Amos 2:1–5 (NKJV)
2:1 Thus says the Lord: “For three transgressions of Moab, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment, Because he burned the bones of the king of Edom to lime.
2 But I will send a fire upon Moab, And it shall devour the palaces of Kerioth; Moab shall die with tumult, With shouting and trumpet sound.
3 And I will cut off the judge from its midst, And slay all its princes with him,” Says the Lord.
The Lord here continues His prophesies of judgment against the nations. Syria, Philistia, Tyre, and Edom are all judged in chapter one, but in chapter two God moves on to an indictment of Moab, another neighbor of Israel that existed to the east of the Dead Sea. They had at one time captured the king of Edom and had burned his body. This was a custom among the pagan nations that supposedly sealed a person’s eternal death, because there would be no body to resurrect, only ashes. Neither the Jews in the Old Testament nor any of the New Testament references point to this belief at all. However, to serve as a powerful statement of their defeat by the army of God, all of there bones would be burned as well.
4 Thus says the Lord: “For three transgressions of Judah, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment, Because they have despised the law of the Lord, And have not kept His commandments. Their lies lead them astray, Lies which their fathers followed.
5 But I will send a fire upon Judah, And it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem.”
The Lord then moves His attention to the center of the entire body of work, Judah. While Israel most likely appreciated the oracle against their brother-yet-enemy nation, their glee would be short-lived, as an oracle against Israel was forthcoming. However, a judgment against Judah makes sense. While they did not seem to stoop to the low levels of Israel in their idolatry, and while they were the host to the city of God, where He chose to dwell (Jerusalem), Judah was held to a high standard of holiness for those same reasons, and had fallen short. Therefore, God judged them as well, without naming specific crimes. He pledged to send fire upon them as well as a punishment. While God will judge the sins of pagans and sinners, He will also hold His own people accountable for their sins as well. Live right and thrive!