Amos, Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel allegedly received “Oracles against Nations”, but what purpose do they have other than consoling Jews? On the one hand, God used foreign nations to punish Israelites, then on the other hand, God wants to punish them without giving them a chance of repentance. Although the Israelites continuously mocked Moses, killed their true prophets and indulged in idolatry, God provided them chance after chance.  What is your response?


First of all, Amos, Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel did not “allegedly” receive oracles against the nations. They did in fact receive these oracles.  They are not alleged prophets, they are actual prophets of Yaweh!  Having said, this, it is a fair question to ponder why God included such warnings against the enemies of Israel, when the message was given to Israel.  It is possible, as you imply, that one reason for this is as a consolation to the Jews and a reminder that they were his favored people.  God did say to Abraham that those God would oppose those who opposed him.  Genesis 12:3 “Whoever curses you I will curse.”  The Jews naturally assumed this applied to them as well.  As a parent, I understand God on this.  He is jealous of his beloved people, and those who go after his people, God will hold accountable.  So, part of the reason for these oracles is as a consolation to God’s people.
But that is not the entire story.  God warns those who oppose him of coming judgment.  When God plans on judging Edom or Assyria or Egypt, he informs them through is prophets.  It is not only possible, but also likely that Edom and the Ammonites were made aware of the warnings of judgment from God.  God warned the Ninevites through Jonah and they repented, therefore avoiding, at least for a time, God’s announced judgment.   You said that the punishment came “without giving them a chance of repentance.”  But this is not true.  These oracles are one way that God gives them a chance to repent.  But even if they would not repent, God gave them warning.  You say that God’s people, time and time again, indulged in idolatry and that God gave them repeated warnings. This is absolutely true.  It is even more true of the Edomites, Philistines, Arameans, Assyrians, Egyptians and Moabites, and God gave them repeated warnings through Amos, Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel.  Who else would God warn them through, if not through one of his prophets?
Another reason for these oracles is for us in the Christian age.  God’s words to Israel amount to a warning to disciples of Jesus.  God’s words to the pagan nations amounts to a warning to those of us who are not yet Christians.  For example, in Ezekiel chapters 4-24, as warnings to Judah, can serve as warning from God to believers, but Ezekiel chapters 25-32 and 35 can serve as warnings to those who have not yet become Christians.
John Oakes

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