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The same subject is continued here as occupied the former Chapter. Moab is first reckoned with, and then Judah, and Israel.
We have some account of Moab's cruelty, for which the Lord is here bringing him to accounts 2 Kings 3:26-27 . It is worthy observation, and I take occasion to remark it in this place, in the Lord's displeasure at Moab, that though the Lord doth And will punish sin wherever it is found, yet the sin most to be dreaded is sin in the Lord's people. Here we find the Lord's provocation most marked. Sin is sin in all men, as weeds are weeds wherever they grow; but most offensive, and soonest to be rooted out in a garden. Hence, when the Lord's people became forgetful of the rock that begat them, we are told, when the Lord saw it he abhorred them, because of the provoking of his sons, and of his daughters. Deuteronomy 32:15-21 . Reader! mark this with peculiar emphasis! I do not say as much, but I verily believe it, and perhaps it may be so, all the sorrows and calamities of public life begin at this place; the Church of Jesus in her transgressions.
Judah comes now before the Lord's tribunal, and though for a while separated from Israel, yet not from Israel's God. We find the Lord himself speaking of both by the Prophet, under one and the same character. Jeremiah 3:6-19 . Here we ought to pause, and to consider the awfulness of Judah's apostasy from the Lord. Reader! punishment and correction must be used, even with God's children, when tenderness and expostulation fail to call home the heart to the Lord. Psalms 89:30-32 .
The Lord having reckoned with all the neighboring nations, Israel's sworn foes, and having also begun with Judah, now takes in hand her sister Israel. And a solemn account it is. Chiefly beginning in idolatry, and consequently soon falling into injustice and oppression. For in the Lord's people, as well as all other people, sin begins in a departure from God. When men cease to know and love the Lord, the transition is soon made to every evil tendency toward men. And the Lord heightens the aggravation of his people's sin, by showing them how he had blessed them, brought them out of the hands of one enemy, even Egypt; and driven out before them another, even the Amorite; and still more, took of Israel's young men to be Nazarites and Prophets; that is, distinguished them with such honors as to be separated from all other nations; a kingdom and a nation of priests. And I apprehend yet more in the expression of the Nazarites and Prophets! probably making them types and preachers of the glorious One Nazarite, the Lord Jesus Christ; for this was the most distinguishing honor of Israel. The Lord finisheth the subject, with speaking of the sad consequence of his displeasure. In doing which he makes use of a strong figure ; I am pressed under you as a cart is pressed that is full of sheaves. An astonishing expression of the Lord.
But what is meant by it? I humbly apprehend, not simply a pressure the Lord felt unable to bear, but as he saith elsewhere, I am broken with their whorish heart that hath departed from me. Ezekiel 6:9 . Reader! pause over the solemn expression. And when you have duly done so, allow me to ask you, is it not Jesus that is thus figured out, who hath borne all the sins of his people, and carried their sorrows? Is there not very evidently an allusion to Him, on whom Jehovah hath laid the iniquities of his redeemed? Seen in this point of view the subject becomes most blessedly interesting. And the cries of the Son of God, in the days of his flesh, forms a striking correspondence with what the Prophet saith of him here, I am pressed under you. See Hebrews 5:7 ; Matthew 26:38-39 ; Galatians 3:13 ; 2 Corinthians 5:21 . The Chapter ends, as might be supposed, with the Lord's threatened judgment. And it is by chastisement the Lord for the most part brings back his people, when that chastisement is accompanied with grace Luke 15:17-19 ; Ezekiel 14:22-23 .
Reader! think what a sad representation is made in this Chapter of human transgression. Not only the nations of the earth, but the Lord's people, are involved in the same rebellion against God. It is not Moab alone, but Judah and Israel also. Had it been an open enemy that had done the Lord such dishonor, then it might have been borne. But the expostulation is cutting indeed, when it is said, it was even thou my companion, and mine own familiar friend! Alas! who among the redeemed of the Lord, that can stand forth and plead not guilty to the charge.
Precious Lord Jesus! in every place, and in every view, how sweet and consolatory doth thy great and gracious undertaking come home to my heart! And dost thou, dearest Lord, say, behold! lam pressed under you as a cart is pressed that is full of sheaves! Oh! thou Lamb of God! thou hast indeed been pressed for thy people, when as the mighty burden-bearer of thy Church, thou didst bear all our sins in thine own body on the tree, when thou didst die, the just for the unjust, to bring us unto God! Oh! blessed Lord! still vouchsafe to bear our souls up above all sin and sorrow, trial and temptation; work in us true godly sorrow for those sins which brought thee to the cross; and do thou, gracious Lord, rescue us from the power and dominion of sin, and the guilt and punishment of it; and sanctify our whole souls, and bodies, and spirits, to the day of thy coming. Amen.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Amos 2". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 25 / Ordinary 30