bible blog 1208

Amos 1-2:8

This is a great start to Advent; in place of consumer advent calendars and tatty street lights, here the “Lord comes roaring out of Zion!” And just in case Amos’s audience thinks God is on their side, he constructs a cunning trap. In God’s name he denounces the injustices and crimes against humanity of the surrounding nations. One by one they get it in the neck. But then, against all propriety, God starts in on Judah and Israel, his beloved kingdoms! This is totally out of order. God turns against the religious indifference and social injustices of his own people. Even worse, as we Scots say, “He disnae miss.” He specifies the precise breaches of his covenant law which are common in his two nations. This bellowing God is not the God of decorous piety or sweet evangelical praise. He’s a monster from the blue, dedicated to purity and justice, ready to shrivel up anyone daft enough to get in his road. He will cut a swathe through the world, bringing disaster to those who have neglected his commands. Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London. who announced this week that selfishness and greed are good, better watch out. The God who dismantled the Soviet Union is certainly capable of demolishing his plump self.

Well…. you get the idea. I’d certainly go to hear Amos preach-once! And I wouldn’t go back till I’d begun to practice justice.

I hope my readers enjoy this prophecy as much as I do.

New English Translation (NET)

1 The following is a record of what Amos prophesied. He was one of the herdsmen from Tekoa. These prophecies about Israel were revealed to him during the time of King Uzziah of Judah and King Jeroboam son of Joash of Israel, two years before the earthquake.

God Will Judge the Surrounding Nations

roaring out of Zion

roaring out of Zion

Amos said:
“The Lord comes roaring out of Zion;
from Jerusalem he comes bellowing!
The shepherds’ pastures wilt;
the summit of Carmel withers.”
This is what the Lord says:
“Because Damascus has committed three crimes—
make that four!—I will not revoke my
decree of judgment.
They ripped through Gilead like threshing sledges with iron teeth.
So I will set Hazael’s house on fire;
fire will consume Ben Hadad’s fortresses.
I will break the bar on the gate of Damascus.
I will remove the ruler from Wicked Valley,
the one who holds the royal scepter from Beth Eden.
The people of Aram will be deported to Kir.”
The Lord has spoken!
This is what the Lord says:
“Because Gaza has committed three crimes—
make that four!—I will not revoke my decree of judgment.
They deported a whole community and sold them to Edom.
So I will set Gaza’s city wall on fire;
fire will consume her fortresses.
I will remove the ruler from Ashdod,
the one who holds the royal scepter from Ashkelon.
I will strike Ekron with my hand;
the rest of the Philistines will also die.”
The sovereign Lord has spoken!
This is what the Lord says:
“Because Tyre has committed three crimes—
make that four!—I will not revoke my decree of judgment.
They sold a whole community to Edom;
they failed to observe a treaty of brotherhood.
10 So I will set fire to Tyre’s city wall;
fire will consume her fortresses.”
11 This is what the Lord says:
“Because Edom has committed three crimes—
make that four!—I will not revoke my decree of judgment.
He chased his brother with a sword;
he wiped out his allies.
In his anger he tore them apart without stopping to rest;
in his fury he relentlessly attacked them.
12 So I will set Teman on fire;
fire will consume Bozrah’s fortresses.”
13 This is what the Lord says:
“Because the Ammonites have committed three crimes—
make that four!—I will not revoke my decree of judgment.
They ripped open Gilead’s pregnant women
so they could expand their territory.
14 So I will set fire to Rabbah’s city wall;
fire will consume her fortresses.
War cries will be heard on the day of battle;
a strong gale will blow on the day of the windstorm.
15 Ammon’s king will be deported;
he and his officials will be carried off together.”
The Lord has spoken!
2 This is what the Lord says:
“Because Moab has committed three crimes—
make that four!—I will not revoke my decree of judgment.
They burned the bones of Edom’s king into lime.
So I will set Moab on fire,
and it will consume Kerioth’s fortresses.
Moab will perish in the heat of battle
amid war cries and the blaring of the ram’s horn.
I will remove Moab’s leader;
I will kill all Moab’s officials with him.”
The Lord has spoken!
This is what the Lord says:
“Because Judah has committed three covenant transgressions—
make that four!—I will not revoke my decree of judgment.
They rejected the Lord’s law;
they did not obey his commands.
Their false gods,
to which their fathers were loyal,
led them astray.
So I will set Judah on fire,
and it will consume Jerusalem’s fortresses.”

This is what the Lord says:
“Because Israel has committed three covenant transgressions—
make that four!—I will not revoke my decree of judgment.
They sold the innocent for silver,
the needy for a pair of sandals.
They trample on the dirt-covered heads of the poor;
they push the destitute away.
A man and his father go to the same girl;
in this way they show disrespect for my moral purity.
They stretch out on clothing seized as collateral;
they do so right beside every altar!
They drink wine bought with the fines they have levied;
they do so right in the temple of their God!

Wow!

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