Amos 2

Amos 2

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Thus says the LORD:

  “For three transgressions of Moab,
    and for four, I will not revoke the punishment,
  because he burned to lime
    the bones of the king of Edom.
  So I will send a fire upon Moab,
    and it shall devour the strongholds of Kerioth,
  and Moab shall die amid uproar,
    amid shouting and the sound of the trumpet;
  I will cut off the ruler from its midst,
    and will kill all its princes with him,”
      says the LORD.

Judgment on Judah

Thus says the LORD:

  “For three transgressions of Judah,
    and for four, I will not revoke the punishment,
  because they have rejected the law of the LORD,
    and have not kept his statutes,
  but their lies have led them astray,
    those after which their fathers walked.
  So I will send a fire upon Judah,
    and it shall devour the strongholds of Jerusalem.”

Judgment on Israel

Thus says the LORD:

  “For three transgressions of Israel,
    and for four, I will not revoke the punishment,
  because they sell the righteous for silver,
    and the needy for a pair of sandals—
  those who trample the head of the poor into the dust of the earth
    and turn aside the way of the afflicted;
  a man and his father go in to the same girl,
    so that my holy name is profaned;
  they lay themselves down beside every altar
    on garments taken in pledge,
  and in the house of their God they drink
    the wine of those who have been fined.
  “Yet it was I who destroyed the Amorite before them,
    whose height was like the height of the cedars
    and who was as strong as the oaks;
  I destroyed his fruit above
    and his roots beneath.
  Also it was I who brought you up out of the land of Egypt
    and led you forty years in the wilderness,
    to possess the land of the Amorite.
  And I raised up some of your sons for prophets,
    and some of your young men for Nazirites.
    Is it not indeed so, O people of Israel?”
      declares the LORD.
  “But you made the Nazirites drink wine,
    and commanded the prophets,
    saying, ‘You shall not prophesy.’
  “Behold, I will press you down in your place,
    as a cart full of sheaves presses down.
  Flight shall perish from the swift,
    and the strong shall not retain his strength,
    nor shall the mighty save his life;
  he who handles the bow shall not stand,
    and he who is swift of foot shall not save himself,
    nor shall he who rides the horse save his life;
  and he who is stout of heart among the mighty
    shall flee away naked in that day,”
      declares the LORD.

(ESV)


Amos 2 Commentary

by Hank Workman

Chapters 1 and 2 proclaim God’s judgment proclaimed against the enemies of Israel. As the hearers of these prophecies, the people probably rejoiced that God was going to deal with these nations. Then the table turned. He would not excuse their own sin even though their neighbors were worse in their eyes.

These words of prophecy came during a time when Israel was at peace and economic prosperity. They had become complacent and incredibly selfish. There were 2 classes of people – the rich and the poor. The rich became richer, ignoring God’s laws of taking care of those in need and the poor sunk further into their poverty without any hope of crawling out. But this wasn’t just about overlooking their duties – it was about their self-centeredness and indifference toward everything concerning God.

He came out swinging. They were called out for their selling the poor as slaves, exploiting the poor on every level, their sexual sin, taking illegal collateral for loans and worshiping false gods. All of which had been spoken against within the Law. The irony was they were still practicing their religious rituals. Amos reminds the people God is weighed down by all their selfish behavior and lack of respect for Him who had so faithfully delivered over and over in the past.

“Behold, I am weighted down beneath you as a wagon is weighted down when filled with sheaves.” -Amos 2:13

It’s really an interesting concept to consider God being weighed down by our sins, isn’t it?

Let’s look at it this way. I have people in my life who are incredibly selfish. We all do, but bear with me. Selfish people are draining on every level. Every conversation they hold revolves around them. Their perspective is about what it is going on in their lives. They’re out for whatever benefits them. Usually the same dialogue, different day is what takes place. They never genuinely seek conversation about myself; never take an interest in just the personal side of things. Many times even their words are laced with manipulation as they’re trying to bring things back to what benefits them. To say they are draining is an understatement. I usually leave such times scratching my head wondering what in the world I am doing with them still in my life.

You have these people in your circles of relationships too, right? So you can identify with some of these aspects and probably add a few more to the roster.

Now consider how we feel when dealing with such selfishness, then consider with the population of the world, the absolutely hedonistic mentality at large, how God feels.

Selfishness kills relationships. It absolutely stunts growth spiritually and leads us toward not following God’s authority. When it becomes all about us, there’s no room for anyone or God even in our lives.

Think back to the Israelites of the time of this message. They were checking the boxes on some levels, they were doing their religious rituals but their hearts were so darkened by themselves and their selfish gain, they failed to recognize how far off from God they were. In their complacency they were grossly sinning against the very things God had commanded but because they were so wrapped up in themselves, their conscious was glazed over, their hearts hard.

Is everything going on in your life currently all about you? Are the prayers you hold only about what’s benefiting you? What of the relationships you hold? Is everything you speak of, everything you decide based upon how it affects you? Have you become so obsessed over some event or situation this is all you breathe, all you think about and determines every single action you take? This not only is affecting your earthly relationships, it is affecting the one that truly matters – with your Creator.


Amos 2 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

Amos 1 and 2 are really meant to be read and analyzed together as they are a review of the judgements from God. In Amos 2, however, we see God turn his attention away from Israel’s enemies to their own sinful acts. According to God, Judah was rejecting God’s law, disobeying God’s commandments, and following false gods. Amos was a shepherd from Judah but was sent to be a prophet for Israel, to which the offenses were far more severe.

Israel was guilty of horrific crimes including trampling the poor, denying justice to the oppressed, committing sexual acts outside of marriage, profaning the Lord’s name, wrongfully taking items as a pledge from those indebted to them, collecting fines from others, forcing Nazirites to drink wine, and commanding true prophets not to prophesy.

Think for a moment how personal this was for God. Anytime there is sin involved, it always becomes bigger when it’s personal. Take, for instance, the act of having sex outside of marriage which Israel was guilty of. In their culture, and in ours, it’s common for us know about people who are having sex outside of marriage. However, when it’s your daughter, it’s different. It’s personal.

Israel had been set aside. They were God’s people and he loved them dearly. He loved them so much he brought them out of captivity. He protected them faithfully from their enemies. He gave them hidden knowledge that others did not receive. He loved them enough to call reveal all this to them so that they would live fruitful and productive lives. And just like the daughter that goes and throws her body away after her father has desperately loved and protected her, Israel (and Judah) did much the same. It’s a father’s worst nightmare.

Think for a moment of how personal our sin is to God. Think of how dearly He loves you. Consider those things in your life that “aren’t a big deal.” Would you receive the same words here that God is giving to Israel and Judah? Jesus’ sacrifice illustrates His seriousness for our wayward lifestyle. His answer is love.

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