We pick up our study in Amos with chapter 3.
Amos 3:1, 2:
“Pay attention to this word that Jehovah [the existing One] hath declared against you, O children of Israel [God prevails], against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt [double straight], saying,
“You only have I set apart of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.”
When God uses the name, “children of Israel,” it’s not just a term of endearment. He is reminding His people of the covenant or contract they have with Him.
Good legal contracts contain provisions covering the breech of the contract. So, when someone enters into a contract, they are not only agreeing to the benefits of the fulfilled contract, but also to consequences should they fail to uphold their end. The terms of this particular contract are spelled out very clearly beginning in Exodus, Chapter 19.
“Can two walk together, except they be agreed?”
This is the first of four parables God uses to remind the people of cause and effect. Had they been walking with God, as per their agreement, they would not be living as they were. But they chose to abandon their agreement with God and come into agreement with Satan, walking with him instead.
This may sound harsh, but that is exactly what we do when we choose our way over God’s way. This is a breach of contract, and according to their contract, Israel has agreed to the consequences about to befall them.
“Will a lion roar in the forest, when he hath no prey? will a young lion cry out of his den, if he have taken nothing?”
The second parable. Note the rich symbolism God uses, as The Lion of Judah has plenty to roar about. But if there’s any question about whom God is speaking, “a young lion,” kefeer, comes from a root word meaning covered over, as in an atonement for sin. And, “to cry out” comes from two words, nathan, to give forth, can also mean to be delivered up, and qol qol, “to call aloud,” can also refer to a voice of thunder.
“Can a bird fall in a snare upon the earth, where no gin is for him? shall one take up a snare from the earth, and have taken nothing at all?”
This third parable speaks for itself if you know the nature of birds. Tsaphar is the word used here, which means “to depart early, to skip about.” Uncertainty is the idea. This is the people. They flit from spot to spot. They soar in the heavens for a time, but their attention is on the earth below. Like a dog with a squirrel, they get distracted by the gin (ingenious lure) of the enemy, and boom, they’re snared.
“Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the Lord hath not done it?” [“shall not the Lord do something?”] Would be a more accurate translation.
If the first three parables don’t get your attention, the trumpet, or shophar, should. This refers to a warning blast. When the Israelites heard it, they were to drop everything and run to an appointed place. In other words, I warned you . . .
Of course the true bride of Christ looks forward to this sound, as it signals our Lord’s return.
Amos 3:7, 8:
“Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.
“The lion hath roared, who will not fear? the Lord God hath spoken, who can but prophesy?”
This is a testimony to our Lord’s compassion. Punishment is coming, Israel deserves everything they’re about to get, and God is under no obligation to give them further warning.
Yet, He does. That’s God’s grace. The grace of a father who takes no pleasure in the suffering of His children.
And who was His instrument? A powerful man? One with a pedigree, a bunch of letters after his name, great charisma, unlimited resources, or a huge following?
No. He called a lowly shepherd. Sound familiar?
Why Amos? Because Amos listened. Amos had not become so wrapped up in the trappings of the world, that he had forgotten the God of his salvation.
Was the faith of one man the catalyst for God extending His grace to the unfaithful?
Today, as in the days of Amos, not all of God’s people have forsaken Him. There are still those who are faithful to Him, and He will reveal His plans to them, that all may have the opportunity to repent and be spared.
1 Corinthians 1:26-29:
“For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
That no flesh should glory in his presence.”
If you think you couldn’t possibly be of any use to God. Think again. God can do great things with a faithful, willing heart. If this study resonates with you, stirs something in you, it is with good reason. You have a purpose in God’s kingdom, don’t let the enemy tell you otherwise. Keep your eyes on The Father alone. Wait on Him and learn to hear Him.
We’ll see more about this, and a promise for the faithful next time.
God’s grace and peace be yours,