When we go our own ways, we ought to consider God’s jealousy for us. Do not think, as a precious child of God, you can walk away down wandering paths without consequence. He will follow after you. He will send his Spirit, and yes, even his discipline…
1 Hear this word, people of Israel, the word the Lord has spoken against you—against the whole family I brought up out of Egypt:
2 “You only have I chosen
of all the families of the earth;
therefore I will punish you
for all your sins.”
3 Do two walk together
unless they have agreed to do so?
4 Does a lion roar in the thicket
when it has no prey?
Does it growl in its den
when it has caught nothing?
5 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?
6 When a trumpet sounds in a city,
do not the people tremble?
When disaster comes to a city,
has not the Lord caused it?
7 Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing
without revealing his plan
to his servants the prophets.
8 The lion has roared—
who will not fear?
At times we might wonder why God is so hard on Israel. Why would God punish his own people – his children – the apple of his eye. We know that God disciplines those he loves (Hebrews 12:6). Why? Because he chose Israel. He chose us. “You only have I chosen,” God says. We are his own people, and therefore he will fashion us and mold us into the people of his making.
There are times, therefore, when God will punish us for our sins.
Lest Israel think they are in fellowship with God, he asks, do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so? No. People walk together when they want to; when they agree to; when they are in fellowship. Israel had been walking down their own path. Their sin in chapter 2 is as rank and offensive to God as all the other cities and nations God calls out in Amos 1-2.
And God is not without reason to judge them. As a lion does not roar without prey, and a bird doesn’t swoop down unless it sees food, God is not angry unjustifiably with his people. He has sounded the alarm. The trumpet has blasted. He has spoken through his prophets. The lion has roared.
When we go our own ways, we ought to consider God’s discipline. Do not think you, as a precious child of God, can walk away from him down wandering paths without consequence. He will send his Spirit to convict you. He will set snares to trip you up. Not because he doesn’t love you – because he does.
Are there warning signs in your life? Are you testing the Lord’s patience?
Listen up. Watch out. Surrender your ways to him, or he may humble you in ways you will regret…