Verse of the Day Devotion Amos 3:7
“Surely the Lord GOD does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel To His servants the prophets.” – Amos 3:7
This is an interesting verse spoken by God to His people. This prophecy speaks of all the tribes of Israel. “Hear this word which the LORD has spoken against you, sons of Israel, against the entire family which He brought up from the land of Egypt, You only have I chosen among all the families of the earth; Therefore, I will punish you for all your iniquities.” Amos 3:1-2. God brought Israel up out of the land of Egypt and proved His love and care for them. So now for God to speak against them shows He was no doubt greatly provoked. The central act of redemption in the Old Testament was Israel’s exodus from Egypt. All through the Old Testament, God called Israel to look back and remember Him as the one who freed them from Egypt. The central act of redemption in the New Testament, and in God’s whole plan of redemption, is the work of Jesus on the cross. In the same way, we are called to constantly look back and remember what Jesus did on the cross and to live in light of that great fact. He then completes this by saying, “You only have I chosen among all the families of the earth; Therefore, I will punish you for all your iniquities.” Amos 3:2. They are the only people He has chosen to be His, and thus because of their sins they will be punished.
Amos now asks five questions with each answer being an obvious No. “Do two men walk together unless they have made an appointment? Does a lion roar in the forest when he has no prey? Does a young lion growl from his den unless he has captured something? Does a bird fall into a trap on the ground when there is no bait in it? Does a trap spring up from the earth when it captures nothing at all?” Amos 3:3-5a. Then He asks, leading up to the main purpose of these words. “If a trumpet is blown in a city will not the people tremble? If a calamity occurs in a city has not the LORD done it?” Amos 3:6.
Now we come to our focus verse, “Surely the Lord GOD does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel To His servants the prophets.” Amos 3:7. Now, God had told them in verse two that He would punish them for all their iniquities. However, for many years He had revealed warnings to His people, through the prophets, that if they did not stop their sinning, they would be punished. Amos spoke of the coming judgment upon Israel. God revealed this secret to His prophets, and it was prophesied for years and years before it happened so Israel would have every opportunity to repent. Such secrets of God are revealed to them, that they may inform the people; that, by repentance and conversion, they may avoid the punishment, and, by walking closely with God, secure the continuance of his favor.
As a parent when my children were young, I would tell them I had warned them about doing wrong; sin, and therefore because they did it they would be punished. Most of the time, that meant a spanking. God, through the prophet Amos is doing the same thing. He was saying He told them previously not to continue in their sin, and because they chose this path, they would be punished by a calamity in their city. He had warned them many times, but they refused to listen.
We must remember the context of the prophet Amos and understand that this does not mean that God does nothing without revealing it to a prophet first. He is speaking here of punishment for going against the ways of God. There are times He will bring things about without initial revelation, i.e.: how God deliberately hid the nature of the church, it being a new body, neither Jewish nor Gentile specifically, from Old Testament prophets. But when it comes to warnings of punishment for iniquities, we are warned. Unfortunately, many times we do not listen to it.
In closing, God spoke to the prophets and warned the people through them to repent of their sins and follow God in all ways. And throughout the scriptures we have been warned as well. We are taught the ways of God and that not following them is sin. “Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do, and does not do it, to him it is sin.” James 4:17. Read His word and study it so you can know the life we have been called to live in Christ. And reach out to those who are not Christians, helping them to see the truth and accept the salvation provided through Christ’s death. “But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.” 1 Peter 3:15-16.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.