Amos 2:4-5 Judah Despised The Law-A Lesson For The Church Today.
The prophet follows the same refrain used through the beginning judgments on the nations of “three transgressions and for four” (v. 4a Cf. 3:2), as a way of saying many-it wasn’t just for one or two transgressions, even though the prophet does focus on one or two of the big ones of each. For Judah their many sins stemmed from the chief of them-“because they despised the law of the LORD, and have not kept His commandments” (v. 4b Cf. Lev. 26:14). Instead they followed “lies which their fathers told” (v. 4c Cf. Is. 28:15; 16:12; Ezek. 20:13-19), the lies of the northern kingdom, exchanging the statutes of His covenant, for the statutes Israel (II Kgs. 17:15, 19 Cf. Hos. 12:2), listening to false prophets (Cf. Is. 9:15-16), and the service of idols instead of the LORD (Jer. 9:14; 16:11, 19; Hab. 2:18). Therefore, they too would suffer fire, which would devour all the way to “the palaces of Jerusalem” (v. 5).
The corruption, which first led to the fall of the northern kingdom, rather than serving as a long term warning to Judah, would instead be the path the latter would also follow. The biggest lie, which also afflicts huge numbers of the church today, is that we don’t need to keep God’s law, namely the moral and civil code, with the sacrificial and ceremonial fulfilled in the finished work of Christ. The LORD raised up voices in our own generation, such as Bahnsen and Rushdoony, which sought to restore the rightful place of the law, but the church has largely feared the world more than her LORD. The majority of the Puritans and Reformers did understand this, seeking the application of the law in their day, even as they faithfully proclaimed the gospel as well. Today, in response to theonomy, men like Michael Horton conceived the lie, the idol of the two-kingdom heresy, as just one example of this rebellion.