March 19, 2011

Minor Prophets XLIV: Playing With A Deadly Fire

Amos 7 shows us a progression of thought and progressive actions in the three "visions" of verses (1-3), (4-6), and (7-9).

Vision 1
The LORD sends a swarm of locusts after the king’s share had been harvested. The locusts decimate the late crops. Amos being a shepherd knows the deadly outcome of this type of plague and screams for forgiveness. He knows this will mean “Jacob’s” demise. He asks the LORD to relent. The LORD relents.

Vision 2
LORD calls for judgment by fire; it dried up the great deep and devoured the land. I assume this is a literal fire perhaps after a really bad drought where grass and wood are turned into a tinderbox. Amos again cries out and asks the LORD to relent. The LORD relents again.

Vision 3
The third time around Amos sees the Lord standing by a wall that had been built true to plumb, with a plumb line in his hand. A measuring line or measuring stick is usually a symbol of judgment. The LORD asks Amos, “What do you see, Amos?” “A plumb line,” he replies. Then the Lord said, “Look, I am setting a plumb line among my people Israel; I will spare them no longer.” God has/will judge them. It is too late. The “high places of Isaac will be destroyed and the sanctuaries of Israel will be ruined; with my sword I will rise against the house of Jeroboam.” Israel is finished…no more reprieves (Hubbard 205-210).

Israel...always pushing their luck. Always driving the hand of God to slap them upside the head. Many that haven't really read the Old Testament and even some that have call God the God of wrath for what He did in the Old Testament. That's like saying parents are abusive for spanking their child for burning down the house after playing with matches. God's judgment reaches a flash point and then ignites. The fuel of sin must be consumed by a holy fire for God to live in relation to His human children, otherwise He cannot live in relation to them. His holiness must consume and eradicate the sin. There is just no other way since God is too holy to look upon the sin. Either it goes or He goes...and you know HE is going nowhere!!! Logic in this situation dictates the unrighteousness and wickedness, thereby the unrighteous and wicked will be destroyed and condemned to Hell and do not stand a chance in God's presence.

Hubbard, David Allan. "Five Judgment Visions Against Israel." Joel and Amos: an introduction and commentary. Leicester, England: InterVarsity Press, 1989. 205-210. Print.

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