Surely the Lord GOD does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel to His servants the prophets. A lion has roared! Who will not fear? The Lord GOD has spoken! Who can but prophesy? (Amos 3:7-8)
God has nothing to gain by bringing judgment on people needlessly. He is not random in His actions or capricious in His judgments.
When God brings judgment, there is always good reason. And the sign of God’s real intent and of His mercy is this: There is always a warning—usually multiple warnings—before that judgment comes.
The Prophets of Old
Primarily in ancient days, God sent prophets to warn His people, again and again. They were the last measure He took. If His people did not heed the prophets, then needed judgment came.
This judgment was to bring His people to repentance so they could enjoy the manifold blessings of God, God would enjoy their companionship and worship, and the world would receive a testimony. What could be better?
The Holy Spirit’s Conviction
In our day, God still raises up for us men with a prophetic voice. Godly leaders are moved by our gracious Father to understand the times and warn their flocks of impending judgment. We have the full counsel of the Word of God to help us see this, as well as the strong convicting power of the Holy Spirit.
Reading through the Major and Minor Prophets in Scripture right now is particularly applicable to our nation and the American church. It’s like reading the newspaper.
If we will read them carefully, we will hear afresh God’s warnings for us. We will also notice God’s amazing willingness to forgive and restore if His people will simply turn.
Understanding God’s Motivation
This is important, or we will misinterpret His heart. His warnings are designed to help us come to that which is best for us. Like pain to the human body, they are a call to make an adjustment so further damage will not occur because of our waywardness.
Whether in the past or the future, and in whatever forms His warnings arrive to us, the question is still the same:
Will we listen and return to Him?
And will we do so now?