Amos 7:2
And when the locusts had eaten every green plant in the land, I said, "Lord GOD, please forgive! How will Jacob survive, since he is so small?"
Sermons
Help for JacobJ. Cross, D. D.Amos 7:2
How to have a RevivalHomiletic MonthlyAmos 7:2
Intercessory PrayerJ.R. Thomson Amos 7:2
Jacob CrippledE. D. Green.Amos 7:2
The Duty of Christians Towards the JewsDavid Roberts, D. D.Amos 7:2
The True Helper of the ChurchE. D. Griffin, D. D.Amos 7:2
Intercession for Pardon PrevailingA. Shanks.Amos 7:1-6
Revelation and PrayerHomilistAmos 7:1-6
Revelation and PrayerD. Thomas Amos 7:1-6
In the language which the prophet employed in his appeal to God, he copied that of the great leader and lawgiver of his nation; and he was probably encouraged by remembering that Moses had not pleaded for Israel in vain.

I. THE PROMPTING TO INTERCESSORY PRAYER. Why should one man plead with God on another's behalf? It is evident that there is in human nature not only a principle of self-love, but also a principle of sympathy and benevolence. Amos interceded for the nation from which he sprang, in which he was interested, and which was endeared to him by sacred associations. He was well aware of his countrymen's offences, and of God's just displeasure with them. He knew and had foretold that retribution should befall them. Yet he entreated mercy - a withholding of judgment, a little respite at the least. He identified himself with the sinful, and sought forbearance.

II. THE GROUND OF CONFIDENCE IN INTERCESSORY PRAYER. Amos could not ask for the withholding of punishment on the ground that punishment was undeserved; for he confessed that the people's sin had merited chastening. His reliance was not upon justice, but upon mercy. It was forgiveness he besought; and forgiveness presumes disobedience on the part of the subject and offence taken on the part of the ruler. In pleading for our fellow men, as in pleading for ourselves, we have to rely upon the pity and loving kindness of our God.

III. THE PLEA BY WHICH INTERCESSORY PRAYER IS URGED. "Who is Jacob?" is the language of the prophet. "Who is Jacob, that he should stand, that he should endure, if such a visitation befall him? He is feeble and impoverished." Thus, whilst the main reliance of him who intercedes must ever be upon the character and promises of the Eternal, he will naturally bring before God - as well known to the Omniscient - the weakness and helplessness of those whose interest he would promote. God is not as man. Men sometimes are found willing to favour the great, though they are indifferent to the woes of the obscure; whilst with God need, poverty, and helplessness are a commendation to compassion and assistance.

IV. THE SUCCESSFUL ISSUE OF INTERCESSORY PRAYER. The entreaty of the prophet was not in vain. The calamity - whether we understand it literally, as a plague of locusts, or figuratively, as the invasion by Pul - was averted and withdrawn. This is but one of many instances in Old and New Testament Scripture in which God represents himself as willing to listen to the pleading of the pious on behalf of their sinful fellow men. It is one office of the Church of Christ to plead perpetually for mankind, uttering the plaintive and effectual intercession, "Spare them, good Lord!" - T.







By whom shall Jacob arise?
: —These words were used as a plea for Israel before God, and proved successful.

1. Jacob is fallen. And great was his fall. He stood higher than any other on the face of the earth. He was nearer to God than any other people were. Jacob, among the nations of the earth, was to God what Joseph was to his father among his brethren: the chiefest blessings invariably fell to his lot. "To whom pertaineth the adoption." The Jews as a nation were adopted by God into His family. And a dear son was Ephraim to God for a long-period. Alas, that we are now compelled to say of this once exalted people, Thou art fallen"! Many a downfall did Jacob experience " because of his iniquity." He descended into the land of Egypt. God raised him thence "with a stretched-out arm and great judgments." He again fell into Babylon, and once more did God graciously lift him out, and place him upon his feet; but of all his falls, this, the last, is the deepest and the heaviest. Hitherto he had but fallen backwards, as it were. This time he fell prostrate on his face. In all his former falls he had contrived to keep his hold of many promises, blessings, privileges. On this occasion he lost his grasp of all, — he is "without a king, and without a prince, and without an ephod, and without teraphim." He descended lower than did any nation, so that all look down now upon the Jew.

2. Jacob is unable to arise. Every movement he makes sinks him lower in the mire. Does he renounce the Talmud? It is but to embrace infidelity. No one has fallen among such cruel thieves as Jacob, and it is hard to pass by him continually, as the priest and Levite are said to have done. Extend a helping hand to Jacob.

3. Jacob is worth raising. True, Jacob has received a great fall, but the pit into which he descended is not bottomless. The grace of God is deeper than the fall of the Jew. The Christian Church has long acted towards the Jew as if it thought he was not fit to be raised. Our hearts appear to have been more tender to all than to the poor Jew. But Jacob is not so foul as that the blood of the Cross cannot cleanse him.

4. Jacob is to be raised. What a multitude of things there are that are worth raising, but of whose restitution we have no certainty. It may be questionable whether Jacob will again be restored to his own country, but there is not the shadow of a doubt as to his being raised into the Divine favour. It is by the instrumentality of the Gentiles that Jacob's restoration is to be accomplished. One great reason for extending the Gospel to us was that we might reach it to others, and "to the Jew first."

5. There is a large reward for raising Jacob. Once the Jews are brought to believe, the lever that is to move the whole world will have been obtained. The Jew is a wanderer in every land; he is found under the burning sun of Hindoostan, and among the eternal snows of Siberia; he can speak every tongue, so that, without any educational preparation, he is ready to preach the Gospel of Christ unto all the nations of the earth.

(David Roberts, D. D.)

The chosen people are in trouble and distress. They have forsaken the living God, and He is punishing their apostasy. But the prophet of the Lord, and the few faithful among his brethren deeply deplore the national sin, and earnestly invoke the Divine mercy. They will not rest, they cannot hold their peace till God pardon the iniquity of His people, and restore to them the tokens of His loving-kindness. At such a time how natural and significant the language of Amos. Often in the Church of Christ are there not seasons of declension, lukewarmness, discouragement, inefficiency, fightings without, and fears within, bitter partisanship, and uncharitable controversy, when all hands are feeble, and all hearts arc faint? And thus afflicted, what need we so much to know as our spiritual poverty and feebleness, and what so much to learn as the sufficiency of our Divine resources?

I. JACOB IS SMALL.

1. In numbers.

2. In substance.

3. In influence.

4. In religious knowledge.

5. In fruitfulness and efficiency.

II. BY WHOM SHALL JACOB ARISE? His helplessness conceded, who shall help him? Shall the civil ruler? Or the wealthy patron? Or by the popular orator? Or by the speculative theorist? Or by the partisan controversial st? Or by the sensational enthusiast? Nay, Jehovah-Jesus is our strength and salvation. The cause is His, and with Him is the residue of the Spirit. Year not for the future of the Church. God shall help her, and that right early. To the full extent of her necessity His plenipotence is hers.

(J. Cross, D. D.)

This was an appeal to the heart of God at a time when the judgments of heaven were bringing the chosen people to ruin. This is a question which might well have been asked in every age which the Church has yet seen. Her numbers have always been small in comparison with the ranks of the wicked. The Church, to this day, is but a drop in the ocean. And she is weak as well as small. When we look abroad over the world we behold a race of men dead in trespasses and sins, given over to the dominion of the selfish passions, chained down in ignominious servitude to the world; whom no motives can conquer, no means reclaim. To form such beings into materials for building up the Church, they must be made to undergo a thorough and wonderful transformation. Who shall accomplish this mighty change? The transformation must not only be begun, it must be continued and perfected. After men are set out on the heavenly course, they still have to contend with their original corruptions, and with a world full of objects fitted to inflame them. All these corruptions and temptations stand in the way of the growth of the Church. And the Church as a body has to contend with a world in arms. Every natural man is a foe. The whole bent of the natural heart in every age and country, in every family and individual, is against it. Leave man to himself for a single generation, and with all the means of civilisation and grace, the Church would become extinct. Our strength is wholly incompetent to preserve the Church a single hour, to add one to the number of her sons, to produce a single impression on a single heart. If no other helper is found we must sit down in tears, and give up all for lost. The Church is God's interest. This interest God has not committed to men; it is His own, His only portion. He has taken it into His own hands. The great end which He purposes to Himself in all His works is to bring out to view the riches of His nature, that creatures may see and acknowledge Him as He is, and for ever enjoy Him. It is the natural course of unbelief to put Him out of view. God is resolved to be acknowledged as the sole author and finisher of the whole. For this reason He studiously constructs the dispensations of His grace in a way to convince His people that it is " not by might nor by power, but by "His Spirit that the Church is enlarged. Then our hope is only in God. Let all other dependencies be given up; the Church must rise by God alone. This is our consolation in the darkest times.

(E. D. Griffin, D. D.)

Homiletic Monthly.
1. The first step is humiliation.

2. The second step is reformation.

3. The third step lies in the direction of religious duty. The path of duty must be again frequented. The cross must once more be carried. Duty must become, what it once was, the paramount consideration.

4. The spirit of prayer must be sought and exercised till the blessing comes.

(Homiletic Monthly.)

I. A SAD CONFESSION. "Jacob is small." If none but those who have been redeemed from a low life of flesh-love to a higher one of holiness may be classed under this term to-day, then is Jacob small.

1. Numerically.

2. In worldly esteem.

3. In material resources.

4. In political power.And alas! Jacob is small spiritually, in personal power. Faith, hope, and charity are small, so is our self-denial. All this diminutiveness comes as the result of being prostrate, down, low. For Jacob to be prostrate is a great reproach indeed. Jacob is, in too many cases, a self-made cripple.

(1)Unbelief has crippled him.

(2)So has sectarianism.

(3)So has inactivity.

(4)So has a stinting selfishness.

(5)So have internal bickerings.

(6)So has a dreary spirit of timidity.

(7)And ceremonialism stunts Jacob.

(8)Restrictionalism has almost strangled Jacob.

II. AN ANXIOUS INQUIRY. "By whom," etc. That he ought to arise is generally admitted.

1. Not by monarch's smile.

2. Not by decrees of State.

3. Not by the addition of a few more men of means.

4. Not by a larger supply of education and literature.

5. Not by increasing the number of our sanctuaries.What is needed is heaven's force and life. "By My Spirit." The Holy Ghost is Jacob's blessed Strength, Guardian, and Helper.(1) By convincing men of their own personal sin, and showing the Church's real worth, the Spirit prepares the way for Jacob's growth.(2) By the Divine Spirit regenerating men, and adding them to the Church. The healthier torte a Church has, the stronger will her offspring be.(3) By the richer adornment of Christian men with the sweet graces of a higher life, so that their rare moral beauty may arrest, and even charm the "enemy without the gate." How can we aid this lifting? This dignity is not the privilege of officers only. Every member of the rank and file counts for one. Manifold are the ways in which this end may be reached. Make commercial life brighter and sounder, and home life sweeter. Let life be readier spent and lost in others' need. Let the sense of stewardship for God be more than a sentiment.

(E. D. Green.)

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