Amos 3:6-7    When a trumpet sounds in a city, do not the people tremble? When disaster comes to a city, has not the LORD caused it?  Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets.

The prophet Amos has been entrusted with a message of doom for Israel.  But they need to know that the calamity they face, while being a result of their sin, has its root cause in their Sovereign LORD regardless of what human activity might be used to achieve it.

Because God, the Creator, is a God of order, we are not part of a random universe where things just happen by chance.  Science is possible and meaningful: humans act on the basis of rational decisions (v.3); animals have predictable responses to different stimuli (v.4); even mechanical devices can be made to act in a predictable way (v.5).  Amos can therefore assure God’s Covenant People that the disaster about to befall them comes from the hand of a loving Father who has chosen them to be his very own.  This should put a different perspective on it for them (cf Romans 8:28).  And they need to know that their Sovereign LORD is also gracious in letting them know beforehand, through his prophets, WHAT he is doing, and WHY.

Do we really appreciate the value it is to us to have the inspired Scriptures, enabling us to embrace a worldview that continues to make sense through all the ups and downs and mysteries of what happens in our daily lives?  Do we demonstrate this by reading the Scriptures daily and letting them, and not human wisdom, mould our thinking?  Let me quote my favourite part of the Heidelberg Catechism yet again:

“Q. 27.  What do you understand by the providence of God?
A.  Providence is the almighty and ever present power of God by which he still upholds, as with his hand, heaven and earth and all creatures, and so rules them that leaf and blade, rain and drought, fruitful and lean years, food and drink, health and sickness, prosperity and poverty – all things, in fact, come to us not by chance but from his fatherly hand.

“Q. 28. How does the knowledge of God’s creation and providence help us?
A.  We can be patient when things go against us, thankful when things go well, and for the future we can have good confidence in our faithful God and Father that nothing will separate us from his love.  All creatures are so completely in his hand that without his will they can neither move nor be moved.”
– Bruce Christian