Read Amos 3
Focus on verse 7
On a golf course it is understood by most golfers that when one hears another player shout the word “FOUR!” that it means a golf ball has gone awry and could well be landing nearby shortly. It is a way of giving other players a “heads up” warning to take cover if possible.
In today’s reading Amos informs us that God does not act without first revealing what He has planned to His prophets.
For the Lord God does nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets. (v. 7)
In the case of Israel at this time in history, it seems the communication was clear between God and the prophets. Where it seemed to be breaking down was between the prophets and the people. This was not because the prophets were not passing the message on clearly, but rather because the people apparently were not interested in hearing what the prophets had to say.
The way this would look if one were to use the golf course analogy, is that the golf ball is in flight, and the warning has been issued, but the players who hear the warning choose to ignore it and carry on as if nothing has changed, but then react with surprise and anger when one member of the foursome drops unconscious to the ground after being struck by the straying ball.
Perhaps the intent that God has in mind in revealing this to us is that He is not in the business of tricking or trapping us. His desire is for us to walk with Him in obedience. When we do not choose to do this He lovingly warns us that if we continue to walk in disobedience that our disobedience will bring negative consequences upon us. His motive for informing us of His impending discipline is not driven as much by His anger as it is by His love. His desire is that that our response will be to repent and change our behavior from disobedience to obedience so that we can avoid the consequences of our disobedience. He is in effect sounding the alarm for us – shouting “FOUR!” providing us with one last opportunity to take cover by repenting and finding shelter in the shadow of the cross of Jesus.
So long as we have life and breath within us, it is not too late to take refuge in Christ by confessing our sin, and choosing to trust in Jesus alone for eternal life, however, every moment that we delay, and continue to walk in disobedience is a dangerous gamble with out eternal destiny.