The visions of Amos, which are so consistent with everything in the book and with God’s nature. In response to the first two visions announcing judgment, God relented in response to the prophet’s pleading. But a line had ultimately been crossed and, as with the “for three and for four” situations of chapters one and two, God would not hold back on judgment forever. The rest of the visions announce judgment, terrible and frightening.
However, also consistent with everything preached by the prophets and with God’s own nature, for his people, judgment was not the end game. Who is this God who judges and who saves? He says, “Behold, the days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when the plowman shall overtake the reaper and the treader of grapes him who sows the seed; the mountains shall drip sweet wine, and all the hills shall flow with it. I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel, and they shall rebuild the ruined cities and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and drink their wine, and they shall make gardens and eat their fruit. I will plant them on their land, and they shall never again be uprooted out of the land that I have given them,’ says the Lord your God” (9:13-15).
O worship the King all-glorious above,
O gratefully sing his power and his love:
our shield and defender, the Ancient of Days,
pavilioned in splendor and girded with praise.
Frail children of dust, and feeble as frail,
in you do we trust, nor find you to fail.
Your mercies, how tender, how firm to the end,
our Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and Friend! -- Robert Grant (1833)