"This is what the LORD says, "For three sins of Edom, even for four, I will not turn back My wrath. Because he pursued his brother with a sword, stifling all compassion, because his anger raged continually, and fury flamed unchecked"" (Amos 1:11).
God's wrath was raging.... It was raging against Edom. And it was raging (God said) because of four different "sins"... four different transgressions... for different rebellions. There were "... because he [Edom] did...
- pursue his brother with a sword, and
- did cast off all pity, and
- his anger did tear perpetually, and
- he kept his wrath forever."
Another version, "... he maintained his fury forever."
God doesn't take it lightly when we pursue our brother, especially when we pursue him in anger, or when we pursue him in our anger with a sword... or even with any other thing for that matter. Some actually do take a sword. Some take guns. Some simply take words. All can be fatally damaging. God isn't happy with any of them.
Nor does He take kindly to our lack of compassion, our lack of mercy, our lack of pity, toward the one that we're angered at. We're told to "be angry and sin not." And that "vengeance" is not ours, but His!
The wording here is interesting to me. It says here that Edom "stifled all compassion." He "cast off all pity." If he threw pity off... If he stifled it... Does that mean that pity came to help; that compassion rose to aid him; that mercy popped up to possibly change his mind; that love tried to peek out to tender his feelings, his thinking, his heart, his actions..... and that he "cast it off"... "threw it off"... "stifled" down such reasoning before it could take some affect?
He "kept his wrath forever".... "he maintained his fury forever".... "His anger raged continually"..... his "fury flamed unchecked"......... Wow. Do we think our anger can continue its fuming and continue its raging, and that all the while that it does, that it goes unnoticed? Woe! We can deduce here and now, that He notices!!! He watches! He's aware of it! He cares! And............... He does NOT like it! And we'll be in trouble for it! What might you still be angry about that happened... ah, how long ago now? Maybe this scripture encourages you and empowers you, too, to lay that anger down before God decides to deal with you over it!
You know... I don't know.... I'm just saying, if you're mad at somebody.... and if you've been seething in that anger for years.... if your fury is still flaming.... if you've "kept" and "maintained" your wrath..................................... Hmmm? Maybe? Just maybe? After reading just that one scripture, you perhaps would like to rethink it and let it go? If any kind of compassion or mercy or love or pity of any sort conquers up inside you............ I'd think long and hard before stifling it down or throwing and casting such feelings off. It's a gift, grab hold of it and let it do it's merciful work! And then, cry out for a bit of forgiveness and mercy for yourself! In other words, do as James says, "accept the word implanted in you which can save you".... "Do not merely listen to the Word, DO WHAT IT SAYS"!!.... all before God's wrath comes to get you!