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 Genesis 6:5–6?

Seeing the wickedness of the whole human race which preceded the great flood, the Bible says, “The Lord was sorry that he made humankind on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.” If everything about world history was exhaustively settled and known by God as such before he created the world, God had…

Topics:

How do you respond to Matthew 21:1–5?

Jesus commanded his disciples, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, just say this: ‘The Lord needs them.’ And he will send them immediately” (vs. 1-4). Though this verse…

Topics:

How do you respond to 1 Timothy 1:9?

“[God] saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works but according to his own purpose and grace. This grace was given to us in Christ Jesus before the ages began…” Compatibilists sometimes appeal to this verse to support the view that God determined who would (and thus who would…

Does your “dispositional” ontology avoid substantival categories?

Question: In Trinity and Process you argue against a “substantival” ontology and instead advocate a “relational,” “process” and/or “dispositional” ontology in which being, being-in-relation and being-in-process are one and the same. In your view, entity x is its relation to entity y (and all other relations) and is the disposition to interact with y (and…

Why the 35W Bridge Collapsed – blog post 8/09/2007

As all of you know, I’m sure, a little over a week ago the 35W bridge in Minneapolis collapsed. This is the most traveled bridge in Minnesota. It was a tragedy, though the fact that only 13 people died and/or are presumed dead is really amazing, especially given that this happened at the peak of…

Lord Willing? Part 1

Greg sat down with Jessica Kelley recently to talk with her about her book Lord Willing?. We’re posting their conversation in three parts. Today, in part 1, Jessica shares the story of when her son Henry was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor at age 4. You can find part 2 of the interview here, and part…