Amos 2.4-5

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
(after which their fathers walked)

so I will send a fire upon Judah,
and it shall devour
the strongholds of Jerusalem.”


One response

  1. It’s my understanding that Amos is from the south (Judah) and preaches mostly in the North (Israel). And now fires his canon back south toward Judah. Covering all the bases. I’m curious now to learn whether the fire for the destruction of strongholds in Jerusalem involved physical fires, that is, after the Syrians and Assyrians finished firing up on each other? Sherman's fiery March to Savannah really hurt women and the poor in lasting ways more than it permanently hurt southern military economy and industry. Amos’s concern for the poor is really a common sense and perennial observation. Some things don’t change. I valorized Lincoln when I first studied this stuff in junior high. I felt as if God still exists somehow and still acts in history. This impression came after my experience while reading John. And I then remained permanently cautious and often confused about claims by any powers-that-be after reading how both Sherman (and gang) and Robert E. Lee (and gang) equally claimed God’s mandate. I don’t have the citation, but I have it stuck in my mind that Lincoln later said that God brought ruin on both sides in equal measure. I have an equally stuck inward impression that Lincoln meant this from his heart. Not from deductive logic nor from Machiavellian political considerations. Beats me what Lincoln really felt. But that’s how I feel about what he felt – as if I know. So it’s really how I want to feel about what Lincoln felt. I confess that Lincoln’s opinion is about the best I can conceive under any theory of God having anything to do with any of our mess. Other than that God doesn’t exist or that God withdrew altogether or that God works only and exclusively via persuasion — and we don't. Amos screams that God matters. It must sometimes look like the only fire around is the fire in Amos’s belly. Some sort of fire must have consumed Amos since he blasted everyone in every direction.

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