October 26, 2021
“If a ram’s horn is blown in a city, aren’t people afraid? If a disaster occurs in a city, hasn’t the Lord done it? Indeed, the Lord God does nothing without revealing His counsel...”
“If a ram’s horn is blown in a city, aren’t people afraid? If a disaster occurs in a city, hasn’t the Lord done it? Indeed, the Lord God does nothing without revealing His counsel to His servants the prophets. A lion has roared; who will not fear? The Lord God has spoken; who will not prophesy?” Amos 3:6-8
Beginning in verse 4, Amos declares the reason for his message. It is a simple display of physics: An object at rest remains at rest unless acted upon. Otherwise, restful people get afraid because the ram’s horns are blown, and lions roar. Likewise, the Lord is bringing disaster upon (otherwise peaceful) Israel because sin has caused it; and (otherwise quiet) prophets are speaking God’s Word because He is speaking to them.
At present, the World is full of calamity. And while we may not be able to pinpoint any particular person’s sin (as the cause of the catastrophe), we can be sure that calamity exists because of sin’s presence. The fact that the Lord Himself would cause disaster has frustrated some overzealous for the reputation of the Lord. But a God who will not judge sin is not a God of love. Love sets a standard and governs by it. That is why Jesus had to die on the cross; the judgment of God had to be levied, and He was the only possible substitute.
God’s judgment is the reason why believers can worship while taking communion, and unbelievers eat and drink judgment upon themselves. (1 Corinthians 11:29) It’s not that taking communion curses an unbeliever. Unbelievers are condemned already. (John 3:18) It simply means that while believers partake to remember the wrath removed, unbelievers are reminded of what awaits them because they have refused Messiah’s atonement.
The prophets had good cause to claim to speak on behalf of God. God had revealed His secrets to them. Therefore, we must boldly proclaim the truth God has revealed to us, through His Word. (1 Corinthians 14:1) The Bible is the only reason a believer can boldly proclaim, “The Lord has spoken!” Scripture is not only the proper moral ground, but it is the only proper moral ground that has ever existed!
If God has not spoken (or if a person does not believe God has spoken) through the Bible, then one man’s guess is as good as another’s; one philosopher’s speculations are as worthy of consideration as the next guys. Just a quick visit to your local public school or secular university will enlighten you on how little credence the Bible gets in our culture.
But if God Himself has spoken (as He has in His Word), then every matter of contention is settled in the hearts of those who fear Him. Amos’ challenge was similar to ours: Preach God’s Word to a people who have rejected its credibility, relevance, and authority. So, we use the same argument as Amos: If we were pleasing to God, why would He be allowing all this disaster, calamity, warfare - things set apart for judgment of sin - to run rampant in our midst? And if the Bible says it will only get worse unless we repent, then why not repent?