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October 24, 2023

How God's Judgment Reveals His Character

For the Lord God does nothing without revealing His secret to His servants the prophets.

Amos 3
Derived from the transcript of Craig Trierweiler

Judgment and Mercy

Remember this; God is good, and because He is good, He is both just and merciful. He is not one without the other.

We can see two ways that God executes His judgment in scripture. One is passively. This is where He removes His hand inorder to let us experience life the way we want it, that is, without Him. The other is actively. Here God will come and actively bring punishment for the transgressions of the people. 

Amos says, “the Lion has roared!” This is his theme. In Chapter one, verse two, “The Lion Roars from Zion.” That “Lion” here is God. Now in chapter three, verse four, look at one of the questions he asks. “Does a lion roar in the forest when he has no prey? The answer in the culture is “no, a lion will roar when he has prey.”

Again, “the Lion has roared who will not fear?” It's almost as if Amos is saying, “guys, the lion has roared and you are his prey.” And as a result of that, he says, “Who's going to listen? Who will pay attention to this proclamation?” And then he says, “the Lord God has spoken, who can but prophesy?” I believe what Amos is saying is this, that as a minister of God proclaiming the word of God to the people of God about the judgment of God, “I can't help but prophesy. I can't help but tell you because God's word has compelled me by His Holy Spirit to tell you what's happening! I move to do this. Whether you listen or not is up to you. But the Lord God has spoken, who can but tell you?” Amos is a faithful proclaimer of the word and by proclaiming it he is sounding the alarm. 

If your home is burning down at midnight, that is not a time to sit in a chair on the front yard, relax and watch while rejoicing that you have insurance. It's a time to get in and wake everybody up! To rescue people before the flames consume them! That's what Amos does. He's sounding the alarm. He's saying, “guys, you’d better pay attention.” 

Amos chapter three, verse seven is one of the most significant verses in the Bible that testifies to the character of God. 

For the Lord God does nothing
without revealing his secret
 to his servants the prophets.

God does not lash out unexpectedly against a people as if He was caught off guard by their sin and rebellion. Rather, God is gracious. He is abounding in steadfast love. He's patient. 

God's Character

What does 2 Peter 3 say? “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” Repentance in and through faith in Jesus Christ. So here, in chapter three, verse seven, we have a glimpse into the character of God. We see that before the judgment comes, God is faithful to testify to the world. 

Look at verse seven. God does what? “Nothing without revealing His secret (Also translated “plan”) to his servants the prophets.” Now understand this in the context of the passage. Trouble is brewing. There's a connection between national sin and divine judgment and so the nation is moving towards that judgment. But here's the hope! Verse seven; that day of judgment will not come until the Lord has revealed his plan through his prophets.

Why does the Lord do that? The Lord reveals his plan to Amos, to warn the nation. Why? Because of his longing for them! To give time after time of chance after chance to repent and seek the Lord.

The message is this; wake up, prepare to meet God, seek the Lord and live.

God does nothing without first revealing it through the prophets. Amos, is one of those prophets who refused to conform to the culture and one of those prophets refused to be complacent in the culture. He is a prophet with courage and conviction to speak into the culture, to warn them because the Lord God has revealed his plan to His prophet, and He is forecasting to the nation to say, “guys, you better wake up!”

The recap is this: wake up and realize the nation is headed for trouble. Yet, there is hope. 

Live out your faith in every sphere of life,
no matter the tension, that you would always
radiate the hope of the gospel

Action steps would be these: pay attention to what's going on in our culture, our nation, and our hearts, and listen up; as Amos says, “hear this word.” Next, engage in the struggle – Live out your faith in every sphere of life, no matter the tension, that you would always radiate the hope of the gospel. We are not those who conform to the culture. We are not those who are complacent in the culture. We are those who have courage and conviction in the midst of the culture. Finally, prepare your house. The most important home you own is not your summer home, not your winter home, it is the eternal home you have in through a relationship with Christ as Lord.

God’s judgment is both just and inevitable, but Jesus Christ paid that cost for us. He is where both mercy and repentance are found. In Him salvation comes by the free gift of the grace of God. His desire is that you should know His son, and not that any should perish, so He prolongs His jugment in order to give time after time and chance after chance for repentance.