Israel was chosen by the LORD God. Their judgment is inevitable, because of their unparalleled oppression of people. A catastrophe is on the way.
VERSE 1. Hear this word that the LORD has spoken against you, children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up out of the land of Egypt, saying:
VERSE 2. “I have only chosen you of all the families of the earth. Therefore I will punish you for all of your sins.”
I have only chosen you. They alone were the LORD God’s people, the nation he had specially chosen to watch over and care for.
This text is often referred to when single people are being counseled about dating. They are told they should restrict their dating possibilities. They should only date people who are members of the same Christian denomination as themselves.
However, simply dating a member of your own denomination does not necessarily fulfill this verse. There are many Christians who are not in love with Jesus Christ. There are many professing believers in the pews who are lukewarm in their faith.
A better solution is to look for people who are spiritually awakened, someone who is already rooted deeply in a life-changing spiritual existence, but not necessarily an identical Christian denomination.
VERSE 4. Will a lion roar in the thicket, when he has no prey? Does a young lion cry out of his den, if he has caught nothing?
a lion roar in the thicket. A lion does not roar unless it has spotted the prey and began charging.
VERSE 5. Can a bird fall in a trap on the earth, where no snare is set for him? Does a snare spring up from the ground, when there is nothing to catch?
VERSE 6. Does the shofar alarm sound in a city, without the people being afraid? Does evil happen to a city, and the LORD hasn’t done it?
the shofar alarm. In the event of a war, the trumpet would be sounded. It made people fearful and apprehensive.
VERSE 7. Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, unless he reveals his secret to his servants the prophets.
he reveals his secret to … the prophets. The LORD God is free to do anything. Nonetheless, he seldom acts without first giving a warning through a prophet.
VERSE 8. The lion has roared. Who will not fear? The Lord GOD has spoken. Who can but prophesy?
VERSE 9. Proclaim in the palaces at Ashdod, and in the palaces in the land of Egypt, and say, “Assemble yourselves on the mountains of Samaria, and see what unrest is in her, and what oppression is among them.”
see what unrest is in her. That is, “see the great disorders within her” (NAB translation).
what oppression is among them. By means of threats and exploitation, rich people had amassed private fortunes.
VERSE 10. “Indeed they don’t know to do right,” says the LORD, “Who hoard plunder and loot in their palaces.”
they don’t know to do right. Terror had become so much a part of their lives that they could no longer determine right from wrong.
VERSE 11. Therefore the Lord GOD says: “An adversary will overrun the land; and he will pull down your strongholds, and your fortresses will be plundered.”
The enemy would defeat them in three ways:
- overrun the land.
- pull down your strongholds.
- fortresses will be plundered.
VERSE 12. The LORD says: “As the shepherd rescues out of the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear, so shall the children of Israel be rescued who sit in Samaria on the corner of a couch, and on the silken cushions of a bed.”
VERSE 13. “Listen, and testify against the house of Jacob,” says the Lord GOD, the God of Hosts.
VERSE 14. “For in the day that I visit the transgressions of Israel on him, I will also visit the altars of Bethel; and the horns of the altar will be cut off, and fall to the ground.
the altars of Bethel. Bethel was the site of the golden calf erected by king Jeroboam I. Its altars symbolized Israel’s continued rebellion against the LORD God.
VERSE 15. I will strike the winter house with the summer house; and the houses of ivory will perish, and the great houses will have an end,” says the LORD.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.