A Brother’s Love

Thus says the LORD: “For three transgressions of Edom, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment, because he pursued his brother with the sword and cast off all pity, and his anger tore perpetually, and he kept his wrath forever. So I will send a fire upon Teman, and it shall devour the strongholds of Bozrah.”
Amos 1:11–12
A Brother’s Love
The anger of a brother scorned is not soon snuffed out. The Edomites are the descendants of Esau. The tenuous relationship between these brothers begins in the womb and follows them all the days of their life and their peoples after them, too. The blessing Isaac gives Esau is more of a curse, “You shall live by your sword,” but is lived out even here as Edom pursues Israel with the sword. The crime is even more egregious because Israel is God’s chosen people. To pursue Israel is to attack God and his promises. What was hoped to be only temporary (Esau’s rage) is prolonged. Amos says that Edom’s anger continued, and his rage knew no end. It tore perpetually. If we were left to our own devices, our anger would burn continually against our God, too, but God has intervened. He has rescued us from the sword. He has sent the cool water of Jesus’ cross to put out the fire of the wrath against our sin. This Jesus is our protection from the wrath of God against our sin. The Apostle Paul calls Jesus our propitiation. Because of Jesus, God’s wrath is stopped against us. We are reconciled to the Father because Jesus was torn on the cross on our behalf. The love of this Brother has made us whole again.
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