Amos 7:6
The LORD repented for this: This also shall not be, said the Lord GOD.
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7:1-9 God bears long, but he will not bear always with a provoking people. The remembrance of the mercies we formerly received, like the produce of the earth of the former growth, should make us submissive to the will of God, when we meet with disappointments in the latter growth. The Lord has many ways of humbling a sinful nation. Whatever trouble we are under, we should be most earnest with God for the forgiveness of sin. Sin will soon make a great people small. What will become of Israel, if the hand that should raise him be stretched out against him? See the power of prayer. See what a blessing praying people are to a land. See how ready, how swift God is to show mercy; how he waits to be gracious. Israel was a wall, a strong wall, which God himself reared as a defence to his sanctuary. The Lord now seems to stand upon this wall. He measures it; it appears to be a bowing, bulging wall. Thus God would bring the people of Israel to the trial, would discover their wickedness; and the time will come, when those who have been spared often, shall be spared no longer. But the Lord still calls Israel his people. The repeated prayer and success of the prophet should lead us to seek the Saviour.As our Lord repeated the same words in the Garden, so Amos interceded with God with words, all but one, the same, and with the same plea, that, if God did not help, Israel was indeed helpless. Yet a second time God spared Israel. To human sight, what so strange and unexpected, as that the Assyrian and his army, having utterly destroyed the kingdom of Damascus, and carried away its people, and having devoured, like fire, more than half of Israel, rolled back like an ebb-tide, swept away to ravage other countries, and spared the capital? And who, looking at the mere outside of things, would have thought that that tide of fire was rolled back, not by anything in that day, but by the prophet's prayer some 47 years before? Man would look doubtless for motives of human policy, which led Tiglath-pileser to accept tribute from Pekah, while he killed Rezin; and while he carried off all the Syrians of Damascus, to leave half of Israel to be removed by his successor.

Humanly speaking, it was a mistake. He "scotched" his enemy only, and left him to make alliance with Egypt, his rival, who disputed with him the possession of the countries which lay between them. If we knew the details of Assyrian policy, we might know what induced him to turn aside in his conquest. There were, and always are, human motives. They do not interfere with the ground in the mind of God, who directs and controls them. Even in human contrivances, the wheels, interlacing one another, and acting one on the other, do but transmit, the one to the other, the motion and impulse which they have received from the central force. The revolution of the earth around its own center does not interfere with, rather it is a condition of its revolving round the center of our system, and, amidst the alternations of night and day, brings each several portion within the influence of the sun around which it revolves. The affairs of human kingdoms have their own subordinate centers of human policy, yet even thereby they the more revolve in the circuit of God's appointment. In the history of His former people God gives us a glimpse into a hidden order of things, the secret spring and power of His wisdom, which sets in motion that intricate and complex machinery which alone we see, and in the sight of which people lose the consciousness of the unseen agency. While man strives with man, prayer, suggested by God, moves God, the Ruler of all.

4. called to contend—that is, with Israel judicially (Job 9:3; Isa 66:16; Eze 38:22). He ordered to come at His call the infliction of punishment by "fire" on Israel, that is, drought (compare Am 4:6-11), [Maurer]. Rather, war (Nu 21:28), namely, Tiglath-pileser [Grotius].

devoured the … deep—that is, a great part of Israel, whom he carried away. Waters are the symbol for many people (Re 17:15).

did eat up a part—namely, all the land (compare Am 4:7) of Israel east of Jordan (1Ch 5:26; Isa 9:1). This was a worse judgment than the previous one: the locusts ate up the grass: the fire not only affects the surface of the ground, but burns up the very roots and reaches even to the deep.

These two verses are almost word for word the same with Amos 7:2,3, which see. The Lord repented for this,.... He heard the prophet's prayer, and desisted from going on with the threatened destruction:

this also shall not be, saith the Lord God; the whole land shall not be destroyed, only a part of it carried captive.

The LORD repented for this: This also shall not be, saith the Lord GOD.
The whole universe trembles at this judgment of God. Joel 2:10. "Before it the earth quakes, the heavens tremble: sun and moon have turned black, and the stars have withdrawn their shining. Joel 2:11. And Jehovah thunders before His army, for His camp is very great, for the executor of His word is strong; for the day of Jehovah is great and very terrible, and who can endure it?" The remark of Jerome on Joel 2:10, viz., that "it is not that the strength of the locusts is so great that they can move the heavens and shake the earth, but that to those who suffer from such calamities, from the amount of their own terror, the heavens appear to shake and the earth to reel," is correct enough so far as the first part is concerned, but it by no means exhausts the force of the words. For, as Hitzig properly observes, the earth could only quake because of the locusts when they had settled, and the heavens could only tremble and be darkened when they were flying, so that the words would in any case be very much exaggerated. But it by no means follows from this, that לפניו is not to be taken as referring to the locusts, like מפּניו in Joel 2:6, but to the coming of Jehovah in a storm, and that it is to be understood in this sense: "the earth quakes, the air roars at the voice of Jehovah, i.e., at the thunder, and storm-clouds darken the day." For although nâthan qōlō (shall utter His voice) in Joel 2:11 is to be understood as referring to the thunder, Joel is not merely describing a storm, which came when the trouble had reached its height and put an end to the plague of locusts (Credner, Hitzig, and others). לפניו cannot be taken in any other sense than that in which it occurs in Joel 2:3; that is to say, it can only refer to "the great people and strong," viz., the army of locusts, like מפּניו. Heaven and earth tremble at the army of locusts, because Jehovah comes with them to judge the world (cf. Isaiah 13:13; Nahum 1:5-6; Jeremiah 10:10). The sun and moon become black, i.e., dark, and the stars withdraw their brightness ('âsaph, withdraw, as in 1 Samuel 14:19), i.e., they let their light shine no more. That these words affirm something infinitely greater than the darkening of the lights of heaven by storm-clouds, is evident partly from the predictions of the judgment of the wrath of the Lord that is coming upon the whole earth and upon the imperial power (Isaiah 13:10; Ezekiel 32:7), at which the whole fabric of the universe trembles and nature clothes itself in mourning, and partly from the adoption of this particular feature by Christ in His description of the last judgment (Matthew 24:29; Mark 13:24-25). Compare, on the other hand, the poetical description of a storm in Psalm 18:8., where this feature is wanting. (For further remarks, see at Joel 3:4.) At the head of the army which is to execute His will, the Lord causes His voice of thunder to sound (nâthan qōl, to thunder; cf. Psalm 18:14, etc.). The reason for this is given in three sentences that are introduced by kı̄. Jehovah does this because His army is very great; because this powerful army executes His word, i.e., His command; and because the day of judgment is so great and terrible, that no one can endure it, i.e., no one can stand before the fury of the wrath of the Judge (cf. Jeremiah 10:10; Malachi 3:1).
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