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God Saved The Philistines Too?

Most of Nations and God's has been well-known parts of scriptures or parts of well-known stories. This blog's lesson comes from a little book in the bible called Amos. I do not believe that I read Amos (apart from a yearly bible challenge) before 2016. Amos is part of what many Christians call the minor prophets in the Old Testament. I wanted to read these minor prophets, so I decided to do a bible study at my church on them. We started with Amos, and I remember re-reading this verse multiple times.

"Are you not like the Ethiopians to me, O people of Israel? says the Lord.Did I not bring Israel up from the land of Egypt, and the Philistines from Caphtor and the Arameans from Kir?"

To this point, I have been suspicious of a choosey God that loved one nation more than others but almost felt out of place saying it out loud. I knew that God was God of all, with the covenant being a blessing to all nations and lines in the Epistles like Romans 1:20, or Acts chapter 17. But I never knew there was an explicit reference in scripture, much less the Old Testament that said Isreal was the same as everyone else, much less the Philistines.

The Philistines are the nation of Goliath (the giant) that David defeats. They are often seen in opposition to the Jewish nation. Yet here, in one of the earliest books dedicated to a prophet, is the idea that the Philistines and Isreal are the same in God's eye. Most people who read the Bible assume the prophets speak for God more than the Kings or Priest. So if we have a "conflict" in scripture, it is usually good to side with the Prophet.

The prophet is dismantling one of the biggest problems many people have with the God of the Bible. That he chooses one people over another. If God is God and doesn't change, why does he only start to care about non-Jews after Jesus? Well, it turns out that the is a question with a false premise. Much like the "Does you mom know you still wet the bed" it makes an assumption that is not true. The problem people have isn't a problem because it not true. God loves all.

It is never healthy to create a biblical theory based on one passage, but I do not think this notion is lost in the rest of scripture. Another Example of this is from another prophet in Isiah 19:25

whom the Lord of hosts has blessed, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my heritage.

Now this one takes a little bit of Context. First, at this time the north and the south have split, and both think they are the true representation of God's nation. So Isreal and Judah are not synonyms, but almost rivals. We must also know what all these nicknames that are being given are phrases of God's chosen people.

In America where I am from, we say land of the free and home of the brave. If I were to say ISIS, land of the free and home of the brave that statement would sound un-American. Which it should. It is taking a special phrase or nickname and give it to an enemy.

That is exactly what Isiah is doing in this scripture.

We have Amos saying God loves other nations just the same, and Isiah saying it with a little more rhetoric. This is not just one idea in one book, it is at least the same idea in two books. From two prophets. This idea that I was told the wrong thing, and reading Amos is where this blog was born. As we continued the minor prophets bible study I remember thinking Jonah is all about another country as well. I remember someone once saying if you can not trace an idea back to Genesis and Exodus, then it is challenging to call it biblical. Which is why I wrote on Genesis 12 and the part about Exodus including a multitude of people.

In conclusion, I am not a biblical scholar, and I wish I had more time to dive into some of these details. But as the introduction stated, this was a huge eye opener that has helped me fall more in love with God. I am writing this final piece one week after a white nationalist rally in America. I am happy to know that my scriptures are not nationlist as I once assumed. God loves all and is drawing all. He is a little more complicated than our human politics. Let us have the courage to share the good of Jesus like Paul in the book of Acts. Affirm strongly that the God of the bible is God. As it turns out the Bible says he is God who helped the Philistines as well as Isreal.