Having completed his diatribe of prophetic oracles against the neighboring nations, Amos’ final oracle comes to rest squarely upon his primary audience, the nation of Israel. Although horrible things had been done by the heathen nations, we find Israel more culpable because, having been given the law and having been the witness of much privilege, they should have known better. Hence more is said both in form and substance about Israel’s transgression as well as her punishment than of any of the nations, as atrocious as the outward sins of these nations were. In the giving of the Law to Israel, God was granting them divine favor and protection as an expression of love. This very law would become the means God would use to lead His chosen ones to Christ, so at the center of God’s covenant with the nation of Israel is His divine love leading the remnant within the nation to salvation.
Though the New Testament reveals that not all Israelites were circumcised of heart (Roman 9:6-8), nevertheless they experienced many of the human and temporal benefits of the covenant. So as God operated in history to save a remnant within Israel, the broader people of Israel also witnessed God’s acts of love and saving grace. In verses 9-11 of Amos chapter 2, God recounts His goodness toward His people. We find the same pattern in Deuteronomy 8:1-5, Psalm 78:17-33, and Hosea 11:1-11 – as examples where God recounts his goodness to Israel despite the terrible sin of their nation. Those Israelites who were outside of the covenant of grace have therefore become even more accountable for their sin, as they not only rejected law (Amos 2:4), but grace. The Lord has the absolute right to expect that His professing people be faithful to His name, and when they are not, He exercises His right in covenantal justice to judge His professing people in His holy wrath. Of course His wrath is never directed to the remnant chosen by grace within the broader nation; however in the act of judging the professing people, God purges His people from those who are mere professors, who claim to be part of the covenant of grace, but in fact are not.
Our text in Amos contains a reminder of God’s electing love, Israel’s sonship and God’s adoptive care for, and protection of, His people. The text invokes emotions of love as the truly born-again Christian realizes that he too has the privilege of unique covenantal intimacy – hearing of the demonstration of His love provokes our love (1 John 4:19). In light of this, this week make Psalm 105, 145 and 147 the subject or your reading, meditation and worship, as you do reflect on the specific goodness of our Lord to His chosen people. If you wish to fill your cup unto overflowing worship, consider the following Scriptures whereby the Lord reveals His specific love to you: Ex 19:3-6, Dt 7:6-8, 10:15, 26:18, 32:9-14, Jer 31:1-6, Rom 8:28-39, 11:5-7, Eph 1:3-12, 1 Pet 2:9-10 – ENJOY!!!
Listen to this message: