Amos 2 & Psalm 145


Chapter 2

    Thus says the LORD:

    “For three transgressions of Moab,
        and for four, I will not revoke the punishment,
    because he burned to lime
        the bones of the king of Edom.
    So I will send a fire upon Moab,
        and it shall devour the strongholds of Kerioth,
    and Moab shall die amid uproar,
        amid shouting and the sound of the trumpet;
    I will cut off the ruler from its midst,
        and will kill all its princes with him,”
                                                                                                                                                                    says the LORD.
        Thus says the LORD:

    “For three transgressions of Judah,
        and for four, I will not revoke the punishment,
    because they have rejected the law of the LORD,
        and have not kept his statutes,
    but their lies have led them astray,
        those after which their fathers walked.
    So I will send a fire upon Judah,
        and it shall devour the strongholds of Jerusalem.”
        Thus says the LORD:

    “For three transgressions of Israel,
        and for four, I will not revoke the punishment,
    because they sell the righteous for silver,
        and the needy for a pair of sandals—
    those who trample the head of the poor into the dust of the earth
        and turn aside the way of the afflicted;
    a man and his father go in to the same girl,
        so that my holy name is profaned;
    they lay themselves down beside every altar
        on garments taken in pledge,
    and in the house of their God they drink
        the wine of those who have been fined.
    “Yet it was I who destroyed the Amorite before them,
        whose height was like the height of the cedars
        and who was as strong as the oaks;
    I destroyed his fruit above
        and his roots beneath.
    Also it was I who brought you up out of the land of Egypt
        and led you forty years in the wilderness,
        to possess the land of the Amorite.
    And I raised up some of your sons for prophets,
        and some of your young men for Nazirites.
        Is it not indeed so, O people of Israel?”
                                                                                                                                                                    declares the LORD.
    “But you made the Nazirites drink wine,
        and commanded the prophets,
        saying, ‘You shall not prophesy.’
    “Behold, I will press you down in your place,
        as a cart full of sheaves presses down.
    Flight shall perish from the swift,
        and the strong shall not retain his strength,
        nor shall the mighty save his life;
    he who handles the bow shall not stand,
        and he who is swift of foot shall not save himself,
        nor shall he who rides the horse save his life;
    and he who is stout of heart among the mighty
        shall flee away naked in that day,”
                                                                                                                                                                    declares the LORD.

(Amos 2 ESV)


Chapter 145

 A Song of Praise. Of David.

    I will extol you, my God and King,
        and bless your name forever and ever.
    Every day I will bless you
        and praise your name forever and ever.
    Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised,
        and his greatness is unsearchable.
    One generation shall commend your works to another,
        and shall declare your mighty acts.
    On the glorious splendor of your majesty,
        and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
    They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds,
        and I will declare your greatness.
    They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness
        and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.
    The LORD is gracious and merciful,
        slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
    The LORD is good to all,
        and his mercy is over all that he has made.
    All your works shall give thanks to you, O LORD,
        and all your saints shall bless you!
    They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom
        and tell of your power,
    to make known to the children of man your mighty deeds,
        and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
    Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
        and your dominion endures throughout all generations.
    [The LORD is faithful in all his words
        and kind in all his works.]
    The LORD upholds all who are falling
        and raises up all who are bowed down.
    The eyes of all look to you,
        and you give them their food in due season.
    You open your hand;
        you satisfy the desire of every living thing.
    The LORD is righteous in all his ways
        and kind in all his works.
    The LORD is near to all who call on him,
        to all who call on him in truth.
    He fulfills the desire of those who fear him;
        he also hears their cry and saves them.
    The LORD preserves all who love him,
        but all the wicked he will destroy.
    My mouth will speak the praise of the LORD,
        and let all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.

(Psalm 145 ESV)

For the Love of God

D.A. Carson


WOE TO CHINA. IN THIS CENTURY she has butchered fifty million of her own people in the name of equality. Proud and haughty, she maintains an officially atheistic stance, persecuting the church while that church, nurtured by the blood of the martyrs, has in half a century multiplied fifty times.

Woe to Russia. In the second decade of this century she embarked on a massive social experiment that resulted in the deaths of more than forty million people. She subjugated nation after nation, so certain was she that the tide of history was on her side. She became excellent at producing the “revolutionary man,” but could not produce the promised “new man” of Marxist thought, and so hid behind illusions and lies until her economic incompetence brought her down.

Woe to Germany. Privileged to serve as home to some of the greatest Reformers, she became extraordinarily arrogant intellectually, and in this century started two world wars that wreaked death and havoc, including the horrors of the Nazis, on countless millions. Today she builds excellent BMWs but has a materialist soul, worshiping nothing greater than the deutsche mark.
Woe to Great Britain. At one time ruler of one-quarter of the world’s population; inheritor of some of the greatest Christian thought and literature ever produced, she became ever more proud and condescending to the nations she colonized and the people she enslaved. Having repeatedly squandered a heritage of the knowledge of God, she thrashes around directionless and degraded.

Woe to Canada. She likes to think of herself as morally superior to her nearest neighbor, while hiding under the U.S. military umbrella. Sliding toward a moral abyss, her Supreme Court issues decisions that are as morally corrosive as any in the Western world, while the English-French factionalism drives toward enmity and breakup for want of courtesy and respect from both sides.
Woe to the United States. She prides herself on being the only world power left, but never reflects on how God has brought low every world power in history. Her cherished freedoms, so great a heritage, have increasingly become a facade to hide and then defend the grossest immorality and selfishness. To the nation at large, no issue, absolutely none, is more important than the state of the economy.

This is the reasoning of Amos. In Amos 1, he circles around the pagan neighbors, articulating the judgment of God. Here in Amos 2, he moves to Moab, Judah (“Canada”), and finally brings it home to Israel. Israelite audiences would begin with smug contentment during the early parts: how would they end up? And understand: the sequence of my “Woes,” above, could have been rearranged to end with any country — with your country.