Bible Studies
Written by Jim Jordal   
Thursday, 11 August 2016


By Jim Jordal

 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, You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities…. 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? Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets. The lion hath roared, who will not fear? the Lord GOD hath spoken, who can but prophesy?                                                                              Amos 3:1-8 KJV

The Bible Book of Amos is small in words, but mighty in meaning. It reaches across the centuries with a force powerful enough to trouble individuals and engulf nations. It speaks with a voice of hitherto veiled truth whose time has come to be heard, especially by the opinion molders of society---political figures, social giants, economic power figures, and the generic clergy.

Prophecy is often defined as predicting the future. In many examples it does just that. But usually the prediction is accompanied by reasons why the prophecy is being uttered. Prophecy presents and interprets the will of God, often threatening dire outcomes arising from ignoring the words of God, or great blessings accruing to those who are obedient. In other words, it’s God’s word with teeth.

Looking at the quote above, we can see God demanding through Amos that Israel hear His word because of their favored position as chosen people. He utters the plaintive words, “You only have I known of all the families of the earth…” The implied expectation is that because of your favored position you should at least have paid attention to my word, but you refused and so now “I will punish you for all your iniquities.”

Those of you who think that God does only nice things might consider these words:  “shall there be evil in a city and the Lord has not done it?” Again and again Scripture reveals an angry God acting through events and calamities like war, famine and disease to bring his people into an understanding acceptance of his word. Yet, there are Christians who blame all such events on either Satan, human error, or the laws of chance. But Scripture says that God assumes an active role in disciplining and rewarding his people, both individual and national.

But the entire thrust of this passage reveals a powerful but too often minimized truth that “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secrets unto his servants the prophets.” Taken literally this would mean that nothing done by God escapes inclusion in some prophetic utterance by a prophet somewhere.

If this is true, one might ask why we so often minimize the prophetic books of the Bible. God says there is a blueprint of his present and future actions somewhere in Scripture. Why aren’t we searching the Scriptures in an attempt to find what God is saying to us today, since the continued existence of our nation seems to more and more depend on our willingness to adapt to the ways and word of God.

Looking at the worldwide chaos now enveloping most nations, it seems to me that we must accept that some supernatural force is actively stirring the pot. If it is Satan, as some believe, then we might also realize that he is limited in his power by the shed blood of Jesus Christ. If that force is God, then we’d better stop fighting and attempt to determine what the force is speaking to us.

It’s time to stop ecclesiastical “business as usual” and turn our attention to the coming earthly kingdom of our Lord. The great shaking promised by Hebrews 12 is now happening as human institutions and systems face the Divine question: are they fit for entrance into God’s kingdom? If yes, they will survive. If not, they will fail.