Amos Two: Nations

Amos continues to list the nations of the world that will be punished by God for their respective transgressions, but in today’s chapter, the list includes both Israel and Judah, as well as foreign nations. “So said the Lord: For three transgressions of Judah, yea for four, I will not return them; for they rejected the Law of the Lord, and they did not keep His statutes, and their lies mislead them, which their forefathers followed (Amos 2:4).”

Semi-regularly, I find myself in conversations about what the goal of the Jewish people is with regards to Israel. There seem to be two separate philosophies that people adhere to. The first is that Israel should be a light unto the nations, holding itself to an exceptional standard for humanity. The second, though, is that Israel should be one of that nations, just like any other in the world. There are merits to both schools of thought, and I personally find myself advocating for both depending on the circumstances of the situation. In this context, though, Israel and the Jewish people are being held to an equal standard with the rest of the world, which is important, even if it’s leading to their punishment.

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