Nehemiah 13.15-18 and Amos 2.4 – Judgment & Redemption
Posted: 21 January 2011 in Amos, Nehemiah

In those days saw I in Judah some treading wine presses on the sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath day: and I testified against them in the day wherein they sold victuals. There dwelt men of Tyre also therein, which brought fish, and all manner of ware, and sold on the sabbath unto the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem. Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the sabbath day? Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the sabbath.

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:

Nehemiah need not have been surprised at what happened as soon as his back was turned, because fallen humanity can abandon the worship of God without a moment’s thought. This is true, even though the worship of God is the purpose for which we were created. It is especially true when we are in full pirsuit of that most seductive of all idols – money. A few centuries earlier Amos had been warning his hearers that disobedience to God brings judgment. To take this warning on board, and to realise that we stand under judgment, is to comprehend the extent to which we all stand in need of God’s mercy, and of Christ’s atoning sacrifice.

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