The Lord showed Amos a number of visions, primarily depicting judgment upon the people for their unfaithfulness. I write “primarily” for a reason, but more on that in a moment. The first two visions – of a locust plague and of fire – so troubled the prophet that he cried out, “O Lord God, please forgive! How can Jacob stand? He is so small!” And God’s response? “The Lord relented concerning this: ‘It shall not be,’ said the Lord” (7:2-3,5-6). Amos seems to have the reputation among some of being a calloused and hard-hearted preacher of nothing but doom. But, here, his pastoral heart shines brightly. How he cares for the people even as he warns them!
Of course, with the other visions, because Israel’s sin is so great, the judgment moves forward. But the final word is: “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” (9:14). Once again, God’s great love and mercy are seen. "A debtor to mercy alone," indeed (Augustus M. Toplady).