Faithful God, all Your ways are good and right and You are a safe hiding place for all who trust in You.
Read: Amos 3:1-15
 Hear this word, people of Israel, the word the LORD has spoken against you-against the whole family I brought up out of Egypt:  “You only have I chosen of all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish you for all your sins.”  Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?  Does a lion roar in the thicket when it has no prey? Does it growl in its den when it has caught nothing?  Does a bird swoop down to a trap on the ground when no bait is there? Does a trap spring up from the ground if it has not caught anything?  When a trumpet sounds in a city, do not the people tremble? When disaster comes to a city, has not the LORD caused it? Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets.  The lion has roared- who will not fear? The Sovereign LORD has spoken- who can but prophesy?  Proclaim to the fortresses of Ashdod and to the fortresses of Egypt: “Assemble yourselves on the mountains of Samaria; see the great unrest within her and the oppression among her people.”  “They do not know how to do right,” declares the LORD, “who store up in their fortresses what they have plundered and looted.”  Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: “An enemy will overrun your land, pull down your strongholds and plunder your fortresses.”  This is what the LORD says: “As a shepherd rescues from the lion’s mouth only two leg bones or a piece of an ear, so will the Israelites living in Samaria be rescued, with only the head of a bed and a piece of fabric from a couch.” “Hear this and testify against the descendants of Jacob,” declares the Lord, the LORD God Almighty.  “On the day I punish Israel for her sins, I will destroy the altars of Bethel; the horns of the altar will be cut off and fall to the ground.  I will tear down the winter house along with the summer house; the houses adorned with ivory will be destroyed and the mansions will be demolished,” declares the LORD.
Reflect: Do you understand both rights and obligations before God?
The people of Israel have been chosen by God to be a “kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Exod. 19:5,6). Though chosen out of “all nations” to be God’s “treasured possession,” now Amos announces that the Lord is against them. Amid all the talk of nations, a rather intimate and personal note is struck, emphasizing the Lord’s grief: we’re told that God is now “against the whole family” he brought up out of Egypt (1).
They have misread their calling as giving them rights without obligations. They have simply forgotten how to do what is right (10). Their faithlessness to their covenant with God demands a faithful response from God. If God is to be faithful to the covenant, he must bring the judgment that the covenant curses demand (Deut. 28), otherwise he also will be failing to honor the covenant.
So, as inevitably as the lion’s roar precedes feasting on its prey, Amos asserts that God’s Word of prophecy means that destruction is inevitable (3-8), and not only inevitable but complete, both in regards to their lavish cult and to culture (13-15). No more will survive than a few bones rescued from the lion’s mouth.
Journal your thoughts about grace and judgment. Does your thinking line up with Scripture?
Lord, thank You for grace. Help us to never cheapen that which cost You everything.