By J.A. Medders
When I think of the Minor Prophets, I’m reminded of jolly ol’ Saint Nick. Santa Claus is a never-harm-a-fly, squishy, happy old man who gives out toys and delights to children all around the world. And sadly, a lot of people think of the Almighty God in this way too. Many picture God as some old man in heaven with rosy cheeks and a big beard; the worst He’ll do is give you a lump of coal.
Amos is an armageddon against all Santa-like thoughts of the Almighty God.
The prophet Amos proclaims a side of God we don’t gravitate toward. Amos reminds us of God’s war helmet, His military boots, and His might to tear down the nations. Forget the fuzzy red hat. In Amos, God is rocking the regalia of a five-star general to the infinite power. The God of Armies is His name. He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. He is the great master and commander. God would make Alexander the Great break out in a cold sweat. Napoleon would hide under his bed when facing this God of Armies.
God’s might is unmatched. No one can be delivered from His disciplining action. Israel knows this first hand. Their rebellion against the God of Armies brought the swift strike of discipline—and love.
Remember, “For the Lord disciplines the one he loves” (Hebrews 12:6). God disciplines His children because He loves us. If He didn’t love us, He’d let us do our own thing. But like every loving parent—the kind who doesn’t let their kid run wild without boundaries—He reins us in, even if it takes a strong tug on the arm, or a nail through His own wrist.
The God of Armies loves us to a degree that leaves us slack-jawed. The God of Armies carried out His wrath on Jesus, instead of you and me. The God of Armies is not against us—He is for us. By faith in Christ’s death and resurrection, we are with Him. We are on His side.
The God of Armies loved us so much that He sent us His Son, Jesus of Nazareth, to die in our place and for our sins. The Minor Prophets remind me of Christmas for this reason too—we need the incarnate Messiah to save us from our sin and from the wrath of the God of Armies. And this is precisely what Christ does.
Written by J. A. Medders