The Bible says in Amos 2:12, But ye gave the Nazarites wine to drink; and commanded the prophets, saying, Prophesy not. In the few verses previous to this one God had mentioned some of the great things that He has done for the Israelites. Among those great things that God had done for them is that He had given them prophets and Nazarites. God is a Giver. He gives to the people of the earth made precious gifts. Of course, the greatest prophet God has now given to all of us: Jesus Christ the Righteous. As it says in John 3:16, For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. It says in Ephesians 4:7-8, But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. Sometimes the gifts that God has given you are the other people that He has put into your life.
God gave prophets and Nazarites to the Israelites. But what did the Israelites do
with these gifts? That is the question. God gives us gifts, but then the day
will come when we will be held accountable for what we did with those gifts.
First notice what the Nazarites did to the prophets.
They said to the prophets, Prophesy not. In other words they opposed the
prophets and even tried to keep them from giving out the Word of God. A
preacher needs help in order for his ministry to become as effective as
possible. Jesus gives the gift to preach and to teach to certain men, but then
God also gives other kinds of gifts to other believers so that they will be
useful in helping the preacher. There must be those who are willing to sit and
listen with a teachable spirit. There must be those who invite others to hear
the preacher. There must be those who give. There must be those who organize
and advertise. There must be those who set up chairs, and greet at the door,
and clean up afterwards. There must be those who pray. A preacher can do a few
things with the gift that he has from Christ, but the preacher can do a lot
more if there are other Christians who help. The children of
Notice how the Israelites treated the Nazarites. They tried to corrupt them. One of the vows that the Nazarites took was that they would never drink wine. But it says in Amos 2:12 that the Israelite people gave the Nazarites wine to drink. Misery loves company. Hose who drink have always tried to get others to drink. It makes them feel comfortable with their own lack of control. It says in Habbakuk 2:15, Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness! Many people would have never drunk alcohol if they had never been encouraged by others to do so. And many of those people would have never become alcoholics if they had never taken their first drink. 17 million Americans have alcohol related problems such as alcoholism and binge drinking. The toll in health problems, property damage, and lost productivity is staggering. It is no wonder that God wanted the Nazarites to live a holy life by not drinking. Too bad that the rest of the Israelites did not follow their example.
The Bible says in Amos 2:13-16, Behold, I am
pressed under you, as a cart is pressed that is full of sheaves.
Therefore the flight shall perish from the swift, and the strong shall not
strengthen his force, neither shall the mighty deliver himself:
Neither shall he stand that handleth the bow; and he
that is swift of foot shall not deliver himself: neither shall he that rideth the horse deliver himself. And he that is
courageous among the mighty shall flee away naked in that day, saith the LORD. If you had something
that was bothering you or troubling you and would not go away, then you would
come up with a plan of action to take care of it. That is exactly what God did
The Bible says in Amos 3:1-3, Hear this
word that the LORD hath spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the
whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying, You only have I known of all the families of the
earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities. Can two
walk together, except they be agreed? First of all notice
carefully the spiritual principle found in verse 2. Basically, it means this:
The measure of your opportunity is the measure of your responsibility.
In Amos 3:3 God said to the Israelite people, Can two walk together, except they be agreed? Of course, the meaning of this verse is very clear. God was telling the Israelites that He could not walk with them because of their sins. There was always a solution to that problem: the Israelites only needed to repent of their sins and turn to the Lord. The issue of how to continue to walk in fellowship with the Lord is an important issue even in our age, and the principle is the same. Sin separates us from the Savior. Forgiveness of sin reunites us with Him as far as our daily walk with Jesus is concerned. It says in First John 1:9, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Amos 3:3 is a good example of how a
Bible verse can be misused and misinterpreted. It says, Can two walk
together, except they be agreed?
I can speak with some first-hand knowledge on how this Bible verse was used in
a horrible fashion for at least two hundred years in
There were two Bible passages that the
pastor showed me to prove that he was right about his segregationist ideas.
By the way, these Bible passages were used for two hundred years in
I did not have to think about what
this pastor was trying to tell me. I knew he was wrong, and told him so even
though I could not give my ideas from the standpoint of Biblical references
because I did not know the Bible well enough at that time. I attended that
church for six months, then joined the Navy and never moved back to
I did not compromise my gut feelings with that pastor back when I was a very young man and he tried to indoctrinate me with segregationist ideas. I let him know very clearly how opposed I was to what he was saying. Now I have a much better understanding of the Bible, and I am able to easily show that the Bible is totally against everything he was saying. This pastor loved Amos 3:3, Can two walk together, except they be agreed? The pastor said that this verse means that the two races cannot be united and must stay separate from one another. Of course, we have already seen that in the context, this verse has nothing to do with race and is clearly about the fact that a human being cannot walk with God unless that person agrees with the Lord about that persons sin problem and gets right with God, in other words comes into agreement with God about the sin problem that person has.
Why did so many people in the
It is easy to demonstrate, of course,
that the racists were wrong on the meaning of the passage in Genesis chapter
nine. When we read through Genesis chapter ten we see that the people of Africa
did not come through
The Bible does not in any way encourage or support racism of any kind. As a matter of fact the major themes of the Bible make it the greatest book on equality that has ever been written. If people want to look at the book of Genesis to see from where various races can trace their descendents, then they need to simply go back to the beginning of the book of Genesis and they will see that every person of every race has the exact same lineage according to the Bible. We are all equally descended from Adam and Eve. As a matter of fact the Bible emphasizes our common ancestry from Adam, and the common problem that it gives us all: we are all sinners. It says in First Corinthians 15:22, For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. God loves us all equally. When it says in John 3:16, For God so loved the world it is obvious that God loves every person equally no matter what is their race. Notice how this great equality is expressed in Romans 3:22-23, Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Notice the use of the word all in these verses. Phrases like this are found all through the New Testament describing the common spiritual need of all human beings and the common solution. Everyone gets saved the same way: by believing in Jesus. Notice the phrase, there is no difference in Romans 3:23. It means there is no difference between people. All are the same. We all get saved the same way too. It says in Romans 10:13, For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. And then after we are saved, we are all equally brothers and sisters in Christ: members if one great family. Notice how believers are described in Colossians 3:10-11, And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. Christians are spoken of repeatedly in the Bible as brothers, members of one family, having the same Father. This teaches equality in its ultimate possibility. The Bible does not teach or support racism or segregation of any kind. The opposite is true. Jesus said in Matthew 22:39, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Jesus said in John 13:35, By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. It says in Romans 13:8, Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. The concepts of segregation do not promote love. They promote hard feelings, misunderstanding, division, and ill-will. You should never evaluate anyone based upon their race, but only based upon their character or actions. That is what God does, and He offers His great love through Christ to all.
Copyright; 2014 by Charles
F. (Rick) Creech
All Rights Reserved