Thus saith the Lord; For three transgressions of Moab, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because he burned the bones of the king of Edom into lime:
2 But I will send a fire upon Moab, and it shall devour the palaces of Kirioth: and Moab shall die with tumult, with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet:
3 And I will cut off the judge from the midst thereof, and will slay all the princes thereof with him, saith the Lord.
4 Thus saith the Lord; For three transgressions of Judah, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have despised the law of the Lord, and have not kept his commandments, and their lies caused them to err, after the which their fathers have walked:
5 But I will send a fire upon Judah, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem.
6 Thus saith the Lord; For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they sold the righteous for silver, and the poor for a pair of shoes;
7 That pant after the dust of the earth on the head of the poor, and turn aside the way of the meek: and a man and his father will go in unto the same maid, to profane my holy name:
8 And they lay themselves down upon clothes laid to pledge by every altar, and they drink the wine of the condemned in the house of their god.
9 Yet destroyed I the Amorite before them, whose height was like the height of the cedars, and he was strong as the oaks; yet I destroyed his fruit from above, and his roots from beneath.
10 Also I brought you up from the land of Egypt, and led you forty years through the wilderness, to possess the land of the Amorite.
11 And I raised up of your sons for prophets, and of your young men for Nazarites. Is it not even thus, O ye children of Israel? saith the Lord.
12 But ye gave the Nazarites wine to drink; and commanded the prophets, saying, Prophesy not.
13 Behold, I am pressed under you, as a cart is pressed that is full of sheaves.
14 Therefore the flight shall perish from the swift, and the strong shall not strengthen his force, neither shall the mighty deliver himself:
15 Neither shall he stand that handleth the bow; and he that is swift of foot shall not deliver himself: neither shall he that rideth the horse deliver himself.
16 And he that is courageous among the mighty shall flee away naked in that day, saith the Lord.
God through the prophet Amos, warns Moab, as well as other nations (vv. 1-3); He exposes Judah’s sins (vv. 4-5); and at length begins His charge against Israel. Observe the following: (1) They were involved in injustice, oppression, whoredom (vv. 6-8); (2) they were ungrateful to God despite His temporal and spiritual mercies (vv. 9-12); (3) God protests against their sins (v. 13), and warns them of their ruin and utter inability to prevent it (vv. 14-16).
Now, as a climax to this series of messages, Amos denounces Israel for injustice, cruelty, incest, luxury, and idolatry. The divine pronouncement—the longest oracle reserved for wicked Israel (vv. 6-16)—comes with full force upon her. Israel did not learn from Judah’s condemnation for committing social injustices—selling the righteous for silver and the poor for a pair of sandals. The covetous leaders oppressed the poor. The expression “pant” (v.7) represents the desire of the oppressors to see the poor crushed to the earth, to cause them such misery that they cover their heads with dust.
We need to remember that by being disobedient to God’s Word one is closing the avenue by which the Holy Spirit has access to the soul.
Deepati Vara Prasad
Watchman Publishing House, India