Transgressions Bring God's Judgment
-- Amos One --
Amos was a farmer and a herdmen. God sent him with a message of judgment for Israel and for surrounding nations. In his preaching Amos is reminiscent of John the Baptist. "Not a sob is to be found in his book for the nation of wicked apostates, and there is only a sigh for the poor." Amos writes at a time when Israel had reached a low point in her righteousness and in her devotion to God. Greed, violence, a lack of honesty and much false religion marked the nation of Israel as doomed for judgment.
The majority of Amos' message was against the ten-tribe kingdom of Israel. Amos also had messages of God's judgment against other nation that surrounded Israel because of their transgressions: (1) Damascus, the capital of Syria, (2) the Philistines, (3) Tyre, (4) the Edomites, (5) the Ammonites, (6) the Moabites, (7) Judah, and finally, (8) Israel. Amos was not a "professional" prophet, but a common man utilized by the Lord to deliver His Word to His people. God sent an unpopular message through him to Samaria, the capital of the Northern Kingdom. The message was that the nation would face God's judgment because of sin. This punishment would come through a foreign nation.
God's people were made to understand the coming judgment with the expression "the Day of the Lord." God's judgment would come because of the sins or transgressions of the people. In Amos one the prophet writes about the sins of the nations surrounding Israel. The people's disobedience brought upon them the judgment of the Almighty. We learn that God judges all nations and that Israel and Judah will not be exempt. Amos set forth the great truth that God must be exalted by His people. He expects His people to be moral and benevolent. People are expected to live by the teachings of the Almighty and we are accountable to God to do exactly that.
Transgressions of Demacus -- Amos 1:1-5:Amos was not a professional prophet. He said, "I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet's son; but I was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit.” (Amos 7:14) He was a herdmen or he raised sheep near the town of Tekoa. He was very specific in saying that God showed him things "concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel, two years before the earthquake."
The Lord will roar in judgment from Jerusalem against the wrongs of the heathen nations and also against the wrongs of His own people. "Carmel shall wither" is a statement that shows God's displeasure with the sins of His people. Carmel was one of the beautiful places in Palestine. Its devastation is certainly a sign of God's displeasure.
God promised to punish Damascus or Syria for countless transgressions. Damascus was the capital of Syria. For three transgressions and for four indicates that these people had many opportunities to do right and yet had continually chosen to do wrong. God said Demascus "threshed Gilead with threshing instruments of iron." One translation said, "They dragged logs with spikes over the people of Gilead." Damascus was guilty of cruel treatment against Gilead. Hazael and Benhadad were a father and son that were both kings in Syria. God promised to burn down their palaces because of transgressions. He promised that the Syrians would be dragged of to Kir as prisoners. The captivity happened just as God predicted. (2 Kings 16:9)
Three transgressions of Gaza -- Amos 1:6-8: God promised to punish Gaza for her transgressions. He said He would not change His mind about this punishment. He said, "I will not turn away the punishment thereof." Gaza was a leading city of the Philistines. They had dragged off God's people and sold them as slaves to the Edomites. In 2 Chronicles 28:18 we see an example of their carrying the people away. It was their desire to carry all the people away and sell them all. God promised to smite the Philistines for their cruelty. He promised to send fire to burn down their walls and palaces. In 2 Kings 18:8 we have a record of one time when God sent destruction upon Gaza. They were punished because of their cruelty.
God said, "I will destroy the king of Ashdod and the ruler of Ashkelon. I will strike down Ekron, and that will be the end of the Philistines. I, the LORD, have spoken!" These were places in the land of the Philistines. God would bring destruction upon them because of their transgressions.
Transgressions of Tyrus and Edom -- Amos 1:9-12: The Lord promises to punish Tyrus or Phoenicia for countless sins or transgressions. Nations that live beside each other must be brotherly in order to continue to exist. This had previously been the case with Tyrus and Israel. "And Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, and carpenters, and masons: and they built David an house." (2 Samuel 5:11) Now the people of Tyrus had dragged off God's people from town after town and sold them to the Edomites. God promised to send fire to burn down the fortresses of the city of Tyre along with its palaces.
The LORD also promised to punish Edom for her countless transgressions. He would not relent or change his mind about their punishment. God had said that Esau and his descendants would live by the sword. (Genesis 27:40) Edom pursued their own relatives with the sword and killed many of them. They were furious against them and showed no mercy. The wrath and anger of Edom was an ongoing thing. Teman and Bozrah were Edomites cities. God promised to send His fiery judgment upon them because of their unfairness and cruelty againstIsrael.
Transgressions of Ammon -- Amos 1:13-15: God promised to punish Ammon for her countless transgressions. He would not change his mind about his matter. The Ammonites were descendants of Lot. (Genesis 19:38) In Gilead the Ammonites ripped open pregnant women, just to take the land. They were so greedy for land that did these horrible things to destroy the people whose land they wanted to take. God said, "I will kindle a fire in the wall of Rabbah, and it shall devour the palaces thereof." "Enemies will shout and attack like a whirlwind." Rabbah was the chief city of the Ammonites. They invaded the lands of others and now their land would be invaded. The Lord promised that Ammon's king and his princes together would be dragged away into captivity by attacking armies. Sin always brings horrible consequences.
These nations are all responsible to be obedient to Divine law. They had violated the law and were sinners. Remember, "Where no law is, there is no transgression." (Romans 4:15) The judgment pronounced upon these nations by Amos the prophet proves the accountability of all people to the law of God. God is the sole, Sovereign and righteous ruler of the world. He judges all people righteously. When they rebel against the Creator they face severe judgment and consequences.
Will you have enough reverence and fear for God that you will become a Christian now? To become a Christian you must hear the gospel (Romans 10:17), believe in Jesus (John 8:24), repent of sins (Acts 17:30, confess Christ as Lord (Acts 8:37), and be baptized to be saved. (1 Peter 3:21). After baptism use your life to spread the glorious gospel of Christ!