Rev. Gaven Mize, pastor at Augustana Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hickory, NC, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Amos 1:3-5.
The first two chapters of Amos are comprised of a series of oracles against eight nations, both foreign nations and the LORD’s own people, Judah and Israel. Similar phrases in each of these oracles helps us understand them. The words, “Thus says the LORD,” remind us that the shepherd from Tekoa isn’t spouting his own opinions. He is proclaiming what the only true God has said, and therefore, cannot be ignored except at the peril of death and condemnation. Each judgment is spoken “for three transgressions…and for four,” not so that we would focus on counting, but so that we would recognize constant and repetitive unrepentant sinning. Each judgment is spoken against a specific people. In this text, the prophet singles out Damascus, which is the capital of Aram, a nation that is also called Syria. This nation was a common enemy of both Israel and Judah. Their cruel and inhumane treatment of prisoners-of-war brought the LORD’s burning fire upon them, the complete destruction of their people. Yet even in this text, Christ is not absent. He is the Word of the LORD in Law and Gospel. He has taken the LORD’s righteous wrath upon Himself in our place so that by faith in Him, we have life and salvation.
“The Day Is Surely Drawing Near” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that digs into the book of Amos. This Old Testament prophet speaks the LORD’s roaring Word in order to call us first to repentance over our idolatry and injustice and second to faith in the Messiah in the line of David, Jesus Christ. Only through faith in Him will we stand forgiven and redeemed on the coming Day of the LORD.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
Sharper Iron is underwritten by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, where your investments help support the work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Visit lcef.org.
3 Thus says the Lord:
“For three transgressions of Damascus,
and for four, I will not revoke the punishment,[a]
because they have threshed Gilead
with threshing sledges of iron.
4 So I will send a fire upon the house of Hazael,
and it shall devour the strongholds of Ben-hadad.
5 I will break the gate-bar of Damascus,
and cut off the inhabitants from the Valley of Aven,[b]
and him who holds the scepter from Beth-eden;
and the people of Syria shall go into exile to Kir,”
says the Lord.
- Amos 1:3 Hebrew I will not turn it back; also verses 6, 9, 11, 13
- Amos 1:5 Or On
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.