Rev. Luke Zimmerman, pastor at Calvary Evangelical Lutheran Church in Mechanicsburg, PA, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Amos 5:21-27.
Amos’ shocking preaching turns once again to the worship life of Israel. The LORD declares that He hates what His people offer as worship, refusing to accept it or take any delight in it at all. The reason is twofold. First, their worship has deviated from the true form that the LORD commanded in His Law, as they worship the LORD alongside idols in places that the LORD has not commanded. Second, their worship is faithless. The people of Israel think that if they only do the ritual by the book, the LORD will be pleased, regardless of what they believe about Him or the way they treat their neighbor. Amos’ preaching, therefore, connects right faith with right living. The LORD does desire that His people worship Him as He has commanded, not as a way for us to earn something by going through the motions correctly, but rather as a way for Him to deliver His forgiveness freely. His gifts of justice and righteousness flow freely to us and then freely from us in works of love toward our neighbor. Because Israel did not repent, the LORD led them into exile. However, for us, Amos’ words reach us at just the right time. God’s Word calls us to repent of any attitude that would go through the motions of worship without faith, and instead to cling to Christ’s forgiveness in true faith so that justice and righteousness flow forth from us freely.
“The Day Is Surely Drawing Near” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that digs into the book of Amos. This Old Testament prophet speaks the LORD’s roaring Word in order to call us first to repentance over our idolatry and injustice and second to faith in the Messiah in the line of David, Jesus Christ. Only through faith in Him will we stand forgiven and redeemed on the coming Day of the LORD.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
Sharper Iron is underwritten by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, where your investments help support the work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Visit lcef.org.
21 “I hate, I despise your feasts,
and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.
22 Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings,
I will not accept them;
and the peace offerings of your fattened animals,
I will not look upon them.
23 Take away from me the noise of your songs;
to the melody of your harps I will not listen.
24 But let justice roll down like waters,
and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
25 “Did you bring to me sacrifices and offerings during the forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel? 26 You shall take up Sikkuth your king, and Kiyyun your star-god—your images that you made for yourselves, 27 and I will send you into exile beyond Damascus,” says the Lord, whose name is the God of hosts.
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.