When I first began reading Amos Chapter 3, I immediately thought about a disappointed parent justifying how and why they are going to punish their favorite child. I saw God as a stern dad who was provoked by his children, and now it is time for them to be put into time out. “You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore, I will punish you for all your iniquities” (Amos 3:2). God gave great privilege and an anointing of blessings to His people. This makes it even more inexcusable of the behaviors exhibited by the children of Israel.
Throughout the Bible, God has shown tremendous love for the children of Israel. He brought the twelve tribes of Israel to the Promised Land out of Egypt. Because of his love and care for His people, He brought them out of great darkness and suffering into His marvelous light and an agapé style of love. God expected this great nation to live by a higher standard. Out of all the nations mentioned in the Bible, Israel was the only who had a very close relationship with God. He entrusted them with His law, and His children deliberately disregard what He has asked of them.
As I read this chapter, I surely thought He would have mercy upon His people for they are of flesh and did not know any better. However, Amos 3:3-6 shows the inescapable logic of God’s judgment. Amos connects “Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?” to “When disaster comes to a city, has not the Lord caused it?” with six statements reinforcing when nothing is of luck or chance; when the children of Israel are punished for their sins, it will be at the hand of the Lord.
Amos is a messenger of God; he is seen warning the people of Israel to brace themselves for their time out. He is also writing to remind us that God has high expectations of His children and as a stern parent, He will give us a time out when we stray from the path He has for us.
Tiffany Shine is a recent graduate of the Special Education Master’s program at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She enjoys advocating for others through community outreach programs for children and fighting injustices in the classroom.
1. Do you believe you have upheld the standards God has set for us as His children?
2. What standards do you have for yourself as a follower of Christ?
Heavenly Father, continue to hold us in your light and guide us back when we stray from your path. Help us to meditate daily on your holy word so that we can grow stronger in faith and put you first in everything we do. For you know of the greatness in store for us, Amen.