Saturday, March 12, 2016

The Pre-Incarnate Mediatorship of Christ in Amos 7

The seventh chapter of Amos opens with three warning visions.

The first is Amos 7:1-3: "This is what the Lord God showed me: behold, he was forming locusts when the latter growth was just beginning to sprout, and behold, it was the latter growth after the king’s mowings. When they had finished eating the grass of the land, I said, 'O Lord God, please forgive! How can Jacob stand? He is so small!' The Lord relented concerning this: 'It shall not be,' said the Lord."

The second is Amos 7:4-6: "This is what the Lord God showed me: behold, the Lord God was calling for a judgment by fire, and it devoured the great deep and was eating up the land. Then I said, 'O Lord God, please cease! How can Jacob stand? He is so small!' The Lord relented concerning this: 'This also shall not be,' said the Lord God." 

And the third in Amos 7:7-9: "This is what he showed me: behold, the Lord was standing beside a wall built with a plumb line, with a plumb line in his hand. And the LORD said to me, 'Amos, what do you see?' And I said, 'A plumb line.' Then the Lord said, 'Behold, I am setting a plumb line in the midst of my people Israel; I will never again pass by them; the high places of Isaac shall be made desolate, and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste, and I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword."

In all three visions, God warns of an impending judgment on the northern kingdom, a judgment which was eventually fulfilled in the conquest and deportation by Assyria in 722BC. The difference is that the first two judgments are turned away through the intercession of Amos himself. 

However, the third vision is very different. First, notice the varying use of "lord." In the first and third occurrences we see "Lord." That is, the Hebrew word adon. In contrast, the middle usage is "LORD," for the Tetragrammaton, Jehovah. This contrast indicates a conversation between the First and Second Persons
of the Trinity. Compare Psalm 110:1 and its use in Luke 20:42 and Acts 2:34. 

We see Amos's twice taking a mediatorial role, and turning aside God's judgment on the northern portion of Israel. However, in the third judgment, Christ, the ultimate Mediator, refuses to intervene on behalf of Israel and this third, most-devastating, judgment was poured out in the destruction of these ten tribes. We see it again in Amos 9:7, where God tells the northern kingdom that she has no more privileges in His eyes than do the most-obscure (in their knowledge of the world) foreigners. How horrible must God's wrath be, if His own appointed Mediator refuses to plead for a sinner!

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