Summary: Although the surrounding nations do not worship God or claim Him as any authority over them, He still sends a messenger to inform them that they will be held accountable to Him as their judge.
Dakota Community Church
March 21, 2010
There is often a vast difference between what we want to hear and what we need to hear; this is why it is important to preach the Bible exegetically rather than continually focusing of topics that we “feel” are relevant.
The entire Bible reveals Gods will to us and we need all of it, not just an endless smorgasbord of our own favorites. Amos touches on topics that most of us do not want to think about never mind being preached to about.
Amos ministered during a time in which the dominant empires of the day (Egypt, Babylon, and especially Assyria) were relatively weak. Israel and Judah were enjoying a period of prosperity and imperial expansion and Amos decried the wealth and arrogance of the time symbolized by what he called: “Houses adorned with ivory”
Note that we have a shepherd called by God to warn of a roaring lion and dried up pastures!
Judgments on the nations
Read: - Amos 1:3-2:16
Notice first of all that although these surrounding nations do worship God or claim Him as any authority over them, He still sends a messenger to inform them that they will be held accountable to Him as their judge.
Refusing to acknowledge God as God does not negate responsibility to Him!
14 This is what the LORD says: "As for all my wicked neighbors who seize the inheritance I gave my people Israel, I will uproot them from their lands and I will uproot the house of Judah from among them. 15 But after I uproot them, I will again have compassion and will bring each of them back to his own inheritance and his own country. 16 And if they learn well the ways of my people and swear by my name, saying, ’As surely as the LORD lives’-even as they once taught my people to swear by Baal—then they will be established among my people. 17 But if any nation does not listen, I will completely uproot and destroy it," declares the LORD.
i. Aram and its capitol Damascus – for war atrocities
“She threshed Gilead with sledges having iron teeth”
One of the ways grain was threshed was to pile it up and have an ox pull a heavy wooden sledge around over it, crushing it. Damascus has treated Gilead in this fashion only with brutality.
As punishment Amos says Damascus will be defeated and its people sent into exile in Kir.
This was fulfilled 50 years later.
The king of Assyria complied by attacking Damascus and capturing it. He deported its inhabitants to Kir and put Rezin to death.
ii. Philistia and its major cities Gaza, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Ekron – slave raids on defenseless villages
iii. Tyre – slave trafficking
Two kinds of slave trafficking are occurring here, raiding and carrying off whole communities, and selling fleeing groups of refugees who are looking for help.
iv. Edom Israel’s brother through Esau – for years of hostility toward Israel
14 Moses sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom, saying:
"This is what your brother Israel says: You know about all the hardships that have come upon us. 15 Our forefathers went down into Egypt, and we lived there many years. The Egyptians mistreated us and our fathers, 16 but when we cried out to the LORD, he heard our cry and sent an angel and brought us out of Egypt.
"Now we are here at Kadesh, a town on the edge of your territory. 17 Please let us pass through your country. We will not go through any field or vineyard, or drink water from any well. We will travel along the king’s highway and not turn to the right or to the left until we have passed through your territory."
18 But Edom answered:
"You may not pass through here; if you try, we will march out and attack you with the sword."
19 The Israelites replied:
"We will go along the main road, and if we or our livestock drink any of your water, we will pay for it. We only want to pass through on foot—nothing else."
20 Again they answered:
"You may not pass through."
Then Edom came out against them with a large and powerful army. 21 Since Edom refused to let them go through their territory, Israel turned away from them.
Anytime Israel or Judah were attacked the Edomites would take the opportunity to fall in behind and kill the half dead for plunder – they refused to show mercy
v. Ammon and its capitol Rabbah – for brutal genocide bred by territorial greed
The Ammonites were so brutal in their greed that they killed the children, even ripping open pregnant women, in order that there would be no one to inherit the land.