Amos 7:1-9 The Three Visions Testify That The LORD Had A Plumb Line.
Amos now will write about what the Lord God had showed him, mirroring what he previously said that he saw (1:1a). Amos saw three visions which all testified to the same truth, so that “by the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established” (Dt. 19:15 Cf. Nu. 35:30; Heb. 10:28). The covenant people would not “be put to death on the testimony of two or three witnesses” (Dt. 17:6). With his knowledge of the law, Amos evidently also saw the importance of writing this book with this principle in mind, even if it was the same Lord/LORD, and the same human writer throughout (Cf. II Cor. 13:1). The Lord and the prophet were two witness, amongst many others (Cf. Mt. 18:16; Jn. 8:17; I Tim. 5:19). What Amos saw was the Lord God’s intention to use locusts to devour whatever was left from the king’s mowings, that is, both the nations and the created order served His sovereign purposes in judgment on the covenanted nation, including any remnant (vv. 1b-2a).
In response, Amos pleads for the sparing of the remnant, that which would be left after the mowings (v. 2b), so the covenant LORD “relented concerning this. ‘It shall not be,’ said the LORD” (v. 3). So the judgment activity of the Lord God would stop at the point where the covenant LORD would preserve a remnant, in whom the promise of the covenants would be fulfilled. The fire was used by the Lord God to both destroy the nations and the covenanted nation (v. 4), to which Amos again prays that the Lord God would stop for the preservation of a remnant (v. 5 Cf. 7:2-3), to which the covenant LORD again said, “This also shall not be” (v. 6). Then in a third vision the Lord shows Amos a plumb line in the midst of His people Israel, whom he would not pass by anymore (vv. 7-8). There would be no more passing by the nation, but He would pass “over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage” (Mic. 7:18). The exacting plumb line from above would distinguish between the two.