When the disaster comes to a city, has not the LORD caused it?
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” Amos 3:6(b) and 7.
When the King of the Northern kingdom, Amaziah, said to Amos to go from Israel to Judah and prophecy there and don’t prophecy in his land, Amos replied and said, “I was neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet, but I was a shepherd, and also a fig fruit picker. However, the LORD took me from tending the flock and said, go prophecy to people in Israel.” You see Amos was a cattle and fig tree grower. His family did not have any prophecy background. But God called him and sent him to Israel because the land was immersed in sin and rebelliousness against God’s law for a long period of time.
There were several disasters happened in the city because God sent it to capture their attention to turn to him, but they would not. The prophet Amos asks, “when disaster comes to a city, has not the LORD caused it?” Beloved, it is true about the disaster we face today, COVID-19 as well. When disaster comes to a city, has not the LORD caused it? The obvious answer is nothing happens in His universe without His knowledge and approval.
Yes, God caused and allowed it. The LORD says in chapter 5 verse 4 “seek Me and you may live. Do not seek and go to Bethel, Gilgal, or Beersheba.” Verse 6 repeatedly says, “Seek the LORD and live.” You see God causes disaster in the city, nation, and the world so that you and I would truly seek Him. Stop seeking and visiting places of idol worship like Bethel, Gilgal, or Beersheba but seek the living God in heaven. As a result, you would live. You would live abundantly with His blessings here now and live eternally with Him when you close your eyes in death. Alternatively, if the true seeking of God and repentance does not happen, death and even worse the eternal death (away from God eternally) would be the result.
The Lord asked them to have a retrospective look in chapter 4:6-12. He says He gave an empty stomach and lack of bread, yet they have not returned to Him. He withheld rain when the harvest was three months away, yet they have not returned to Him. He sent rain on one town and withheld it from another. You struggled to get and drink water, yet they did not return to Him. He struck their gardens and vineyards, he sent locusts to devour their vegetation, fig, and other plants, yet they did not return. He sent plagues among people, he killed their men and filled their nostrils with the stench of death, yet they did not return to Him. He overthrew some of them and they were like a burning stick snatched from the fire, yet they have not returned to Him, declares the LORD God. Now 4:12 says, this is what I will do to you. Because I will do this to you, “prepare to meet your God.” Their perspective look then was for God’s judgment which was already finalized.
Prepare to meet God was, not a plea for repentance this time. The time of repentance has disappeared. Severe judgment is imminent now. God punished them. He chastised them in the past. However, they have not turned to Him in repentance. Now, national destruction and calamity are about to fall on them. If nothing else history teaches, this is what history teaches to us. Amos ministered to Israel (the northern kingdom of ten tribes). Their stiff-necked disobedience and unwillingness to repent resulted in exile by the Assyrian Empire in 722 BC never to come back to the land of promise. The ten tribes were scattered all over the world by the Assyrian empire and we call them today as lost tribes of Israel. God allowed a remnant of the southern kingdom called Judah (tribes of Judah and Benjamin) to come back to the land and re-establish there, even though they were conquered later by Babylon, due to their disobedience to his commandment. The intercessory prayer of confession by Daniel for the nation (chapter 9 of the book of Daniel in the Bible) based on God’s promise (Jeremiah 23:11 and 29:10) resulted in their return to the land.
Dishonoring God and stiff-necked rebelliousness to His word, if continued without signs of repentance, results in no way of escape of God’s judgment, when God asks you to prepare to meet Him. May this not happen to none of us, our people, our nation.
Beloved, turn to the Lord when his grace and mercies are available. Today is the time of repentance and salvation as the Bible clearly says, “ I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.” Jeremiah says this about the people who cried out bitterly in Jeremiah 8:20, “The harvest is past, the summer has ended, and we are not saved.” What a bitter cry! The LORD was abundantly patient with the northern kingdom of Israel until the final decision of exile was made by the almighty God -never to come back was finalized.
However, the book of Amos ends with hope for the future restoration for all tribes of Israel. It says in 9:11, “In that day I will raise up the fallen booth of David.” The booth/tent or house of David was fallen low in those days. However, the promise is -the kingdom covenant God made with David would definitely be perpetuated in David’s greater Son, Jesus Christ. In the already fulfilled promised Messiah who came, died, and rose again for our sins, God would plant all the tribes of Israel on their land beautifully and graciously never to be rooted out again from their land, because they all are going to look at him and weep bitterly over their sins of piercing Him on the cross. This is the mountain top view of the final fulfillment of the prophecy of Amos.
Along with them, the gentiles who believed in David’s greater Son, Jesus Christ, as their savior and Lord would also be established firmly. All humanity’s hope is based on the Davidic covenant, God made with David, (2nd Samuel 7:12-16) and the culmination is the everlasting and never-ending kingdom established at the time of the second coming of Christ when Israel as a whole look at him and weep over him for their ignorant act of crucifying the savior of the world who came as the fulfillment to their old testament prophecies.
“Father in heaven, if calamity happens in the city, has not the Lord caused it? Yes, I understand God allowed it so that I would seek Him from my heart by calling upon you. Lord, I come and pray for the healing of the nation and deliverance of the people. Lord, I pray to forgive my sins. I believe you publicly showed Jesus as the satisfaction of my sins and judgements. Jesus died, buried, and rose again for my sins to reconcile me to Father God. I accept Him as my savior. Please save and deliver from the disaster and give good days and eternal life in Christ Jesus.”