Amos 1:13–15 (NKJV)
13 Thus says the Lord: “For three transgressions of the people of Ammon, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment, Because they ripped open the women with child in Gilead, That they might enlarge their territory. 14 But I will kindle a fire in the wall of Rabbah, And it shall devour its palaces, Amid shouting in the day of battle, And a tempest in the day of the whirlwind. 15 Their king shall go into captivity, He and his princes together,” Says the Lord.
This last Wednesday marked the beginning of a roughly 40 day period that has since the 10th century been called Lent. This period calls us to anticipate and prepare for the celebration of the great feast of Easter – that most momentous of holy days when we commemorate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus from the dead. But the very fact that we celebrate His resurrection reminds us that Jesus died – died for our sin and rebellion, died for our transgressions. And Jesus’ death reminds us that we are called to die to sin, to die to the old Adam, the way of life that despises God and His law and substitutes human wisdom in its stead. And so Lent is appropriately a time to focus upon specific sins that call for public confession and repentance.
In our congregation the specific issue that we have tied to this period of time is that of abortion. This is the greatest blot on our much blotted national character. Since 1973 we have slaughtered approximately 50 million children, 50 million children who will rise up and condemn this generation in the day of judgment.
Just this week Secretary of State Clinton called the actions of Russia and China “despicable” – that was her word – because they failed to authorize UN sanctions against Syria. In the last several months Syrian President Assad has used increasing force to suppress a rebellion in his country and several thousand individuals have lost their lives as a result.
Regardless of the Syrian question in itself, let me remind us all that this Hilary Clinton who declared the failure of Russia and China to stand against the death of a few thousand individuals in Syria “despicable” is the same Clinton whose hands are red with the blood of innocent children here within our own borders. This is the same Hilary Clinton whose husband while President and whose current President countenance the slaughter of millions of children while still in the womb. And she has the gall to declare the actions of Russia and China despicable? How dare we Americans condemn Syria for deaths in the thousands when each year we slaughter over a million of our own children within our very borders? Will not the Lord hold us accountable for such shameful hypocrisy? Indeed he will.
And it is this that our text from Amos declares to us today. The people of Ammon are condemned for ripping open the pregnant women of Gilead in order to expand their own borders. In other words, the people of Ammon slaughtered these children for their own advantage. They wanted greater power, greater welath, greater prestige, greater influence, greater control – and these children stood in the way of all that. And so Ammon slaughtered the infants of Gilead.
And is this not the driving force behind abortion? Selfish convenience? I want to avoid the shame of having conceived a child out of wedlock, so I slaughter my child. I want to have more disposable income, so I slaughter my child. I want to avoid the inconvenience of raising a child, so I slaughter my child. And what is God’s attitude toward such selfishness; nay, more than selfishness, evil? He detests and abhors it – and promises that His hand of judgment will fall on Ammon and bring her to the ground.
And so reminded of our sin, reminded that like Ammon we have made war on those children yet in the womb, let us kneel and confess our sins to the Lord. We will have a time of private confession followed by the public confession found in your bulletin.