Okay, I confess… Every time we roll around to Wednesday, I feel like there ought to be a theme song. Only in my head, it’s some cheesy seventies game show kind of theme song. Wonder why that is? Anyway, Amos is this week. (How many of you didn’t realize there was an Amos in the Bible? Just wondering.) Drop down into the comments and share what spoke to you out of Amos. Next week we move on to Obadiah…
Amos 7:3 (NIV)–So the Lord relented and did not fulfill the vision. “I won’t do it,” he said.
I don’t think it’s wrong to admit that the prophets can be a little scary. Their mission, after all, was to warn Israel (and us!) what would happen if they didn’t turn from their sins and back to God. You could bog down for days in plagues, exiles, and death. If you did that, though, I think you’d miss the point. The reason the bad things are there is that they are consequences of sin. Our holy God demands a holy people. Aren’t we glad He provided the way to holiness with Jesus, since we can’t do it ourselves?
At any rate, to focus on the punishment is to miss the grace. It is terrifying to know what will happen if we don’t get it straight, especially when we look at our world today and know that God won’t be patient forever. But don’t get the idea that God is a vengeful, angry God. Prophecy is not what will irrevocably happen in these cases. It is what will happen if things don’t change. That is why I love Amos 7:3. Lots of horrible stuff was laid out in Amos, but then the people repented–they changed–and God said, “All of those things? I won’t do them.” There’s the grace. There’s the absolute beauty of God. He had the whole plan laid out, all of things they deserved, and He didn’t do it.
It’s why Jesus came, isn’t it? All of those things we deserve by God’s law… and He doesn’t do them to us. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, “Thank God for grace.” Without it, we’d be prophecy recipients, every last one of us.