1 Hear this word that the LORD has spoken against you, O people of Israel, against the whole family that I brought up out of the land of Egypt:
2 “You only have I known
of all the families of the earth;
therefore I will punish you
for all your iniquities.
3 “Do two walk together,
unless they have agreed to meet?
4 Does a lion roar in the forest,
when he has no prey?
Does a young lion cry out from his den,
if he has taken nothing?
5 Does a bird fall in a snare on the earth,
when there is no trap for it?
Does a snare spring up from the ground,
when it has taken nothing?
6 Is a trumpet blown in a city,
and the people are not afraid?
Does disaster come to a city,
unless the LORD has done it?
Review. After his opening announcements of judgment on Israel and her neighbors, Amos begins a section of prophetic proclamations. Note the phrase “hear this word”.
I. A call to remember their relationship with God (3:1-2)
A. The people addressed: the whole people of God, both Israel and Judah (3:1). Notice that God speaks to them in as to a “family”. The tone is personal, and it is also redemptive, because God brought them out of Egypt (cf. 2:10).
1. Although Amos primarily addresses Israel, Judah should also hear (and pay attention to) this message from God.
Apply: We should look at every sermon as being addressed to us. A quick way to develop a wrong attitude in listening to sermons is to prejudge whether you should listen because “you like it” or “it seems like it might help me”.
2. Specifically, the people are instructed to hear what the Lord had against them. It should make a person a very attentive listener when he or she hears that the God of the universe has something against him or her!
B. The people described (3:2a)
1. They were objects of sovereign love. The words “know”, “choose” and “love” are near synonyms in contexts like this (Gen 4:1; Ex 33:12-13,17; Jn 10:13-15,27-28; Rm 8:29; 1 Pt 1:2). They were chosen by God (Dt 7:6-8).
Apply: The doctrine of election should be very practical. God has chosen us; therefore, we should choose him and his ways in response.
2. Therefore, they stood in a special relationship to God. This is true regarding both the old covenant people (Ex 19:5-6) and the new covenant people (1 Pt 2:9-10).
C. The people were responsible (3:2b). The relationship demanded responsibility.
1. Many times in the Old Testament Scriptures Israel is warned of her responsibility to obey the Lord.
2. We also are to obey (Heb 8:6-8; 12:4-11). The better covenant does not lessen our duty to listen to God and to obey. With the assurance of our high standing in God’s family as adult sons, we should have a heightened sense of our duties.
Comment: New covenant theology does not produce lawlessness, but speaks against it at every point!
II. A call to right thinking (3:3-6)
A. Agreement is essential for fellowship.
1. The kind of agreement referred to here is a “pattern of united living”. Knowing God’s worth and will as his chosen bride, we agree to walk with him in his ways.
a. Faithful love – “forsaking all others”
b. Submission – agreement to follow leadership
c. Close companionship – essence of marriage
d. Bear his children – fruitfulness
2. What destroys fellowship? Sin does! Ps 66:18; 1 Jn 1:7
3. In order to enjoy true fellowship in the church, we must agree around the truth.
Illustration: An engaged couple has to reach agreement on basic issues of family life as they move close to finalizing their union, if their marriage is to be successful.
Quote: “Unless we agree with God in our end, which is his glory, we cannot walk with him by the way.” [Henry]
B. God has reasons for the announced judgment on his people (3:4-5).
1. These reasons were announced in the preceding section.
2. “The threatenings of the word and providence of God are not bugbears [bogeymen] to frighten children and fools, but are certain inferences from the sin of man and certain presages [predictions] of the judgments of God.” [Henry]
Point: The judgments of God were not the products of chance. People are wise in times of trial, if they reconsider their ways and return to the Lord. Perhaps he will be merciful.
C. God would be the One bringing this judgment (3:6).
1. The theology of the Bible is neither fatalism nor a reign of chance. God is in control of history. Even the smallest events happen according to his controlling will.
2. The evil spoken of is not moral evil, but it is the evil of disaster. Compare Is 45:7.
Apply: How is your relationship with God? Are you walking with him? If you are, you are in agreement with him. Are you?
Pastor Dave Frampton
When push comes to shove there is usually nothing more satisfying than for a saint of God to have at his or her disposal a source of biblically sound instruction in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The faithful and spiritually profitable labors of Dave Frampton are here at CMC to be a blessing. Bible teacher and student alike will profit much from his labor in the God’s Word. Visit Newtown Square Baptist Church