Amos 3:4 Does a lion roar in the thicket when it has no prey? Does it growl in its den when it has caught nothing?
7 Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets.
8 The lion has roared— who will not fear? The Sovereign LORD has spoken— who can but prophesy?
This week, we found ourselves in the 3rd Chapter of Amos, looking at his prophetic to God’s people. He informs the people that the Lord has decided to punish Israel. Their time spent feeding their flesh and being disobedient to His commandments and to the word given through His prophet have caused God to take action against His people. There is no turning back he advises them. The ball has been set into motion. It’s inevitable!
He then explains further, informing them of something key. See, they have ignored all the warning signs. They heard the words of the prophet and would not give heed to them. Amos says, “does a lion roaring the thicket with it has no prey? ” V. 4 For those late to the story, God is the Lion and we are the prey. Amos informs the hearers that God is in the thicket.
We talked about the National Geographic videos that feature the unaware deer grazing in the field, while the lion sits couched just feet away, waiting for the right time to pounce. My friends, God is not dead! He is not unaware! He is not sleep! He is God! He never sleeps nor does He slumber! He could be called the silent killer, but he gives a warning first. The people, like us, believed that God was pleased and or not bothered by their action because he not stop it immediately. They continued feeding their flesh, believing that they were getting way with it. They weren’t! He watched the whole time!
Sister Ashley spoke of the frustration watching the video. Though the dear is unaware, the viewer and the lion are not. Point being, often those around us see the larger picture. While the dear or person grazes, they often does not realize they are in trouble. They eat peacefully, while those watching scream helplessly at the screen. We are that dear! We carelessly feed our flesh, as though the lion does not exist. But a newsflash; God is not sleeping. He “…neither sleeps nor slumbers…” Psalm 121:4 He is watching us! 24 Hour surveillance! He sees and knows all, yet we act as though he is knowledgeable of our sins!
Amos continues,“…the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets…” V.7 In other words, before the Lord strikes from the “thicket”he speaks to the prophet. He informs the prophet of his plans, that he might speak to the people before he strikes. After crouching, the Lion leaps into action, chasing relentlessly until it corners its prey.
The question was asked of the group, “Have you ever been cornered?” As a consensus, the majority agreed that Sunday service tends to feel like this. It’s word that comes from the mouth of the prophet that lets you know that God has been watching. Often we sit through messages that leave us feeling as though the preacher has been following us around, documenting all our thoughts and actions. This feeling is the result of God’s leading of the man of God, giving him or her the words to speak to his people. The listener sits in their seat, confronted by the truth and the power and knowledge of the lion, feeling helpless and powerless, many times looking for a way of escape. It is amazing how many come to church and are still shocked when the preacher speaks right to their circumstances; however, let us recall this to be God’s process. He speaks first to His prophet. He gives instructions and warnings!
Here we find ourselves in the midst of a hidden truth, the Prophet is the Lions Roar. Amos speaks and then says, “The lion has roared— who will not fear?” V.8 Verse 6, He says, “If an alarm sounds…do not the people fear?” Amos speaks forth God’s truth! The people are cornered. Their sins have been revealed, and God’s plan uncovered! He then ask, “…who will not fear?” V. 8 After the Lord roars, we like the cornered dear, should be filled with fear. We should drop what we are doing. We should change our direction. We should hide our face. We should repent! However, what we find is often the deer is so caught up in its grazing, that the lion is on his back with jaws clinched between his neck and spin. The prophet stands before the people sounding the alarm for the city, and yet people continue with business as usual.
When will we heed the word of the prophet? As our world continues to fall deeper into living for the flesh, we must find ourselves finding a new appreciation for the word of God and for the voice He determines to deliver it through. We must not look at the Prophet as just another person, but according to the assignment that has been given to him or her. Respecting the office and responding to His instructions with urgency, because He watches the lion while we graze.