AMOS 3:4


The Bible says in Amos 3:4-7, “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?[5] 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?[6] 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?[7] Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.” These verses tell us that things happen for a reason. There is a cause and an effect among the animals of the world and other events. If you see the effect, then you know the cause. We would expect that to be true about God and His involvement in this world too. The prophet Amos is thinking about the wickedness in the land of Israel, and then is noticing what God is doing about it. The prophet says two surprising things. Not only does God allow the “evil,” God brings the evil in some fashion and in some way. The prophet says in Amos 3:6, “shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?” God is all-powerful. Everything that happens, happens with God’s hand involved in it; and in some way that even includes evil. The existence of evil is a negative thing for a family or a community or a nation. God will cause the evil to come in order to punish, or in other ways in order to accomplish His unsearchable ways. As it says in Romans 11:33-36, “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out![34] For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counseller?[35] Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?[36] For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.” God is so powerful that He even directs the evil so that the final outcome will always be to the glory and praise of God and Christ. One of the best examples of that is the crucifixion of Christ. It was performed by evil men doing evil deeds, and yet it was God’s will to make possible the salvation of every soul. If you are a believer, the next time something bad happens in your life, remember this involvement of God in all things. He brought it into your life for a reason. You may not know the reason until the judgment, but you do know that somehow it will be for His glory. That is one of the reasons that we are told in Ephesians 5:20, “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;” That is not easy to do sometimes. That shows how selfish we are, and how little we believe in the almighty power of God.


We saw in Amos 3:6 that God brings evil into a city, and then we are told in Amos 3:7 what God is going to do about that evil. It says, “Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing.” Why should He do anything? He is the One who brought it there in the first place. Where is God and what is He doing then with all this evil going on? It says in the last part of Amos 3:7, “but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.” What is God’s “secret?” It is His truth: the truth about the need to turn from our sins and turn to Jesus. Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” How many people know the secret or the truth: unfortunately, not many. Notice carefully who does know the secret: “his servants the prophets. To know the secret, you must become a servant. Of course, this means being a willing servant. When a person truly comes to know Jesus Christ as Savior, that person not only asks for forgiveness, but also decides to start following Jesus: in other words that person willingly becomes a servant. God said that He revealed His secret unto “his servants the prophets.” The prophets are the ones who speak forth the word of God. They can only speak it forth if God has revealed it to them, called them, equipped them, guided them, and opened doors of opportunity for them. Probably the most important activity going on in the world is the preaching of the truth. That is God’s work. That is what is being done to counter the evil. If you want to fight against evil, get involved in the preaching and teaching of God’s Word, and supporting and encouraging the preaching and teaching of God’s Word.


The Bible says in Amos 3:8, “The lion hath roared, who will not fear? the Lord GOD hath spoken, who can but prophesy?” If you are rightly related to the Lord and you are called of God to speak forth His Word as the prophets were so called, then once you know the Word of God, you must speak it forth. You cannot stop yourself. One way that you know God wants you to preach is that He gives you something to say, and so you are going to say it. You are not satisfied in listening to what other people have to say. You know the Word of God, and you want to explain it the way that God has shown it to you. Someone else might be legalistic, but you know all about the grace of God that is in Christ Jesus, so you are going to expound upon His grace. Someone else may talk about themselves, but you are going to talk about Jesus because He is the great Savior and He alone deserves praise and glory.


The Bible says in Amos 3:9-10, “Publish in the palaces at Ashdod, and in the palaces in the land of Egypt, and say, Assemble yourselves upon the mountains of Samaria, and behold the great tumults in the midst thereof, and the oppressed in the midst thereof.[10] For they know not to do right, saith the LORD, who store up violence and robbery in their palaces.” The command that gives in this verse is first of all to “publish.” God has a message for all people and He wants His message to be published in all the nations. It is interesting here because God says to publish his message in the “palaces.” The leaders of the world need to take note of what God says. God put them in their place, and God will take them out when He decides to, and God has many ways to do that. Also, all of the rulers and other governmental officials will give an answer to God at the judgment for what they did with the authority that God gave to them. God showed the leaders two things: “great tumults” and “the oppressed.” Why would God show the leaders of the nations these two things? A tumult speaks of war and trouble. In spite of their best efforts, these nations will know war and trouble. That is what is in their future unless they turn to God. The other thing that God wanted the leaders to be aware of was “the oppressed” in their “midst.” The writers of the USA Declaration of Independence had it right in forming a government: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Governments are required under God to give its citizens freedom and opportunity to pursue their own interests according to their own ability. A government and its leaders that oppresses people and keeps them from doing that will be held accountable to the Lord and will be in danger of judgment from God.  


In Amos 3:8 we were told the importance of speaking forth the Word of God. In Amos 3:10 we are told the result of not listening to or learning from the Word of God. It says, “they know not to do right.” It can be extremely hard to do the right thing even when you know the Word of God, but there is no chance that people will do right if they have not heard from God’s Word. If they do not do right, they will have bad behaviors and then bad consequences. God says that the ungodly rulers “store up violence and robbery in their palaces.” They use violence against their own people and the people of other countries, and they are thieves: they steal from the people that they are supposed to be helping.


The Bible says in Amos 3:11-15, “Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; An adversary there shall be even round about the land; and he shall bring down thy strength from thee, and thy palaces shall be spoiled.[12] Thus saith the LORD; As the shepherd taketh out of the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear; so shall the children of Israel be taken out that dwell in Samaria in the corner of a bed, and in Damascus in a couch.[13] Hear ye, and testify in the house of Jacob, saith the Lord GOD, the God of hosts,[14] That in the day that I shall visit the transgressions of Israel upon him I will also visit the altars of Bethel: and the horns of the altar shall be cut off, and fall to the ground.[15] And I will smite the winter house with the summer house; and the houses of ivory shall perish, and the great houses shall have an end, saith the LORD.” God said in verse 11 that an “adversary” would come against the wicked rulers and the nations that they ruled, and that the adversaries would be stronger. You will have adversaries in this world. That is just the way the world works. Even if we are not talking about war, there will be competition and those who oppose you. How do you win the victory in these competitions? One thing is for certain: God can give the upper hand to whomever He chooses. The lesson is this: you do not want God angry with you if you want to fins the most success that you can in life. The various competitions in life, including war, are symbolic of the spiritual warfare that is taking place. The way to fight and win that war is described in Ephesians chapter 6. It says in Ephesians 6:10-13, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.[11] Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.[12] For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.[13] Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” If you are a Christian, and people come against you as adversaries, remember that they are not your adversaries even though they try to be. Treat them right. Make sure you are equipped for a spiritual warfare and not a human warfare. You will win the battle by being “strong in the Lord” and having all the parts of the spiritual armor mentioned in Ephesians chapter 6. Those who are not strong in the Lord are guaranteed to lose just like the rulers of the nations during the time of Hosea.  


Notice the illustration that Amos used in Amos 3:12. It is actually a statement based on the principle of eternal security. It says, “As the shepherd taketh out of the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear; so shall the children of Israel be taken out that dwell in Samaria in the corner of a bed, and in Damascus in a couch.” Of course, the shepherd symbolizes Jesus the Savior. The lion is the enemy who comes to destroy the sheep. But the shepherd kills the lion, and the shepherd saves what is left over: the remnant. Not much is left because not many are saved. God always delivers the remnant, which means that He always delivers those who are saved. The saved are always “taken out.” This also symbolizes the rapture when the believers are taken out of the earth just before the Great Tribulation starts. This is described in First Thessalonians 4:16-18, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” No matter how bad it gets for us in the world or in our own lives, Jesus is always there for us with a plan for the future. Jesus said in John 14:2, “In my father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”      



Copyright; 2014 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
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