such a day, for their answers to the interrogation in Amos 3 will not bring them reward, but rather judgment.
These ones have made religion only a ritual. They go through the form, the rote of the service. They know the hymns and choruses, they can bow their heads at the proper time, they can shake the preachers hand and thank him for the message on how to get rich... but their hearts still possess evil. God hates their worship. He hates their "testimonies." He hates their religious services and pretenses of salvation.
"I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies. Though ye offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them... take thou away from Me the noise of thy songs."
God reminds them that the only way is to seek a relationship with Him.
"Seek ye Me, and ye shall live.
Seek the Lord, and you shall live.
Seek good and not evil, that ye may live."
Insincere worship is an insult to God. It is not the hymns, choruses, recitations, sermons, offerings, etc. that God wants. It is the meek, penitent spirit of those who want a relationship with Him.
Amos preached that the people needed more than a verbal offering to God. God wants social justice. He wants people to refuse to spiritually abuse little ones. He wants the prophets of repentance to be heeded, not persecuted. He wants the righteousness of people to be outward, and real.
"But let judgment (justice) run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream."
As God had James preach in the New Testament period:
"Pure religion, and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world."
The church of today is worried about its image.
It is wanting to appear acceptable to the world.
It wants to keep its tax exemption.
It is compromising with sin to cause less ripples in society.
It does not want to confront sin.
There are many of God's children today who will not attend the services today, not because they do not want to worship God, but because the hypocrites are in control and spreading lies about the true saints.
ICHABOD is on the doors of many congregations. How man treats man is important to God. Your relationship with others is watched by God. God sees the offenses and hears the lies told against His saints. It is time for an evaluation of the relationship with God, the relationship with others. God says there is doom for any who avoid the only way of escaping the penalty and doom of sin, i.e. to seek the Lord, to seek a relationship, and to repent to Him and thereby find His loving forgiveness.
God is still wanting to know if mankind has realized that we cannot walk with Him, unless we agree with His ways, His direction, and His destination for us.