Thus says the Lord: “For three transgressions of the people of Ammon, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment, because they ripped open the women with child in Gilead, that they might enlarge their territory. But I will kindle a fire in the wall of Rabbah, and it shall devour its palaces, amid shouting in the day of battle, and a tempest in the day of the whirlwind. Their king shall go into captivity, he and his princes together,” says the Lord. (Amos 1:13-15)
A Just God Repays Evil Men
The cruelty of humanity against itself is legion in the annals of history. There have been stories of human horror in every generation and will continue until the end of time. During the days of Uzziah, king of Judah, and Jeroboam, king of Israel, the prophet Amos declared the justice of the Lord to the nations that had abused His people. Damascus, Gaza, Edom, Moab, and Ammon would receive the Lord’s wrath along with Judah and Israel. The transgressions of the ungodly nations that corrupted His Holy nation would not go unpunished. Bringing judgment against the people of Ammon was especially harsh for the crimes they committed against the people of Gilead.
Ammon was from the lineage of the incestuous union of Lot and his daughter. The Ammonites worshiped Milehem or Molech, which included the human sacrifice of children. Israel had fallen into the idol practices of Molech to be like the nations around them. There was a certain ferociousness to the cruelty of the Ammonites described by Amos. Fighting against the people of God, the Ammonites sought to destroy all the vestiges of the Hebrews, including ripping open women pregnant with child, killing both the mother and the child. All of this was to enlarge their territory. The action and motives of the Ammonites did not escape the watchful eye of the Lord. Their hatred led them to do great cruelties against others. The land was filled with the blood of the innocent, and the Lord God took notice.
Rabbah was an Ammonite stronghold with a stronger citadel. It seemed impregnable. God would bring it down to destruction through His judgment. The king and princes will face the wrath of the Lord as He brings judgment upon those who defiled His name and disregarded His will. All of the cruelty the Ammonites brought upon the people of God would be repaid by the vengeance of a greater God than the puny idols worshiped by Ammon. This judgment would come swiftly. All that remains of the Ammonite power are broken stones of ruin. A once proud and vicious army that brought fear and dread in the hearts of their victims met the judgment of God.
The lesson from Amos is the judgment of the Lord is absolute and complete. There are many things that men will do against one another. Nations will seek to destroy other countries, and the Lord will repay the evil. Men will revolt against other men and do horrible things, and the Lord will remember and repay the evil that was done. Nothing escapes His eye. No man will escape the wrath of God. A man will take a knife and rip open the womb of a woman and glory in his evil he has done, but the day will come when a greater horror will stand before him as he hears the word of the Almighty cast him to hell.
Injustice is not uncommon in the world of evil men. The sad reality is that across the globe, horrible things are done to the innocent. Murder, rape, plundering, corruption, and injustice are rampant in a world driven by the evil hearts of corrupt men. Judgment may seem impossible or far off, and often there never seems to be a measure of justice against the evil, but a day will come when all men stand before a just God. It is then the unjust and evil men will receive their due reward by the hand of a pure, righteous, and holy Lord God who is Almighty, Jealous, and Creator. He never sleeps, and He knows what all men do. For three transgressions of the people of Ammon, and for four, the wrath of the Lord will not turn away its punishment. Neither will this same God turn His wrath upon the evil today. Thank God for a just and merciful God.