Summary: Some principles of God’s judgment that people ought to know.
The Book of Amos
WHY A NATION OUGHT TO FEAR THE JUDGMENT OF GOD
The phrase, “for three transgressions…and for four,” is a Hebrew numeric parallelism. The numbers are poetic figures, not specific amounts of a country’s sins; but it signifies that their sins were innumerable. However, it is worth noting that God does point out seven specific sins for the nation of Israel. (2:6-8) Seven is a number that represents perfection or completion. Perhaps God is saying that these nations had reached the limit of what He would “put up with” (3 + 4 = 7) and now it was time for Him to bring judgment. There is also a seven-fold judgment pronounced in 2:14-16.
“Transgression”--willful deviation from the path of righteousness; a premeditated crossing of the line of God’s law; a rebellious act of rejecting God’s authority
Notice the carefully planned progression of the message of judgment. Amos delivers the message beginning with enemy nations that have no family ties to Israel. Then, he begins to work his way in to the nation of Israel itself. While they may be saying, “Amen” or “Sic-em” at first; they soon have to deal with the personal judgment that the Lord has said is coming their way also. It is now either, “Oh me!” or “Get out of here, Amos!”
1. God has a proven history of judging sinful nations. Israel knew this. We ought to remember it.
2. God knows the sins of a nation. (5:12; 8:7; 9:8) [even a churchRev. 3:8]
3. God is bound by His Word to judge sin. Since He operates by His Word, He must judge sin.
See Rom. 2:1-6
4. God is totally impartial in His judgment. His judgment comes to both Jew and Gentile nations alike.
5. What God promises, He performs. He does not make idle threats.
6. Therefore, unless repentance takes place, judgment is sure to follow.
See 5:4, 14-15; 2 Chron. 7:14
7. When God brings down judgment, He does it with a holy and awesome vengeance. Who shall be able to stand in that day? See 2:13-16
• He will roar from Zion (1:2)
• He will utter His voice (1:2)
• He will cause shepherds to mourn (1:2) See Jer. 25:30
• He will cause the top of Mt. Carmel to wither(dry up) (1:2)
• He has roared like a lion (3:8)
• “I will send a fire” 7x
God fulfilled His promise to Israel. A capsule of this is found in 2 Kings 17:7-23.
Remember Hebrews 10:31
“It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”