Amos 3 has the prophet carrying God’s message of punishment to the people of Israel. “Against the whole family that I brought up out of the land of Egypt….I will punish you for all your iniquities”. Israel’s rejection and disregard of God is all the more inexcusable in light of God’s great deliverance from their captivity in Egypt. It’s easy to sit here today and wonder how the people could forget God’s love and provision. But we’re no different. We tend to forget all about God and do our own thing unless we’re in well over our heads and need His help.
God makes it clear that the connection He has with His people is a great privilege but also carries a great responsibility. God expected (and expects from us today) that we will walk with Him in obedience to His will and His ways. God makes six very obvious statements that everyone knew were true. He reinforces it all with a seventh statement: “Does disaster come to a city, unless the Lord has done it”? The answer is obvious as well, but God is reminding the people that when judgment comes, everyone should know that it was the Lord who has done it. It won’t be an accident. It will be the hand of the Lord.
And it won’t be unplanned or should not be unexpected. God is consistent and does what He says. “For the Lord God does nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets”. Prophets have been telling God’s story for generations. There has been every opportunity for His people to repent and walk in obedience. But they have chosen not to. They have chosen to continue in their sinful ways and now will face judgment for those choices. It hasn’t happened accidentally, and certainly without them knowing what the price would be. Yet they chose to sin, just like we do today. Sin is a choice, not an accident. And like in Amos’ day, sin carries a price tag today too.
God tells them what’s ahead through Amos. “An adversary shall surround the land and bring down your defenses from you, and your strongholds shall be plundered”. God tells them that they are going down. Amos prophecies an event that happens a mere 30 years later when the Assyrians come calling and Israel is under their reign for 10 years. It didn’t have to be, but it was because of the sinful choices of the people. God will deal with sin. And the people were taken and scattered across the Assyrian Empire as God promised.