(Part 3 of 21)
Amos 1:6-8… God roars against Gaza (Philistines)… “For three transgressions of Gaza, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they carried away captive the whole captivity, and delivered them up to Edom” (KJV). These people sold the captives into more bondage. During Amos’ time, the Philistines occupied four cities–Gaza, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Ekron. These names stand for overpowering strength that spoils with gross crimes the uprooting of people. Gaza deported the entire population and gave them to Israel’s enemies (2 Chronicles 21:8-17). Edom was known for being God-rejecters. They had a Satanic hatred for Israel. Their sin crossed God’s line and God could not withhold judgment any longer. We also, in our hearts, deport people away from us… push them away so to speak, because we do not like them. Today, there is a spirit of hatred towards Christians in nations. Remember the word “deophobia,” “the unreasonable hostility of people towards God and towards Christians.”
Vv. 9-10… God roars against Tyrus… “because they delivered up the whole captivity to Edom, and remembered not the brotherly covenant” (KJV). Breaking covenants is a sin. Tyrus broke a covenant between brethren (Joel 3:4-7; they sold the population to Greece). In 2 Samuel 5:11 and 1 Kings 5:7-18, Hiram the king of Tyre made a covenant with David concerning the building of the temple. Later, they turned against both Israel and Judah to make money by the selling of the slaves. There is a lesson here… wealth obtained by covenant-breaking practices brings God’s judgment. Nations have broken covenants that they made with other nations. Many employees sell secrets of the businesses they work for to competitors for money. Even in Christian circles, covenants are being broken. The Lord will roar from Zion…
Vv. 11… God roars against Edom… “because he did pursue his brother with the sword, and did cast off all pity, and his anger did tear perpetually, and he kept his wrath for ever” (KJV). Edom is Esau’s descendants. Unforgiveness is a sin. Remember the Jacob-Esau controversy. Esau never stifled his anger against Jacob. (Ezekiel 35:1-5 tells the story; Edom had a perpetual and ancient hatred for Israel.) Edom had a reputation for hatred, cruelty, and resentment. Esau could not get victory over this sin (Numbers 20:14-21, 2 Samuel 8:14, 2 Kings 8:20). Judgment will always come when there is anger, unforgiveness, and resentment between brethren. It will show up in the physical body. There comes a time when this sin has reached its full course and God begins to roar: the judgment begins. Over the years, many Christian have held deep resentments in their hearts against other Christians. Their differences have never been resolved, and their relationships are strained. God will roar from Zion…
Vv. 13-15… God roars against Ammon… because they ripped open the women who were with child. Ammon was a descendent of Lot (Genesis 19:29-38). Ammon was judged because he wanted to leave Israel without an heir so that he could enlarge his borders (Judges 11:12-28 tells the story of Ammon’s sin). Some enlargements do not have the blessing of God. Today many churches boast of enlargement because they have gained new members that have come from other churches. Enlargement needs to come from the birthing of new converts. God is not going to buy any of these arguments to justify wrongdoings which result in enlargement at the expense of others. Many nations have ripped open the economy of other nations just to enlarge themselves. There comes a time when this sin has reached full measure and God begins to roar.
Amos 2:1-3… God roars against Moab… “because he burned the bones of the king of Edom into lime” (KJV). Moab was a descendent of Lot (Genesis 19:29-38). Moab became indignant with a friend who had befriended an enemy (2 Kings 3:7-27). The king of Moab sacrificed his own heir to his false god. This act sickened everyone who saw it and the battle was abandoned. Here, God judged the holding of grudges. They crossed the line when they were not satisfied with an enemy’s death; they wanted to inflict further hatred by burning the bones. We sometimes manifest this same spirit when we see someone in a trial and we say, “Serves them right.”
God’s roar against the six heathen nations had ended and now God began to roar against both Judah and Israel. Amos now begins to tell Judah and Israel that they too had crossed the line and now must face God’s judgment.
(To be continued…)
Pastor George Belobaba
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