Amos now turns his attention to Gaza, one of the chief cities of the Philistines
The Sin of Gaza
The Philistines made many raids on the outer villages and towns of Israel and Judah. On one such raid they even made it as far as Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 21:16-17.) During these raids they would kidnap everyone they could, old and young, male and female. They would then sell the people that they kidnapped to be slaves for the Edomites. The slave trade was the great sin of Gaza.
The decimation of Philistia
Here we see God’s perfect justice. Just as the Philistines have invaded villages and carried every one off to sell as slaves so the towns of Philistia will be invaded and everyone (“the remnant”) will be destroyed. This is done by the Egyptians (Jeremiah 47:1.)
What it means for us
The most obvious application is that Christians should stand in opposition to the slave trade. In our country and community women and children are kidnapped and sold into sex slavery. We must stand and speak out against this practice and do everything within our power to see these modern day slaves released and restored.
Slavery in American history
We must also repent for and condemn America’s past participation in slavery and the slave trade. God required the death penalty for participating in the slave trade (Exodus 21:16), showing how abhorrent it is to Him. We must do more than repent for the national sin of slavery, we must understand how it came to be not just accepted by professing Christians but promoted by them as well:
- Idolization of individuals as opposed to Jesus
- Acceptance of current culture as right
- Proof texting as opposed to deep study
- Seeking Biblical proof texts as opposed to a complete Biblical system of life
These things extend well beyond slavery and still plague us today. We must realize that we can just as easily fall into heinous sins unless we humble ourselves and seek Christ.
Will you repent of sin and run to Jesus for forgiveness? Will you let His Word renew your mind on all things? Will you take a firm opposition to slavery?