To keep not the commandments of God’s Word, making no conscience of them, is to despise the wisdom, justice and goodness of the Author.
Those who will not submit to the convictions of the Word will have to sink under the weight of God’s punishments.
1 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Moab, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because he burned the bones of the king of Edom into lime:
2 But I will send a fire upon Moab, and it shall devour the palaces of Kerioth: and Moab shall die with tumult, with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet:
3 And I will cut off the judge from the midst thereof, and will slay all the princes thereof with him, saith the LORD.
4 ¶ Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Judah, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have despised the law of the LORD, and have not kept his commandments, and their lies caused them to err, after the which their fathers have walked:
5 But I will send a fire upon Judah, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem.
6 ¶ Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they sold the righteous for silver, and the poor for a pair of shoes;
7 That pant after the dust of the earth on the head of the poor, and turn aside the way of the meek: and a man and his father will go in unto the same maid, to profane my holy name:
8 And they lay themselves down upon clothes laid to pledge by every altar, and they drink the wine of the condemned in the house of their god.
9 ¶ Yet destroyed I the Amorite before them, whose height was like the height of the cedars, and he was strong as the oaks; yet I destroyed his fruit from above, and his roots from beneath.
10 Also I brought you up from the land of Egypt, and led you forty years through the wilderness, to possess the land of the Amorite.
11 And I raised up of your sons for prophets, and of your young men for Nazarites. Is it not even thus, O ye children of Israel? saith the LORD.
12 But ye gave the Nazarites wine to drink; and commanded the prophets, saying, Prophesy not.
13 Behold, I am pressed under you, as a cart is pressed that is full of sheaves.
14 Therefore the flight shall perish from the swift, and the strong shall not strengthen his force, neither shall the mighty deliver himself:
15 Neither shall he stand that handleth the bow; and he that is swift of foot shall not deliver himself: neither shall he that rideth the horse deliver himself.
16 And he that is courageous among the mighty shall flee away naked in that day, saith the LORD.
Amos 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Amos 2:1-5 – Judah Shall Be Judged Also
Moab—the terrible act referred to here was probably associated with II Kings 3:27. Alas that, in the divine vengeance, Judah should be associated with these heathen peoples! The indictment is not for sins against man, but for those committed against God. We are judged by the greater light and the higher standards that we possess. The fire here threatened was the invasion of Nebuchadnezzar and his Chaldeans, who have their modern counterparts. Man is often used by the Almighty for the chastening and purifying of his fellows. (Meyer)
Amos 2:6-16 – Neither Shall Israel Escape
First the prophet enumerates Israel’s sins. They were unjust to the poor, carrying their extortions to such lengths as to goad the poor to desperation. They were unchaste. They held their idolatrous festivities in idol shrines while they unjustly detained and confiscated the pledges of the poor. They perpetrated shamelessly the enormous crimes for which the Amorites were dispossessed by Joshua and their fathers. But notice nothing is said of that great general and his valiant soldiers; our mind is carried beyond all human agency to the Eternal. I destroyed, etc. (v. 9).
The ripple of the ocean on the beach which you hear and see is due to the action of the sun or moon; so the changes that men attribute to political combinations must ultimately be traced back to the divine will in its permissive or decretive energy. One of the most graphic pictures is in v. 13. We can almost see the heavily laden wagon dragged from the harvest field. The wheels creak and groan; the oxen advance with difficulty; the timbers threaten to succumb. So God bears up the world; and thus did Jesus stoop and sweat great drops of blood under the sins of the whole world. (Meyer)
Amos 2:13—Behold, I am pressed under you, as a cart is pressed that is full of sheaves.
Behold! This is like the hand which occurs in the margins of old books, to attract the reader’s attention. It is God’s special call to our heed.
Sin is very burdensome to God: especially the sins enumerated in this context. Look at the story of oppression in v. 6; of licentiousness in v. 7; of ingratitude in v. 9; of drunkenness in v. 12. These sins are aggravated when committed by his own people. Just as the groaning wain creaks and cries out under its load, so does the heart of God under our sins. “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem!” (Matthew 23:37; Luke 13:34) Should not we feel more as God does in this respect? Ought not we to bear the burden of sin, as Daniel did for his land and people?
What a fulfillment these words had in the life and death of our blessed Lord! The sheaves of our sins were laid on Him: for the Lord laid on Him the iniquity of us all. As He bore his cross through the streets of Jerusalem; as He lay crushed to the ground in Gethsemane; as He cried (Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34), “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”—surely He was like a laden wagon, groaning under an almost insupportable load.
A discovery is announced of a process of turning silver into gold by a pressure of eighty tons on a square inch, and in very low temperature. Yes, pressure and the chilling effects of persecution, difficulty, and disappointment are God’s methods of redeeming us from destruction, and turning our silver into gold. Oh, let us forsake our sins rather than compel Him to employ such an ordeal! (Meyer)