FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
HOLY WARRIORS – 4
June 27, 2016
What happens to unholy warriors? They of course will be defeated by the enemy. “The warrior shall not save his life, nor shall the archer stand his ground; the swift of foot shall not escape, nor shall the horseman save his life. And the most stouthearted of warriors shall flee naked on that day” (Am 2:14b-16). A total rout!
In this particular case prophesied about by Amos, what made for the people’s unholiness? Rather than being set apart, they were very much like the corrupt world around them.
- They oppress the poor. “Because they hand over the just for silver, and the poor for a pair of sandals; they trample the heads of the destitute into the dust of the earth, and force the lowly out of the way.” (Am 2:6b-7a).
- They are impure. “Son and father sleep with the same girl, profaning my holy name.” (Am 2:7b).
- They are unjust to those in need. “Upon garments taken in pledge they recline beside any altar.” (Am 2:8a). This refers to creditors keeping the garments taken as pledges from the poor instead of returning them before nightfall as commanded by the Mosaic law.
- They lay waste the resources of the Lord or the Church. “Wine at treasury expense they drink in their temples.” (Am 2:8b).
- They stifle spirituality and even corrupt God’s servants. “But you made the nazirites drink wine, and commanded the prophets, ‘Do not prophesy!’” (Am 2:12).
- They reject God’s ways. “You hate discipline; you cast my words behind you!” (Ps 50:17).
- They are thieves and adulterers. “If you see a thief, you run with him; with adulterers you throw in your lot.” (Ps 50:18).
- They have foul mouths and are liars. “You give your mouth free rein for evil; you yoke your tongue to deceit.” (Ps 50:19).
- They gossip and slander. “You sit and speak against your brother” (Ps 50:20a).
God then says, “When you do these things should I be silent? Do you think that I am like you? I accuse you, I lay out the matter before your eyes.” (Ps 50:21). God will not tolerate such unholiness. God is certainly not like us. But God wants us to be like Him, to be holy as He is holy.
If we are holy warriors, then God can give us the victory. God reminds the Israelites how He has acted in power. “Yet it was I who destroyed the Amorites before them, who were as tall as cedars” (Am 2:9a). God reminds them how He has been their Redeemer, their provider, their conquering leader. “It was I who brought you up from the land of Egypt, and who led you through the desert for forty years, to occupy the land of the Amorites” (Am 2:10).
How about us? We have a covenant and we claim to live it. We claim to be obedient to God. But are we? If we do the things above, then we are unholy. We are wicked. “But to the wicked God says: ‘Why do you recite my commandments and profess my covenant with your mouth?’” (Ps 50:16). God detests mere lip service. “Now understand this, you who forget God, lest I start ripping apart and there be no rescuer.” (Ps 50:22).
How do we become holy warriors? How do we win the victory, ultimately the salvation of our God? We must be a holy people of God. “Those who offer praise as a sacrifice honor me; I will let him whose way is steadfast look upon the salvation of God.” (Ps 50:23).
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