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Biblical Prophecy & Biblical Preaching

bib prophecyAmos 3 – Biblical Prophecy & Biblical Preaching


In looking at Amos chapter 3, today we will be focusing on the nature of Biblical prophecy and how some of its principles relate to Biblical preaching.

Before preachers begin delivering their sermon they sometimes pray a prayer like; May they not see me Lord but you Lord, may they not hear my words but your words. Now whilst I applaud this pious sentient it’s simply not how it works. For as Scripture is God’s Word communicated through human words, so it is, as much as it can be without being in the same league as divinely inspired Scripture, with Biblical preaching. Just as each Biblical author adds their own particular thread to the tapestry of Scripture, so does each preacher have their own flavour and unique delivery.

It may surprise you to know, that in many respects, there is not that much difference between prophesying and preaching. People often equate prophecy to telling the future and rightly so, because it certainly has that element to it, but right at the heart of Biblical prophecy is a calling people back to God and His Word. The Old Testament prophets were always calling the people back to the Law of Moses and likewise, Biblical preachers are to always call their listeners back to the word of God, to the Gospel of Christ.

In applying the Law of Moses to Israel’s specific situation, Amos was called to communicate the prophetic word as clearly and as reverently as possible and so are Biblical preachers in their own time and place. Biblical preachers have the same conviction that the prophets of long ago did; that God still speaks through what he has spoken, for whilst God’s Word through Scripture is indeed ancient, it is also, forever new.


Amos 3

Israel’s Guilt and Punishment

3Hear this word that the Lord has spoken against you, O people of Israel, against the whole family that I brought up out of the land of Egypt:
2 You only have I known
of all the families of the earth;
therefore I will punish you
for all your iniquities.
3 Do two walk together
unless they have made an appointment?
4 Does a lion roar in the forest,
when it has no prey?
Does a young lion cry out from its den,
if it has caught nothing?
5 Does a bird fall into a snare on the earth,
when there is no trap for it?
Does a snare spring up from the ground,
when it has taken nothing?
6 Is a trumpet blown in a city,
and the people are not afraid?
Does disaster befall a city,
unless the Lord has done it?
7 Surely the Lord God does nothing,
without revealing his secret
to his servants the prophets.
8 The lion has roared;
who will not fear?
The Lord God has spoken;
who can but prophesy?
9 Proclaim to the strongholds in Ashdod,
and to the strongholds in the land of Egypt,
and say, ‘Assemble yourselves on Mount Samaria,
and see what great tumults are within it,
and what oppressions are in its midst.’
10 They do not know how to do right, says the Lord,
those who store up violence and robbery in their strongholds.
11 Therefore, thus says the Lord God:
An adversary shall surround the land,
and strip you of your defence;
and your strongholds shall be plundered.

12 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 live in Samaria be rescued, with the corner of a couch and part of a bed.
13 Hear, and testify against the house of Jacob,
says the Lord God, the God of hosts:
14 On the day I punish Israel for its transgressions,
I will punish the altars of Bethel,
and the horns of the altar shall be cut off
and fall to the ground.
15 I will tear down the winter house as well as the summer house;
and the houses of ivory shall perish,
and the great houses shall come to an end,

says the Lord.