"Therefore, thus says the LORD, 'Your wife will become a harlot in the city, your sons and your daughters will fall by the sword, your land will be parceled up by a measuring line and you yourself will die upon unclean soil. Moreover, Israel will certainly go from its land into exile.'"Amos 7:17(NASB)
Many people read the Old Testament and presume that God has finished with Israel, but that could not be further from the truth for He loves His chosen people, even though they have strayed far from His side and have become a wicked and adulterous nation.
God has made it clear, through prophets like Amos, that failure on Israel's part would render them under His judgement. His harsh words give a vivid description of the punishment the nation were to face and express God's severe displeasure.
Amos proclaimed three visions of Israel's approaching judgement, but his divine authority was challenged by a priest called Amaziah who had become apostate, refused to heed God's warnings to the nation, and was serving in the blasphemous Bethel sanctuary. He even accused Amos of conspiring against Jeroboam, the king of Israel, and ordered him to stop all his prophetic utterances.
God's servant responded with a terrible prophecy of judgement against this corrupt priest: "Therefore, thus says the LORD, 'Your wife will become a harlot in the city, your sons and your daughters will fall by the sword, your land will be parcelled up by a measuring line and you yourself will die upon unclean soil. Moreover, Israel will certainly go from its land into exile.'"
God is not mocked, and Amaziah had to face four terrible judgements from the Lord. His estate was divided up among some foreigners, his wife was forced to live in the city as a prostitute, and his children who were slaughtered with the sword, leaving Amaziah with no heirs and offspring. God's judgement would finally result in his own death in a pagan land. Every judgement against Amaziah was fulfilled, as recorded by other prophets, because this man challenged God's servant and refused to believe Israel would one day go into exile.
The final part of this prophetic Word was also fulfilled: "Israel will certainly go from its land into exile." Scripture informs us that the northern kingdom was conquered by Assyria, and the southern kingdom was marched into slavery in Babylon. The nation was uprooted soon after they rejected their Messiah, and their exile lasted unto 1948. There are also future biblical prophecies of one more expulsion from their homeland Israel must face, during the Great Tribulation when the Lord "will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city."
Had Amaziah humbled himself and heeded the prophets warning, he may have prevented his own demise, but when God speaks we need to pay heed to His Word. How wonderful that the Bible tells us of that future time when Israel as a nation will humble herself, look on the One Whom they have pierced, and place their trust in Him as their Lord and Saviour. May we be those who listen when the Lord speaks, searching the Scriptures daily, knowing that "they are Spirit, and they are life."
Heavenly Father, help me to pay attention to all that You are saying through Your Word. I pray that I may have a teachable spirit and an ear that listens to all that the Spirit says to the Churches. Keep me from prideful thoughts, harmful words, foolish decisions, and careless actions, and may I never hold Your truth lightly but diligently apply it in my heart and practice it in my life. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.
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