2062.) Amos 2

It is our only hope — that the Lord will bring us to face our sins so that we can confess them by name and ask for the forgiveness which we so desperately need and which Christ is so willing to give!

Amos 2 (NIV)

 1 This is what the LORD says:

“For three sins of Moab,
even for four, I will not relent.
Because he burned to ashes
the bones of Edom’s king,
2 I will send fire on Moab
that will consume the fortresses of Kerioth.
Moab will go down in great tumult
amid war cries and the blast of the trumpet.
3 I will destroy her ruler
and kill all her officials with him,”
says the LORD.

Moab was a southern neighbor to Judah, and the last of the six judgments Amos pronounces against the Gentile nations in this section. God promises judgment against Moab because of their cruelty to Edom and her king.

4 This is what the LORD says:

“For three sins of Judah,
even for four, I will not relent.

Then Amos speaks against the southern Kingdom of Judah from which Israel had separated. The people of the northern Kingdom would have had no grumbles about this, because Judah had also been an enemy against them at times.

–Word of Life

Because they have rejected the law of the LORD
and have not kept his decrees,
because they have been led astray by false gods,
the gods their ancestors followed,
5 I will send fire on Judah
that will consume the fortresses of Jerusalem.”

The people of Judah were given the wonderful gift of God’s word, the Law, the Commandments. When they turned away from the truth of God’s word, it is no surprise that they then embraced the lies of false gods. We do not have to look far to see the same exchange in our own world (our own lives?) today. Lord, sanctify me in your word, your truth.

Judgment on Israel

6This is what the LORD says:
 
“For three sins of Israel,
even for four, I will not relent.

It is only after all this, and after Amos had grabbed the attention of the people of the northern Kingdom, that he turned to pronouncing God’s judgement against Israel.

We may observe two things in this scenario. The first is how ready people are to see the sins in others, and approve the judgement of such sins, and fail to notice their own sins. To notice sin in others and see that sin punished makes us feel approval, but it is at the expense of being honest before God regarding our own sins.

The second is the wisdom of this approach in bringing Israel’s attention to God’s complaint against them. If Amos had simply gone to Israel and denounced their sin, Israel would have shut their ears and their minds before he even began to speak. By denouncing God’s judgement on the sins of Israel’s enemies first, Amos gained the close attention and approval of Israel to his words, and so gained attention to the words of God to Israel themselves. This shows that it is not wrong to seek to be wise in our approach to witness. We must gain people’s attention, for if we do not then our witness is vain.

–Word of Life

They sell the innocent for silver,
and the needy for a pair of sandals.
7 They trample on the heads of the poor
as on the dust of the ground
and deny justice to the oppressed.
Father and son use the same girl
and so profane my holy name.
8 They lie down beside every altar
on garments taken in pledge.
In the house of their god
they drink wine taken as fines.

For Israel, the whole picture is almost overwhelming. Amos pictures a man committing sexual immorality with a temple prostitute — the same girl his son visited the day before — keeping warm with a garment extorted from the poor, toasting his success with wine bought with money dishonestly gained.

–David Guzik

9 “Yet I destroyed the Amorites before them,
though they were tall as the cedars
and strong as the oaks.
I destroyed their fruit above
and their roots below.
10 I brought you up out of Egypt
and led you forty years in the wilderness
to give you the land of the Amorites.

11 “I also raised up prophets from among your children
and Nazirites from among your youths.
Is this not true, people of Israel?”
declares the LORD.
12 “But you made the Nazirites drink wine
and commanded the prophets not to prophesy.

The vow of a Nazirite was a special vow of dedication unto the Lord, described in Numbers 6 and used to express a special desire to draw close to God and to separate from the comforts and pleasures of this world. Under the Nazirite vow a man would eat or drink nothing from the grape vine, would not cut his hair, and would not go near any dead carcass. Here the Lord condemns Israel because they did not receive this honor with gratitude and humility, but instead rejected and despised the Lord.

13 “Now then, I will crush you
as a cart crushes when loaded with grain.
14 The swift will not escape,
the strong will not muster their strength,
and the warrior will not save his life.
15 The archer will not stand his ground,
the fleet-footed soldier will not get away,
and the horseman will not save his life.
16 Even the bravest warriors
will flee naked on that day,”
declares the LORD.

Any time justice is perverted: any time the rich receive preferential treatment, or the poor are oppressed; any time people cheat and manipulate and make money off of others in questionable ways, even if it is legal; any time people unfairly profit at the expense of the unfortunate — God sees from heaven and he promises to set it right.

_________________________

Music:

How easy to read these judgments and think they are meant for others, and forget to see my own sin —  selfishness and unkindness and arrogance and carelessness and on and on. That is why this song from the Oslo Gospel Choir is one of my favorites, because it reminds me of my constant need of the Lord’s grace!  I am “Never gonna lose my way” because “I trust in You.”  HERE.

I was doing fine so long,
thinking I was too strong,
and nothing in this world could shake me.

Everything was black or white,
either wrong or right,
condemning was so very easy.
But I’ve learned my lesson,
I see my my misery
and it’s my confession,
I’m pulling though,  it’s all because of grace I see

I am never gonna lose my way,
step by step You lead me day by day,
and I’m confident that You will always see me through,
my feet on solid ground, I trust in You!

When I used to feel so good,
doing what I should,
convinced that I knew all the answers.

Yes, I simply couldn’t see
it was all a mystery,
how people could be weak and faulty.

But I’m getting wiser,
yes, I see my misery,
and it’s so much nicer,
I’m pulling through,
it’s all because the grace I see.

I am never gonna lose my way,
step by step You lead me day by day,
and I’m glad to know that You will always see me through,
my feet on solid ground, I trust in You!

I am never gonna lose my way,
step by step You lead me day by day,
and I’m confident that You will always see me through,
my feet on solid ground, I trust in You!

I trust in You!

_________________________

New International Version (NIV)   Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica

Images courtesy of:
Be sure your sins . . .   http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5014/5508892182_a3f0e4497f_z.jpg
John 17:17.  http://wallpaper4god.com/en/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/john-1717_1995_1280x1024.jpg
sin.    http://deepenyourfaith.in/amdg/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/sin-672×372.png?52a695
Vengeance is mine.   http://i.quoteaddicts.com/media/quotes/84/4155320-vengeance-is-mine-i-will-repay-says-the-lord.jpg
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