Amos 3:1-2 (NIV) 1 Hear this word the LORD has spoken against you, O people of Israel–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.”
On verses 1-2: The Lord chose Israel especially to be a light to other nations. However, Israel was not faithful to the Lord, breaking His heart and defaming His name with their continual idolatry. The fact that God would punish Israel for their sins shows us that with authority from God comes accountability from God.
What can we learn from this? God holds accountable those to whom He has given authority. If we are faithful with the authority He has given us, He will reward us. If we are unfaithful with that authority, He will discipline us.
Amos 3:3-9 (NIV) 3 Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so? 4 Does a lion roar in the thicket when he has no prey? Does he growl in his den when he has caught nothing? 5 Does a bird fall into a trap on the ground where no snare has been set? Does a trap spring up from the earth when there is nothing to catch? 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?
On verses 3-8: The answer to all these questions is no. The point to all these questions is to show that God is active in warning His people about future calamities. As verses 7-8 say, “Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets…The Sovereign Lord has spoken – who can but prophesy?” When you look at many of the calamities that came to Israel in the Old Testament, God sent a prophet to warn the people beforehand, sometimes years, decades or even centuries in advance. What can we learn from this?
One of the best ways to minimize the amount of unnecessary trouble you encounter in life is to study God’s Word. God gives us His Word to warn us about so many things that can hurt us. Don’t be silly and ignore the warnings God has specifically placed in His Word just for us. Instead, be a student of God’s Word. Diligently study your Bible and meditate on it often. You will be so much wiser and avoid much trouble as a result. Talking about God’s commands, David says, “By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward”. (Psalm 19:11)
Like a good Father, God warns us before He doles out His punishment. He gives us time to repent and to turn back to Him before it is too late. God did this repeatedly in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, God warns us that those who reject His Son Jesus are bound to face an eternity without Him. Not wanting anyone to perish, God gives us this warning in His Word in hope that as many people as possible will listen to the warning and run to His Son Jesus for safety (2 Peter 3:9).
Amos 3:9-15 (NIV) 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 hoard plunder and loot in their fortresses.” 11 Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: “An enemy will overrun the land; he will pull down your strongholds and plunder your fortresses.” 12 This is what the LORD says: “As a shepherd saves from the lion’s mouth only two leg bones or a piece of an ear, so will the Israelites be saved, those who sit in Samaria on the edge of their beds and in Damascus on their couches.” 13 “Hear this and testify against the house 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.
On verses 9-15: Here God promises to punish Israel for her sins by sending an enemy of Israel to invade Israel’s land, tear down fortresses (v11), altars (v14), “the winter house along with the summer house” (referring to the king’s vacation homes) (v15), and mansions (v15). Approximately 40 years after this prophecy was written, the Assyrians would invade Israel and do what Amos prophesied here.
What can we learn from this? God is true to His Word. He does what He says He will do.
Heavenly Father, thank You that one of the best ways You love me is by warning me of danger. Thank You for placing in Your Word many words of warning, so that by heeding Your warnings I will save myself much pain. Thank You for caring enough about me to warn me in advance so that I don’t fall into unnecessary and avoidable trouble. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!