The accounts of Yosef‘s “coat of many colors” or “Technicolor Dreamcoat” and his standing strong amid adversity and oppression in Mitzraim are popular among children and adults. But a scandalous aside in this week’s Torah portion, וישב Vayeshev (“he settled,” Gen. 37:1–40:23), involving his brother Yehudah may not reach many children’s ears. Yet both Yosef and Yehudah provide important “calling cards” for Mashiakh Yeshua.
Our sins affect other people, including our children and grandchildren. God said the northern kingdom, the House of Israel, were so far gone, so utterly unrepentant that God’s only recourse was to send 90 percent of them to the grave and the other 10 percent into exile.
The culture and economy of Israel’s royals, nobles and judges were so entrenched in the oppression of the poor, the righteous and the just that God couldn’t do anything with them except wipe them out. Their exile has endured for millennia and is still in force to this day.
The exile of the House of Israel will only end when Messiah Yeshua returns to the earth.
Have you ever wondered what the “Wormwood” mentioned in Rev. 8:11 is all about? There is an ongoing lesson in Scripture about the herb wormwood that helps explain what it has to do with God’s actions on the Day of the LORD (Dt. 29:18; Prov. 5:4; Jer. 9:15; 23:15; Lam. 3:15, 19; Amos 5:7; 6:12-13).
The way we can correct our path and avoid judgement is to look at our own history and the history of our nation.
Human nature hasn’t changed and God hasn’t changed either. He created the Heavens and Earth including the weather. God has control over all of nature whether it’s rain, earthquakes, etc. Humans have no control over those tools.
God uses the things He has created to judge, reprimand and nudge mankind into the right direction. God says so Himself repeatedly through out Scripture, including in the book of Amos.
The descendants of Israel, North and South, inherited the covenant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob at Mt. Sinai hundreds of years before. Yet, instead of living in that covenant, the children of Israel preferred to imitate the practices of the nations around and actually surpassed the surrounding nations around in their iniquity. This is why God judges the entire family of Israel much more severely than He punishes the other nations. This is the prophet’s warning in Amos 3.
In Amos 1-2, God used the sins of Israel’s nations as a rebuke against Israel. In Amos 3, He was not just addressing the Northern Tribes but also Judah.
Amos is warning the people of Israel that although the nations around them have committed heinous sins but Israel’s sins are even worse. Israel could easily see the failures of the nations but they could not see their own failures. Amos is trying to take the veil off their eyes. He wants Israel to look inward at themselves.
Amid the seemingly disconnected warnings about various nations in Amos 1 is a message for the people of God: The answer to social injustice is not socialism but spiritual revival that brings personal transformation. This is also the message of Revelation 1-3.