“Teacher, teacher, will there be a test?”  This was indicator of study.  As a former public school teacher, I know that if I told my students that there would be no spelling test for the words I gave them to learn, they would not bother to study.  There is no learning where there is no test to hold students accountable for learning what is taught to help them grow and mature.

Imagine putting the spelling words on the board, then turning around to face students to tell them, “See these words?  They are important for you to learn.  Study them, memorize how to spell them, use them in a sentence, practice using them so they will become a part of you.  But there will be no test, I will never hold you accountable to see if you learned these words.”  Mmm….

Amos 3, The Message

The Lion Has Roared

Listen to this, Israel. God is calling you to account—and I mean all of you, everyone connected with the family that he delivered out of Egypt. Listen!

“Out of all the families on earth,
    I picked you.
Therefore, because of your special calling,
    I’m holding you responsible for all your sins.”

3-7 Do two people walk hand in hand
    if they aren’t going to the same place?

Does a lion roar in the forest
    if there’s no carcass to devour?
Does a young lion growl with pleasure
    if he hasn’t caught his supper?
Does a bird fall to the ground
    if it hasn’t been hit with a stone?
Does a trap spring shut
    if nothing trips it?
When the alarm goes off in the city,
    aren’t people alarmed?
And when disaster strikes the city,
    doesn’t God stand behind it?
The fact is, God, the Master, does nothing
    without first telling his prophets the whole story.

The lion has roared—
    who isn’t frightened?
God has spoken—
    what prophet can keep quiet?

* * *

9-11 Announce to the forts of Assyria,
    announce to the forts of Egypt—
Tell them, “Gather on the Samaritan mountains, take a good, hard look:
    what a snake pit of brutality and terror!
They can’t—or won’t—do one thing right.” God said so.
    “They stockpile violence and blight.
Therefore”—this is God’s Word—“an enemy will surround the country.
    He’ll strip you of your power and plunder your forts.”

12 God’s Message:

“In the same way that a shepherd
    trying to save a lamb from a lion
Manages to recover
    just a pair of legs or the scrap of an ear,
So will little be saved of the Israelites
    who live in Samaria—
A couple of old chairs at most,
    the broken leg of a table.

13-15 “Listen and bring witness against Jacob’s family”—
    this is God’s Word, God-of-the-Angel-Armies!
“Note well! The day I make Israel pay for its sins,
    pay for the sin-altars of worship at Bethel,
The horned altars will all be dehorned
    and scattered around.
I’ll tear down the winter palace,
    smash the summer palace—all your fancy buildings.
The luxury homes will be demolished,
    all those pretentious houses.”
        God’s Decree.


Will the students do what the teacher says if the teacher never holds them accountable for what they have learned?  Most students perform for the teacher, doing it for the teacher, without thinking this information will be good for them to know.  A few will have the self-motivated tenacity to learn and see the benefit but most think, “If the teacher doesn’t care enough to confront me and hold me accountable then why should I care?”

God cares.  God holds us accountable for our thoughts and actions.  He sent Jesus, His Son, to care enough to confront sin as he sought the lost to save them.  God cares enough to confront us when we refuse to learn, practice what He teaches, as we disconnect ourselves from the most important relationship we can have with God.  God also knows we need to be helped, encouraged, and rescued.  When God calls us to account like He did His people, He follows up with a plan to deliver us.

Look at verse 10!  What a terrible indictment: “They can’t—or won’t—do one thing right.” They were so bound by their greed and idolatry that they found doing what was right virtually impossible. Like many people today, they were addicted to affluence. They didn’t care that others lacked the necessities of life so long as they themselves enjoyed luxuries.  God cared enough to hold them accountable and confront their behaviors that were hurting others!

Be grateful we have a God who cares enough to confront, encourage, guide us through the deep waters, hide us in the cleft of His hand, teach and hold us accountable for His teaching of how to live and walk with Him in a loving relationship. 

God loves us enough to confront us when we are headed toward a crash of consciousness with resulting behaviors unbecoming a child of God.  He helps us to avoid hurting ourselves and others by guiding us back on the path less traveled with Him at our side.  Yes, God holds us accountable with His compassionate testing as we grow and mature in His love for Him and for others.  There is no one like our God.

I am grateful for The One who loves me most of all as the One who holds me accountable.  To God be the glory!

Thank you, Lord! 

Thank you for teaching us, coming alongside us, guiding us back on the path of what is right in your eyes, while leading to the Way everlasting with you.  You are indeed our Solid Rock on which we stand amazed at your glory!  You are Life.  You are Love.  Help me to hear your voice above all other voices in this world with courage to follow you.

In Jesus Name, Amen

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
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