“Therefore thus will I do to you, O Israel;
Because I will do this to you,
Prepare to meet your God, O Israel!”
He who forms mountains,
And creates the wind,
Who declares to man what his thought is,
And makes the morning darkness,
Who treads the high places of the earth—
The LORD God of hosts is His name.
This passage is the transition from the past to the future. The previous eight verses (the last three DEEPs) were about Israel’s transgressions, what God did in response, and how that still didn’t awaken Israel to their predicament. Now God is going to really turn up the heat. It’s judgement time.
God will no longer just be dropping hints. Now He’s going to lower the boom.
But the most important part of God turning up the heat isn’t the afflictions to be mentioned in the verses to come; it’s God sending Amos to write these verses.
If all the afflictions and all those impossible weather patterns didn’t get Israel’s attention, maybe having someone tell them directly that this is from the LORD—and having it all come true—will do the trick.
Just as prophesy provides context for events, prayer provides context for whatever happens next. We pray, and God responds. If we pay attention—beyond just being happy or sad about what God did—we learn. Part of this is praying for things other than simple favors. For example:
So Gideon said to God, “If You will save Israel by my hand as You have said— look, I shall put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor; if there is dew on the fleece only, and it is dry on all the ground, then I shall know that You will save Israel by my hand, as You have said.” And it was so. … Then Gideon said to God, “Do not be angry with me, but let me speak just once more: Let me test, I pray, just once more with the fleece; let it now be dry only on the fleece, but on all the ground let there be dew.” And God did so that night. It was dry on the fleece only, but there was dew on all the ground. — Judges 6:36–40
This is the origin of the practice of discerning God’s will through testing prayers. It has become known as “fleecing.” A minister/author friend wrote a thorough explanation of this, with important caveats.
These Monday—Friday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. The Weekend DEEPs are written by Matt Richardson. To subscribe to all the DEEPs click here:
The weekly study guides, which include the Monday–Friday devotionals plus related questions for discussion or meditation, are available for download here:
Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.