GOD REVEALS HIS PLANS
Commit yourself to the Lord today.
Read Amos 3:1–15
Witnesses Summoned Against Israel
3 Hear this word, people of Israel, the word the Lord has spoken against you—against the whole family I brought up out of Egypt:
2 “You only have I chosen
of all the families of the earth;
therefore I will punish you
for all your sins.”
3 Do two walk together
unless they have agreed to do so?
4 Does a lion roar in the thicket
when it has no prey?
Does it growl in its den
when it has caught nothing?
5 Does a bird swoop down to a trap on the ground
when no bait is there?
Does a trap spring up from the ground
if it has not caught anything?
6 When a trumpet sounds in a city,
do not the people tremble?
When disaster comes to a city,
has not the Lord caused it?
7 Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing
without revealing his plan
to his servants the prophets.
8 The lion has roared—
who will not fear?
The Sovereign Lord has spoken—
who can but prophesy?
9 Proclaim to the fortresses of Ashdod
and to the fortresses of Egypt:
“Assemble yourselves on the mountains of Samaria;
see the great unrest within her
and the oppression among her people.”
10 “They do not know how to do right,” declares the Lord,
“who store up in their fortresses
what they have plundered and looted.”
11 Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“An enemy will overrun your land,
pull down your strongholds
and plunder your fortresses.”
12 This is what the Lord says:
“As a shepherd rescues from the lion’s mouth
only two leg bones or a piece of an ear,
so will the Israelites living in Samaria be rescued,
with only the head of a bed
and a piece of fabric from a couch.”
13 “Hear this and testify against the descendants of Jacob,” declares the Lord, the Lord God Almighty.
14 “On the day I punish Israel for her sins,
I will destroy the altars of Bethel;
the horns of the altar will be cut off
and fall to the ground.
15 I will tear down the winter house
along with the summer house;
the houses adorned with ivory will be destroyed
and the mansions will be demolished,”
declares the Lord.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectIs there some way in which you are making choices and hoping that God will not bring the necessary discipline?
The middle section of the book offers a set of five messages to the nation. The first three begin with, “Hear this word” (1; 4:1; 5:1). The first of these messages begins with a special declaration of the uniqueness of Israel: “You only have I chosen…” (2). To be chosen by God is to be set apart for a unique role and relationship. The privilege of belonging to God includes the privilege of living a holy life. But since they had persisted in sin, God’s disciplining of them was inevitable.
Amos gives a sequence of rhetorical questions starting in verse 3. Things happen because of necessary prior events. For instance, a bird swoops into a trap because there is bait present. So for there to be judgment from God there first had to be sin from the people. This was not new news. In fact, God would not do anything without first communicating through his prophets (7).
The warnings were in place, and yet the people persisted in their sin. Later Paul warned us that “God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows” (Gal. 6:7).
It is an immense privilege to belong to God, and with that privilege comes the expectation of holy living. Are you persisting in a sin and hoping that God will look the other way?
Take time to examine your heart today. Repent in any area that God points out to you as needing transformation.