In our study of Amos chapter two, we look at the fact that God judges the actions of His people. We see this in the promised judgment of Israel and Judah as well as the judgment of believers that is to come.
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This is what the Lord says: 'For three sins of Moab, even for four, I will not turn back my wrath. Because he burned, as if to lime, the bones of Edom's king,
The pattern of judgment that we saw in chapter 1 is coming closer to the home of God's people. Here, we see that the Moabites had committed a large number of sins but the charge presented here is very specific. The charge against them was that they sought revenge and were filled with a spirit of unforgiveness. If we, as Christians, have this same spirit or if we know that someone has not forgiven us, then we are called to go to them and ask for forgiveness. This is what Jesus told us to do in Matthew 5:23.
'I will send fire upon Moab that will consume the fortresses of Kerioth. Moab will go down in great tumult amid war cries and the blast of the trumpet. I will destroy her ruler and kill all her officials with him,' says the Lord.
This prophecy was fulfilled when Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the Moabites. It is easy for us to cheer the destruction but we also know that God can use anyone. He used a Moabite woman (Ruth) as she is a part of the family tree of Jesus as we see in Matthew 1.
This is what the Lord says: 'For three sins of Judah, even for four, I will not turn back my wrath. Because they have rejected the law of the Lord and have not kept his decrees, because they have been led astray by false gods, the gods their ancestors followed,'
The judgment comes home and, as it was with the other nations, God could have presented a long list of charges but instead just gives one. They had turned their back on God and His word to follow false gods. This is a lot like what is happening in our world today as men have turned their back on the Word of God and began to worship and follow their own ideas of what is right and wrong.
'I will send fire upon Judah that will consume the fortresses of Jerusalem.'
Once again, this prophecy was fulfilled through King Nebuchadnezzar.
This is what the Lord says: 'For three sins of Israel, even for four, I will not turn back my wrath. They sell the righteous for silver and the needy for a pair of sandals.'
Now, God's focus for judgment turns to the northern kingdom. God begins a list of their sins and it begins with their treatment of the poor. This verse speaks of the fact that the rich would put the poor in bondage to them even for their basic needs. It seems like this sin is even more widespread in our world today as the gap between rich and poor is wider than ever. This is happening even among people who say they are followers of Jesus Christ.
They trample on the heads of the poor as upon the dust of the ground and deny justice to the oppressed.
The rich of God's people had become so hardened that they did not even see the poor anymore. This is much like our situation in the world today as people simply ignore those around them who are in desperate need. This is even happening among groups of believers (churches) where many in the church have great financial wealth but allow their brothers or sisters in Christ to go hungry. God is telling His people here that they will be judged for this and we should note that God does not change.
Father and son use the same girl and so profane my holy name. They lie down beside every altar on garments taken in pledge. In the house of their god they drink wine taken as fines.
The common man was unimportant and even unseen to a certain degree. The law required that, if a man gave his coat in a pledge, it had to be returned before night but, here, we see that the rich kept the coat and had no regard for the man. It is the same even among the church today as brother will loan to brother and charge interest. The banker is impoverishing the church by lending then money and causing them to be slaves to the almighty dollar. The rich lived it up as pleasure became their god which is much like what we see in the world today.
'I destroyed the Amorite before them, though he was tall as the cedars and strong as the oaks. I destroyed his fruit above and his roots below. I brought you up out of Egypt, and I led you forty years in the desert to give you the land of the Amorites.'
God reminds His people of what He had done for them. When they came out of Egypt, God had destroyed the Amorites and gave their land to Israel. They could have went straight in but had to wander in the wilderness for forty years because of their lack of faith. The lack of faith among Christians today is causing many to walk around in their own wilderness instead of the land of God's provision.
'I also raised up prophets from among your sons and Nazirites from among your young men. Is this not true, people of Israel?' declares the Lord. 'But you made the Nazirites drink wine and commanded the prophets not to prophesy.'
God reminds them that He also gave them prophets to speak to them on His behalf as well as Nazirites to be a living example of service to Him. Instead of listening or following the example, the people corrupted the Nazirites and told the prophets to be quiet. The same type of thing is happening today as God is raising up people to tell the world of Jesus' return and to be an example of service to Him. Sadly, many of the leaders in "churches" will not share the Truth of the Word of God because they are indebted and need the money put in their offering plate to pay for their fancy building.
'Now then, I will crush you as a cart crushes when loaded with grain.'
The people left God no choice but to bring on judgment. The purpose of this judgment is to cause the people to repent and turn back to the ways of God. Just as a cart can only hold so much grain before its axle breaks, God is going to overload them to get them to the point of looking to Him for help. The same is true for the churches of today that are being corrupted by money.
'The swift will not escape, the strong will not muster their strength, and the warrior will not save his life. The archer will not stand his ground, the fleet-footed soldier will not get away, and the horseman will not save his life. Even the bravest warriors will flee naked on that day,' declares the Lord.
Not even the strongest or the richest or those with the most power would be able to escape this coming judgement.