Summary: The need for forgiveness and reconciliation among believers.
A Family Divided
CALVIN CHRISTIAN REFORMED CHURCH
A Family Divided p.1
Our story tonight begins in a tent somewhere in Palestine, according to historians in or about 2006BC.
A woman is in the last painful moments of labour. She gives birth to twins, to the ones we know as Esau and
will be separated...
The relationship between those two sons of Rebekah was less than placid, as the subsequent chapters of
scripture reveal. There is deception, the threat of murder, tense encounter, more deception.
The two boys grow, each the ancestor of a nation. Esau, also known as Edom because of his red
complexion, fathered the Edomites; Jacob, the Israelites. These two clans became neighboring nations, Israel to
the north, Edom to the south. They even speak different dialects of the same language.
The Israelites and Edomites - blood kin. In fact, a number of times throughout the Old Testament they
are mentioned as such (Num 20.14; Deut 2.4; 23.7; Obad 10, 12). But, like their patriarchs, the history of their
relationship is less than cordial. It is filled with constant struggle, plotting and treachery. During the time of the
kings it was particularly difficult. Whenever a major power would come against Israel, Edom would lurk as a
vulture in the background, trying to pick off some remnant spoils, taking advantage of his brother to the north.
It is this stormy relationship that now becomes the focus of the prophecy of Amos, as he thunders forth
the Word of the Lord.
After the introductory words, which we saw last day, Amos begins rendering his prophetic judgements.
He does not immediately confront Israel with her sins, however. First he speaks to the surrounding nations - the
Syrians, the Philistines, and the Phoenicians. Each has been engaged in some sort of attrocity that is a stench
in the nostrels of God.
The Syrians had been very cruel, torturing the Hebrews in the area east of Galilee. Brutality - v.3.
The Philistines had sent whole communities into captivity, as had the Phoenicians, even in spite of a
treaty made with the Israelites - v.6
These neighbors of Israel had treated life with contempt, degrading and destroying it. Now they would
face the judgement of God for those crimes.
Amos then turns his attention closer to home. No longer is it just neighbors. Now the kinfolk of Israel
come under scrutiny. The lion continues to roar, but the roaring is coming uncomfortably close.
Judgement roars for Edom - the cousin of Israel.
And for what does the Lord condemn Edom? Have a look at verse 11-12.
Is it for the fact that she was part of the Phoenician slave-trading (see v.9), a vile offense that would be the
downfall of Tyre?
Well, yes that was a travesty, but NO it is NOT the worst of it all.
In fact, there is no particular event in which Edom was occured which incurred the tremendous wrath of God.
Rather it was an ongoing attitude, a constant lifestyle.