Judgment begins at the house of God.
The nearer men are to God in profession,
and the kinder notice God has taken of them,
the more quickly and severely will He reckon with them if they by willful sin disgrace their relation to Him.
We cannot expect God to act for us unless we are reconciled to Him.
1 Hear this word that the LORD hath spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying,
2 You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.
3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed?
4 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.
8 The lion hath roared, who will not fear? the Lord GOD hath spoken, who can but prophesy?
9 ¶ 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.
11 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 Beth-el: 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.
Amos 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Amos 3 – The Lord’s Word Must Come True
The closer our relationship with God, the more searching His scrutiny and chastening. The sins of God’s children which may seem of slight consequence are rigorously dealt with by their Heavenly Father, who loves them too well to allow their life to be permanently injured. It is because God loves us that He is so quick in detecting the least symptoms of disease. But we must agree with Him as to the sinfulness of sin, the need of cleansing, the hopelessness of our old nature, and the world’s urgent need both of our sympathy and sacrifice. So only shall we walk with God as Enoch did. The soul that is one with Him is on the alert, as is the traveler who hears the lion’s roar in the forest. Watch; ye know not the hour!
The nobles of Egypt and Philistia are summoned to view the sins of Samaria and to confirm the justice of her penalty. From all sides the invader would descend on the recreant land. Only a fragment should escape, like the small piece of a lamb rescued from the jaws of the savage beast of prey. The couch of luxury, the bed of sloth, the golden calf of Beth-el—all marked the degeneracy of the Chosen People. May the sorrows through which the world is passing at this hour be the means of cleansing human society from these same evils that our Christian civilization may escape the penalties that overtook Israel!—Through the Bible Day by Day
Amos 3:3—Can two walk together, except they be agreed?
This is the 1st of 7 searching questions, to each of which there is but one answer–Certainly not.
We are conducted, first, to the forest, to the lion’s lair, where the roaring indicates that he has certainly secured his prey. There is a cause for those low roars of satisfaction. Then to the moorland, where the bird is suddenly entrapped. But there must have been an intention to entrap it on the part of the fowler, else it had not fallen to his hand. Lastly, to the city, where the panic-stricken crowds cower before some giant evil, such as pestilence, and tremble at the bugle-note of alarm. Here also, whether in the sounding of the trumpet, or the presence of the plague, there is an evident reason. Thus sorrow, causeless, does not come; and whenever it presses on the individual or the State, inquiry should be made whether God has any controversy with those who suffer beneath the stroke.
Often, in answer to such inquiry, it will be discovered that the soul is not in agreement with God; but at some almost imperceptible angle its metals have diverged from the main track of God’s wise and holy procedure. And the trouble will remain until the nation or the individual have come back into agreement with God. It is worth our while to make any sacrifices, if only we may get back to God’s side.
Whether in marriage, or business, or journeying together, be very sure that you are in perfect accord with your companion before you start. What sorrow might have been saved in thousands of cases, if only there had been stricter comparison of temperaments and methods before starting forth! —Our Daily Homily