The CCN Daily Worship by Pastor Don. Roy Hemingway.
Gooooooooooooooooooooood morning brethren, May the Almighty God of hosts be with you this morning and thank you, for joining us here at ‘The Church of the Christian Nation’ for worship and praise. Let us begin as is our tradition every day here at the Nation, by reading from the word of God. Amen.
Amos 4. 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)
1 Hear this word, ye cows of Bashan, that are in the mountain of Samaria, who oppress the poor, who crush the needy, who say to their masters, “Bring, and let us drink.”
2 The Lord God hath sworn by His holiness that: “Lo, the days shall come upon you, that He will take you away with hooks and your posterity with fishhooks.
3 And ye shall go out at the breaches, every cow at that which is before her, and ye shall cast them into the palace,” saith the Lord.
4 “Come to Bethel and transgress; at Gilgal multiply transgression; and bring your sacrifices every morning and your tithes after three years.
5 And offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving with leaven, and proclaim and publish the free offerings; for so ye love, O ye children of Israel,” saith the Lord God.
6 “And I also have given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and want of bread in all your places; yet have ye not returned unto Me,” saith the Lord.
7 “And also I have withheld the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest; and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city. One piece was rained upon, and the piece upon which it rained not withered.
8 So two or three cities wandered unto one city to drink water, but they were not satisfied; yet have ye not returned unto Me,” saith the Lord.
9 “I have smitten you with blight and mildew; when your gardens and your vineyards and your fig trees and your olive trees increased, the palmer worm devoured them; yet have ye not returned unto Me,” saith the Lord.
10 “I have sent among you the pestilence after the manner of Egypt; your young men have I slain with the sword, and have taken away your horses; and I have made the stink of your camps to come up unto your nostrils; yet have ye not returned unto Me,” saith the Lord.
11 “I have overthrown some of you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and ye were as a firebrand plucked out of the burning; yet have ye not returned unto Me,” saith the Lord.
12 “Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel; and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel!”
13 For lo, He that formeth the mountains and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is His thought, that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth—the Lord, the God of Hosts, is His name.
Dear Father in heaven, as your children we come into your presence so that you may lead us with the light that streams out from you. We come to your light seeking an inner birth to make us what your children ought to be. Bless us as we thank you for all your goodness and for the powerful help you have given many among us. Accept the thanks we offer you, and grant that we never forget the good you are doing for us. Help us to go forward, always forward, until your kingdom is completed. May it not be in vain that we live in the Lord Jesus and in love to you, the God and Father of all. May it not be in vain that we bring you our requests and prayers for your kingdom to come soon. Yes, Lord Jesus, come! Come soon to this earth so that all people may acknowledge the true God and may love you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
(4) “Come to Bethel and transgress,
At Gilgal multiply transgression;
Bring your sacrifices every morning,
Your tithes every three days.
(5) Offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving with leaven,
Proclaim and announce the freewill offerings;
For this you love,
You children of Israel!”
Says the Lord GOD.
Transgress in verse 4 means rebellion, not just sin. God considered Israel’s syncretistic approach to religion to be an outright rejection of His way of life.
Amos is speaking sarcastically when he suggests that the people sacrifice and tithe more often. “If you bring your tithes every three days (NKJV, AMP) instead of every three years,” he says, “maybe your god, Baal, will respond.” This sounds somewhat like Elijah’s sarcastic comments in I Kings 18:27.
Amos mentions “leaven” in verse 5. Leaven was not allowed to be in any sacrifice: “No grain offering which you bring to the LORD shall be made with leaven, for you shall burn no leaven nor any honey in any offering to the LORD made by fire” (Leviticus 2:11). Only one offering, the wave loaves on Pentecost, was made with leaven (Leviticus 23:17). A sin offering preceded the offering of the wave loaves, the leavening in them representing the sins still in the congregation of Israel.
Here, Amos’ sarcasm continues. The Israelites might as well have been making all their sacrifices with leaven because all their traditions, doctrines, customs, and religious duties were nothing but vanity. Even though they were sincere in doing them, they were nevertheless a leaven brought in from the world. In like manner, Jesustells us to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees (Matthew 16:6-12), that is, of their doctrine and their traditions.
Even a quick glance at modern religious practices reveals how thoughtlessly people accept the doctrines and traditions they have learned—without proving them. Millions of sincere people attend church every week, celebrate the holidays, and send their children to church schools without ever proving their beliefs. They sing in the choir and donate generously when the plate is passed, but they do not really know—have an intimate relationship with—the god they worship. They just blindly accept the leaven they were taught while growing up.