In Amos 3, he prophesied about Isreal’s guilt and punishment. God was disappointed that his people, started serving other Gods. The prophet used a series of rhetorical questions, to express God’s disappointment. “Do two walk together, unless they have agreed to meet” (Amos 3:3)? He used these questions to create a climax for his revelation. Amos pointed out that God did nothing on the earth, before revealing this to his servants the prophets. In essence, Isreal’s calamities had not come upon them unaware.
God sent many warnings about what would happen, if they disobeyed him. Even before the people entered the promised land, God spoke of the blessings of obedience and the punishment of disobedience. Yet the people forgot about the Lord and served foreign gods. Despite the people’s rebellion, God had a plan of deliverance. “Thus says the Lord: “As the shepherd rescues from the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear, so shall the people of Israel who dwell in Samaria be rescued, with the corner of a couch and part of a bed” (Amos 3:12).
The main focus of Amos’s writing in the chapter, is to point out the importance of the voice of the prophets. In the Old Testament, God spoke to his people through the prophets. The Israelites were not ruled by Kings and kingdoms. A prophet was assigned to the nation, who would hear from God for the people. During Samuel’s time as prophet, the people rebelled against God and demanded a king. Although this request displeased God, he gave them Saul as King. Although Isreal had kings, the prophets still heard from God and instructed the kings.
Many scholars have said, that prophets don’t hold the same significance in the New Testament as they did in the Old Testament. Nevertheless, there is still mention in the New Testament of prophets ministering to God’s people. Ahabus prophesied concerning Paul’s arrest in Acts 21:11. Paul spoke in Ephesians 11, about the different spiritual gifts assigned to the church including prophecy. Joel spoke of an end time outpouring of the presence of God, which would include an increase of prophecy, visions and dreams. The pervasiveness of false prophets and false doctrines, have caused some people to lose confidence in the gift of prophecy.
The answer to this is to develop the spirit of discernment. Don’t believe everything that you see and hear, but test the spirits, to see whether they are of God or they are of the devil (1 John 4:1). It is important to know God for yourself and to have a good knowledge of the scriptures. Your pastor is assigned to lead and to shepherd you and you have a responsibility to develop your own relationship with God. We listen to our ministers and seek guidance from them and we also need to learn to hear the voice of God. “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known” (Jeremiah 33:3).