What is the significance of Amos 7:1–6?

The Lord revealed a judgment he was planning to bring on Israel to Amos in a vision. Amos prayed “O Lord God, forgive, I beg you!” (vs. 2). Scripture declares that, “The Lord relented concerning this; ‘It shall not be,’ said the Lord” (vs. 3). The Lord then showed Amos another fierce judgment he was planning against Israel. Amos again intercedes, “O Lord God, cease, I beg you!” (vs. 5). Again Scripture says, “The Lord relented concerning this” (vs. 6).

Does this passage accurately describe God’s interaction with Amos? Did God really plan to bring about these two judgments against Israel, only to change his mind in response to Amos’ prayer? If so, God could not have been all the while certain he wouldn’t bring about these judgments. If God eternally knew he would never unleash these two judgments, we can’t help but get the impression that he was toying with Amos in a sort of manipulative charade for no real purpose. Nothing was really changed as a result of this interaction. If we believe God is above such Machiavellian antics, and if we believe that Scripture should be taken at face value, I do not see how we can avoid concluding that the classical view of the future is inaccurate.

Category:
Tags: ,
Topics:
Verse:

Related Reading

What is the significance of 2 Samuel 24:17–25?

“So the Lord answered [David’s] supplication for the land, and the plague was averted from Israel.” The passage suggests that the Lord intended the plague to judge Israel further but David’s supplication persuaded him to change his mind and relent from his punishment. If the future is to some degree open and God is genuinely…

Topics:

If salvation depends on our free choice, how are we saved totally by grace?

Question: I’m an Arminian-turned-Calvinist, and the thing that turned me was the realization that if salvation hinges on whether individuals choose to be saved or not, as Arminians and Open Theists believe, then we can’t say salvation is 100% by grace. If we have to choose for or against God, then the credit for our…

Q&A: If God is So Great, Why Would He Care About Us?

Question: I’ve read that scientists estimate that the number of stars in the universe is 10 to the 24th power (10 with 24 zeros after it). I’m told that finding the earth amidst all these stars would be like finding one particular grain of sand in a sand pile the size of the United States piled…

Tags: ,

Free Will: What about “natural” evil? Was Hurricane Sandy a Free Agent?

What about natural evil? How does free will help to make sense of this? Greg reflects on the origins of sickness, natural disaster, animal suffering and so on. Hope you’re enjoying the series so far. There’s more to come!

Terror in the Night

I’ll never forget the night it first happened to me. I was thirteen, sharing a bedroom with my older brother. I woke up in the middle of the night and felt as if something was pinning me to the bed, choking me, and electrocuting me, all at the same time.   The wind was blowing through…

Greg Boyd Chats with Thomas Jay Oord (podcast)

Greg talks with Thomas Jay Oord about what God can and can’t do.  Episode 674 http://traffic.libsyn.com/askgregboyd/Episode_0674.mp3