Sermon: For Perfect Results, Follow the Maker's Instructions

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Preached on 22nd July 2007
by Mr Trevor Nuttall

Sermon Outline

Psalm 52

Although we began with a declaration of trust, praise and hope, the psalm opens in very different vein with reference to Doeg the Edomite's betrayal of Ahimelech (who gave David the consecrated bread and sword of Goliath) and his massacre (1 Sam 21 v7, 22 v9,18). The denouncement of treachery and its certain retribution from God sets the tone for our passage from Amos.

Amos 8 v 1-12

Amos was a great social reformer, always bringing the over-ripe Israel back to face a Righteous God. This shepherd was called to proclaim the sins of the nations and now turns to Israel. Having declared it "bent" (ch7 v8) he lists its trampling of the poor and blatant disregard of trading standards, as long as trade flourishes, and describes the terrible consequences pronounced by the sovereign Lord, who "will never forget anything they have done". "Will not the land tremble...rise...be stirred up and then sink..." (liquefaction as at Sodom?) Famine is promised, with a famine of the Word. An imminent and well deserved judgement. But there is an awfully familiar ring to the list; Enron, BAe/Saudi, disappearance of vast funds into Iraq "reconstruction", Africa, loan-sharks and a general turning away from the Word of the Lord. The Western world is "ripe"; in so many ways we live in contravention to the Maker's Instructions. (Marriage, morality, flaunting of homosexuality etc.). As in Amos' time we go after other gods (man-made), accommodating them to the detriment of TRUTH revealed in Christ, and elevating them alongside our Father, who is a jealous God!

The western Church is ripe for judgement; political correctness emasculates our society and decries proclamation of the Gospel, and liberal theology undermines the claims of a Righteous God. We are moving towards "a famine of hearing the words of the Lord".

Luke 10 V 38-42

We move from the anger and warnings of doom to the peaceful home of Martha at Bethany. She has the great joy of welcoming Jesus (and Disciples!). She is flustered and resentful of Mary, sitting enthralled at Jesus' feet. But Jesus says "Only one thing is needed, Mary has chosen what is better... it will not be taken away from her". This is still the God of Moses, David, Amos, so what did she see?

Colossians 1 V 15-28

Paul spells out the nature of our God. This is the C V of Christ! and our authority as a church. (Read) This is our gospel; Once alienated, now reconciled...to present you without blemish and free from accusation...(28) We proclaim Him ...so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.

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