The Lord says: “I will not relent from punishing Israel for three crimes, even four, because they sell a righteous person for silver and a needy person for a pair of sandals. They trample the heads of the poor on the dust of the ground and block the path of the needy. A man and his father have sexual relations with the same girl, profaning My holy name. They stretch out beside every altar on garments taken as collateral, and they drink in the house of their God wine obtained through fines.” - Amos 2:6-8 HCSB
God said, “I will not relent from punishing Damascus for three crimes, even four, because they threshed Gilead with iron sledges.”
And Israel yelled, “Yay God!”
He said, “I will not relent from punishing Gaza for three crimes, even four, because they exiled a whole community, handing them over to Edom.”
And shouts of “Hurrah” were probably heard.
But then a disturbing trend began to become apparent. “I will not relent from punishing Tyre, Edom, Ammon or Moab.”
The destruction was circling in ever closer to home and everyone was probably moaning, “Whoa, God!”
Finally, the missiles of “friendly fire” struck right at the very heart of God’s people. “I will not relent from punishing Judah or Israel,” said the Judge of all the Earth.
For volatile humans, one of the most difficult aspects of God’s nature to understand is His immutability. Oh, we understand the definition all right, but the application often eludes us. We like to focus on the interplay between His immutability and compassion that leads Him to say, "Because I, Yahweh, have not changed, you descendants of Jacob have not been destroyed.” But we are not quite as keen on the interaction between His immutability and His sense of justice! When He said, “judgment must begin with God’s household”, we are not quite as gratified.
The very idea of justice compels us to believe that the same standard will be used for every person regardless of who they are. And God’s justice is not blind. He takes into account what we know, something no human judge could ever adequately do. He said “to whom much is given much is required” and “if you want to be a teacher, be prepared to be held to a higher standard.”
When God judges Hitlers, Dahlmers or Kevorkians we are assured of His very fine sense of correctness. But when He starts judging us…oh, now that’s horse of a different color! But if Damascus, Gaza, Tyre, Edom, Ammon, Moab, Judah and Israel didn’t escape, what makes us think the U.S will? If we continue developing a materialistic, hedonistic and religiously pluralistic culture – what do you think the immutable God will do?
If God did not spare His angels or his own chosen nation or even His own prophets – how will we escape His immutable justice? We must determine to yield to His standards and His ways. There is no other way.
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