Religious Reformation (Amos 5:21-27)

Religious Reformation (Amos 5:21-27)


  • Amos’ judgment > lament. Moral Reformation > Religious Reformation.
  • They possessed no moral character and looked forward to the Day of the Lord assuming it would favor them. Had they lost their salvation?

Alec Motyer But to whom was Amos speaking? Even the most casual reading of his book reveals his hearers as a church which had confused assurance with complacency. They not only professed salvation but also an unworried certainty of salvation (cf. 5:14, 18).

  • Their lifestyles as well as their worship needed reforming. But even still, there remained a believing remnant among them (5:3, 15).

Read Amos 5:21-27

  • All the ways they thought they were honoring God in their worship, was falling upon deaf ears. He would not accept their offerings.
  • What if we’re wrong about all of this?
  • Big Idea
    1. Worship God Rejects (21-23)
    2. Worship God Accepts (24-25)
    3. Worship God Expels (26-27)

Worship God Rejects (21-23)

  • How their worship was unacceptable:
    1. Gatherings (21) – Conferences and conventions. Mountain-top experiences.
    2. Offerings (22) – Lev. 19:5-7. No mention of sin offerings because they lacked repentance.
    3. Music (23) – Vocal and instrumental.
  • God expresses his hatred for religious hypocrisy. Without moral transformation, worship is rejected.

Douglas Stuart It is in the nature of a covenant that it cannot be kept merely now and again. For example, no one can say, “I keep my marriage covenant; I commit adultery only every few days and the rest of the time am completely faithful to my spouse.”

  • Sophomore year of High School trying to get to know Christians and only initially finding a lot of hypocrisy.
  • Christianity has always been covenantal. You are either in or out of relationship with God. Your relationship with God doesn’t cease when you leave the church doors.

God rejects hypocrisy, but…

Worship God Accepts (24-25)

  • v.24 Justice = Social morality (outward)
  • Righteousness = Moral principles (inward)
  • Worship is not limited to corporate gatherings.
  • v.25 Does Amos expect a negative or positive response? They would’ve declared, “Absolutely!” But it wasn’t personal.
  • The Israelites offered sacrifices in the wilderness because they knew God.
  • “Stream” refers to a wilderness wadi that is dry all year except for the rainy seasons.
  • Justice and righteousness would be abundant and constant.
  • This was an excellent verse for Martin Luther King, Jr. to refer to frequently during his civil rights speeches where many Christians were blinded to the injustices.
  • Sacrifice without covenantal relationship is pointless. They might as well be offered to an idol.
  • We must worship God exclusively and wholeheartedly. Amos has already made the case that Israel, for the most part, has done neither.
  • What about you?

God rejects hypocrisy, but accepts worship that springs from the heart.

Worship God Expels (26-27)

  • Astral worship was warned against in Deut 4:19; 17:2-5.
  • They guilty of superficial worship as well as false worship.

Michael Bentley Perhaps in an effort to pacify their potential invader (Assyria) they had incorporated some of the Assyrian gods into their worship.”

  • God would send them into exile at the hands of the Assyrians, those who worshiped these same gods.
  • God would essentially handed them over to their idolatry.
  • Romans 1:24-25 God hands sinners over to indulge in their sin. This in itself is a picture of his judgment.
  • It is clear that we cannot play with worship. It is not an occasional thing. It is not partial.



  • To possess a misunderstanding about how God works, is to possess a misunderstanding about God’s nature and character.
  • There is a genuine spiritual battle taking place. Striving for theological precision and exposing damnable heresies may not be politically correct or socially acceptable, but it is loving!
  • Jesus didn’t refrain from harsh warnings.
  • Failing to warn others who have a false view of God is a sin of omission.
  • One of Satan’s greatest tactics is to silence Christians with fear of offending. We live in a culture that is far too easily offended. Now is not the time to be quiet.