Thus saith the Lord: for three transgressions of Judah, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have despised the law of the Lord, and have not kept his commandments, and their lies caused them to err, after the which their fathers have walked: But I will send a fire upon Judah, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem. Now Judah’s sins were against the Mosaic covenant, They had rejected the law of the Lord. They had not observed the decrees, of stipulations, of his unique agreement with them. Instead of holding to his objective truth, they let themselves be led astray by the same false gods which had deceived many of their ancesiors. The word for false gods is a lie or something deceptive.” The idols were deceptive for they were unable to help the people. In Deuteronomy God constantly warned the Israelites not to follow false gods in Deuteronomy. The punishment for this faithlessness would be the destruction of the nation, fulfilled in 586 B.C. When Nebuchadnezzar, after a lengthy siege, broke through Jerusalem’s defenses, slaughtered the royal family, burned the temple, the palace, and all houses in the city, and deported almost the entire population to Babylon in 2 Kings. Having shown that the Lord is sovereign over the universe and holds all nations accountable for their rebellion against him, Amos now addressed the Northern tribes of Israel. His message was that God would also judge them, because they had broken his covenant, despite his gracious acts on their behalf. The first charge against the Israelites is that they callously sold into slavery the poor who could not pay their debts. Honest people the righteous who could be trusted to repay eventually were sold for the silver they owed. Amos second accusation against Israel was that legal procedures were being perverted to exploit the poor. Contrary to the covenant commands, the court had gone into collusion with the creditors and were denying justice to the oppressed. This oppression was so terrible and painful it was like trampling on their heads. The third crime is that father and son were having sexual intercourse with the same girl, either a temple prostitute or a servant taken as a concubine. Fourth, God’s law placed restrictions on items which could be taken as collateral millstones were not to be taken since they were needed for grinding grain and thus were essential in sustaining life. A widow a garment could not be taken in pledge at all. Fifth Israel had rebelled against the most basic covenant stipulation of all they were worshiping other gods as Judah was doing the wine they had unjustly extracted from the poor as fines was being raised in honor in a heathen god. Now Israel and Judah would be judge for their disobedience to God and his law.
To God Be The Glory
Minister David A. Benjamin