Monthly Archives: February 2013

Dave Frampton

False Security


Amos 5:18-6:14

1 “Woe to those who are at ease in Zion,
and to those who feel secure on the mountain of Samaria,
the notable men of the first of the nations,
to whom the house of Israel comes!
2 Pass over to Calneh, and see,
and from there go to Hamath the great;
then go down to Gath of the Philistines.
Are you better than these kingdoms?
Or is their territory greater than your territory,
3 O you who put far away the day of disaster
and bring near the seat of violence?
4 “Woe to those who lie on beds of ivory
and stretch themselves out on their couches,
and eat lambs from the flock
and calves from the midst of the stall,
5 who sing idle songs to the sound of the harp
and like David invent for themselves instruments of music,
6 who drink wine in bowls
and anoint themselves with the finest oils,
but are not grieved over the ruin of Joseph!
7 Therefore they shall now be the first of those who go into exile,
and the revelry of those who stretch themselves out shall pass away.”

8 The Lord GOD has sworn by himself, declares the LORD, the God of hosts:
“I abhor the pride of Jacob
and hate his strongholds,
and I will deliver up the city and all that is in it.”

9 And if ten men remain in one house, they shall die. 10 And when one’s relative, the one who anoints him for burial, shall take him up to bring the bones out of the house, and shall say to him who is in the innermost parts of the house, “Is there still anyone with you?” he shall say, “No”; and he shall say, “Silence! We must not mention the name of the LORD.”

11 For behold, the LORD commands,
and the great house shall be struck down into fragments,
and the little house into bits.
12 Do horses run on rocks?
Does one plow there with oxen?
But you have turned justice into poison
and the fruit of righteousness into wormwood—
13 you who rejoice in Lo-debar,
who say, “Have we not by our own strength
captured Karnaim for ourselves?”
14 “For behold, I will raise up against you a nation,
O house of Israel,” declares the LORD, the God of hosts;
“and they shall oppress you from Lebo-hamath
to the Brook of the Arabah.”



This section is the completion of Amos’ third prophetic proclamation. Here Amos strongly warns them against thinking that they can continue as they are and avoid calamity.

I. Religion cannot prevent calamity. 5:18-27
A. The extent of their religious activities

1. Religious assemblies (5:21)
2. Sacrifices (5:22)
3. Songs of praise (5:23)
4. They even longed for the day of the Lord (5:18-20). They had some wrong ideas about the day of the Lord, so Amos quickly corrects their doctrine.

a. They thought that they were okay because they were Jews (cf. Mt 3:7-10; Rm 2:17ff).
b. They forgot what God demanded (Ps 24:3-4; 1 Sm 15:20-23). The terms of the old covenant were not to be involved in religious ritual but to obey the Lord.

B. Their problem

1. Unrighteousness (5:24)
2. God wasn’t really important to them (5:25-26). Underneath their outward devotion to the Lord, they were involved in the worship of the stars (cf. Dt 4:19; 17:2-3).

Apply: We must reject and avoid the remnants of paganism (Eph 4:17-24).

C. Their judgment (5:27)


II. Complacency cannot prevent calamity. 6:1-7
A. Their indifference portrayed. Notice that both Judah and Israel were addressed (6:1).

1. Exposure of their indifference

a. Luxuriant idleness (6:4a)
b. Luxuriant feasting (6:4b)
c. Entertainment (6:5)

Comment: We’re in danger when we have to be continually entertained. This is a trap that is too easy to fall into. We should enjoy the Lord and our walk with the Lord. Joy is very important (Ph 3:1; 4:4; etc.). But we have to maintain a constant evaluation of activities like our worship services. Is our goal to entertain or to worship and build up one another?

d. Drunkenness (6:6a)
e. Lack of concern (6:3, 6b)

2. It is at this point that we must ask ourselves a hard question. Are we grieved over the weaknesses and sins of the church?

B. Amos responds to their complacency.

1. By directness in his preaching – note the repetition of “you” in 6:1-7!
2. By continuing to warn them of approaching judgment.

a. Some surrounding nations had already fallen—close nations that Israel would be aware of. 6:2
b. Their supposed position would not protect them. 6:7


III. Human power cannot prevent calamity. 6:8-14
A. A root sin exposed—pride (6:8, 13b).
B. The folly of trusting in human might (6:13a) – “How easily man takes credit to himself and makes some small achievement the basis of a similar foolish trust!” [Beeley] C. The nature of the judgment

1. God would use another nation to punish them (6:14a). Note that God is plainly in control of the nations: “command” (6:11); “I will stir…” (6:14).
2. The judgment would affect all classes (6:11).
3. The judgment would bring complete destruction (6:8b, 9, 11).
4. The judgment would surely come to pass (6:8a; cf. Heb 6:13-17).

~ Dave


Pastor Dave Frampton

When push comes to shove there is usually nothing more satisfying than for a saint of God to have at his or her disposal a source of biblically sound instruction in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The faithful and spiritually profitable labors of Dave Frampton are here at CMC to be a blessing. Bible teacher and student alike will profit much from his labor in the God’s Word. Visit Newtown Square Baptist Church.


Dr Ron Frost

A Passionate God


Too many Christians, I’m afraid,
have the disaffected God of the
Greek philosophers in mind
when they pray or plan their day.


Aristotle and PlatoThe Greek versions of God are mainly about power—about having control over everything—rather than about his forming and sustaining relationships with a treasured creation.

But let’s be clear from the outset that I don’t know many Christians who think their vision of God has anything to do with the divinities of Plato or Aristotle.  For most of us that’s certainly not the case, given that almost no one today knows or cares what the Greeks believed.  Yet to be unaware of the unhappy theological tributaries that once poured into Western Christianity doesn’t mean that by simply forgetting about these muddied sources our river is now somehow pristine.

So what is it about the true and living God that we need to know more than anything else—in order to test the purity of the water in which we swim today?

Is God, for instance, mainly concerned to remind us that he’s in charge, as the Greeks would have it—with ultimate power over everything, past, present, and future?

No.  Focusing on that reality is a bit like telling children each morning, “Don’t forget to breathe—you’ll need your oxygen!”  Of course God is all-powerful: he made and sustains everything in the creation!  So while the Bible offers brief notices that other “gods” are only pretenders and that Yahweh alone is the true God and sole ruler of all that is, the main thrust of the Bible runs elsewhere.  On the matter of power, God is fully secure about his eternal standing; and so are those who know him well.  I will also note, mischievously, that many people who want to represent God as his prophets, priests, and pastors today may be prone themselves to be fixated on God’s power as they rule others by attributing God’s power to their own ministry ambitions.

In another option, is God mainly concerned with his own glory—with some superabundant need for huge crowds of created beings to tell him how wonderful he is?

Once again, that’s not what the Bible tells us. 

Aristotle, in his Metaphysics, gives us a God who can only think about himself; but the Bible portrays a God whose glory is displayed in a self-giving love that pours out of the Triune heart.  In John 17, for instance, we discover that Jesus spoke of glory as the environment he shared with the Father before the creation, and as a place he wants to share with all of us who believe in him.  It was a glory given by the Father to the Son because, as Jesus put it, “you loved me.”  So it boggles the mind to think that a God whose glory consists in the selfless giving of love is mainly driven by self-concerned glory-seeking.  Of course for all who know and love him we find joy in expressing our delight in his glory.  Glory is the offspring of love: the flower, not the root.

What we do find in the Bible is a passionate God. 

He is the God who has always existed in the bond of love, so much so that John labels that bond as “love” (e.g. “God is love” in 1 John 4:8 & 16).  In the eternal past, before the creation, what was God up to?  In the glimpses we have from places like John 17 the Father was spending his time in devotion to the Son, and the Son was reciprocating that devotion to the Father; and (drawing from 1 Corinthians 2) the Spirit supported and sustained this shared mutual delight.  It was and still is a love story.  By our creation we were invited to the party.

Now, back to the Greek philosophers.

Aristotle defined goodness as the stable center found midway between the extremes of human passions.  God, however, calls for passion in the Bible: for our selfless love for him that reciprocates his prior love for us.  He made us so that love rules every heart in every activity.  With love as his motive for our creation and the aim of our calling, God then presses all of us to commit to either loving him or to hating him.  There is no neutral middle!

So let’s enjoy our passionate God by being more and more passionate in our devotion while our philosophical neighbors grimace as they obey the disaffected deity of their own making.  For us who embrace the biblical God let’s join in David’s passion: “O, taste and see, the LORD is good!”

You are invited to comment on Ron’s article at Cor Deo

~ Ron


Dr. Ron Frost

Ron served on faculty for more than 20 years at Multnomah Bible College and Biblical Seminary. At the seminary, from 1995-2007, he was professor of historical theology and ethics. He earned his PhD at King’s College of the University of London. His research featured Richard Sibbes (1577-1635). He now teaches internationally while serving as a pastoral care consultant to missionaries with Barnabas International. Ron authored Discover the Power of the Bible and writes on [See “Resources”].

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