Amos 3:3“Do two walk together, unless they have agreed to meet.”
The prophet Amos is establishing his right to prophesy about the coming judgment on the northern Kingdom of Israel. Amos does this by a series of little parables or comparisons. He illustrates the truth that ‘all effects have causes,’ and from the cause, you can infer the effect.
Amos 3:1 begins by saying “Hear this word that the LORD has spoken against you, O people of Israel”. Then in verse 2 saying, “…therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.”, followed by our key verse, in verse 3 saying “Do two walk together, unless they have agreed to meet?”
The “two” that walk together are God’s judgment and the prophet’s word. The prophet announces God’s judgment because God has commissioned him; the prophet is of one mind with God. Therefore, the Lord is with him, and confirms his words. The Hebrew word used here (yaad – 3259 Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance) signifies that the prophet speaks not of himself, but as God guides and moves him, which is called the agreement between God and his Prophets.
We know this because the application is revealed to us in verses 7 and 8 saying:
Amos 3:7-8 “For the Lord God does nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets. The Lion has roared; who will not fear? The Lord God has spoken; who can but prophesy?”
But why is there judgment on the northern kingdom of Israel? The reasons for judgment are revealed in Amos 2:7,8 and 3:10-11. Amos 2:7 accuses Israel of looking the other way when “a man and his father go into the same girl.” This seems to refer to incestuous relationships between fathers and their daughter-in-law. This is sin forbidden in Leviticus 18:6-18. Amos 2:8 mentions illicit sexual activity near the shrines devoted to Yahweh in the northern kingdom of Israel. Amos 3:10-11 says “They do not know how to do right,” declares the LORD, “those who store up violence and robbery in their strongholds.” Therefore thus says the Lord God: An adversary shall surround the land and bring down your defences from you, and your strongholds shall be plundered.”
To “walk together” with someone here means to agree with his or her destination and route. Implicitly, the prophet “walks” with the Lord. Let us look at two applications of this verse.
- It is impossible to have fellowship with God if we refuse to follow His word.
- Without agreeing to meet there is no fellowship with each other.
Firstly, the expression “walking together” is often used in scripture as a figure of speech for communion or fellowship. An example of this is, “Enoch walked with God.” Notice here, this is an ‘action’, meaning ‘walking’ is an active exercise. When one walks with another, it is communion with each other. It gives us a true picture of walking with Christ.
An old puritan once said, “It doth not say that Enoch returned to God, and then left him, but he ‘walked with God.’”
Throughout his journey, Enoch has God for his companion, and lived in continuous fellowship with his maker. There is a sense of continuance. True relationship with Christ not something that is temporary but is a continual work of the Holy Spirit.
This walking is a sign of progress. When you walk, you are lifting your feet and not placing it in the exact same spot, rather you put one step in front of the other. You progress toward your destination with every step. You become more Christ like with every step forward. Seek to move forward and walk with Christ. To progress in this walk you must be more child-like in faith, more instructed in knowledge (which is the word of God – the Bible), more diligent in service, and seek more zeal and fervency.
If you stand still you lose the presence of the Master because it is only by following on with the Lord that we continue to walk with Him. Walking with God is probably the best expression for fellowship with God. That is why the scripture in Amos 3:3 implies that two cannot walk together except they be agreed. Therefore, it teaches us that unless we be agreed with Christ, we cannot attain the sweet state of communion with Him.
Fellowship with Christ is a high privilege and no man can attain to it without the call of Christ upon his life and unless you accept Christ as Lord and Saviour. You must be cleansed and renewed by the sacrifice of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit, or else you will not have wings to mount to the high places where Christ shows His love to His people. Unless the same Spirit that dwells in Christ, dwells in you, your agreement can never rise to such a height as to admit any depth of nearness of union.
Continuously seek after holiness, never being content with where you are. Seek to grow, seek more and more to be like Christ. Matthew 5:48 says “You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Ultimately it comes down to reading the word, spending time in prayer and having fellowship with our Lord Jesus Christ. John 14:15 says “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”
Secondly, without friendship and ‘agreeing to meet’ there is no fellowship with one another. Friendship does not always mean that you must agree on everything. If you only walked with people you agree with, even the ungodly do that. When you read the gospels, it is very clear how Jesus treated sinners. When you read the letters from the Apostles you are instructed on how to treat each other.
The New American Standard Bible reads Amos 3:3 this way, “Do two men walk together unless they have made an appointment?’. The agreement is to meet and walk together. The agreement or appointment precedes the walking together as the ‘cause’ precedes the ‘effect.’ You might make an agreement to meet and walk together to discuss differences.
Amos gives us some examples in the verses below:
Does a lion roar in the forest, (effect)
when he has no prey? (cause)
Does a young lion cry out from his den, (effect)
if he has taken nothing? (cause)
Amos illustrates with a total of seven illustrations. All to add weight to the initial cause and effect question in verse 3
“Do two walk together, (effect)
unless they have agreed to meet?” (cause)
You must be sound-minded and self-controlled. By the working of the Holy Spirit you must be balanced and focused on the things of God so that your communication with one another will be clear, reasonable, specific and pleasing to God. Above all, have fervent and unfailing love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one anther without complaint (1 Peter 4:7-9)
Some scriptures below show us how we are to behave to one another, within the body of Christ and to outsider; In order to bring them to the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Fellowship within the Church
Philippians 1:27 “Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel,”
1 Corinthians 3:3 “for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?”
Romans 12:16 “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.”
Fellowship toward outsiders
Colossians 4:5 “Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time.”
1 Peter 3:15-16 “but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behaviour in Christ may be put to shame.”
2 Timothy 4:17 “But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.”
In conclusion, I urge you to first and foremost have fellowship with Jesus Christ. Let it not be a religious act of only spending a ‘set-aside’ during the day. Although this is good, fellowship and relationship means a constant walk throughout the day. You can do this by reading the word of God, meditating on His word during the day, having fellowship with the Holy Spirit throughout the day and making God a part of every aspect of your life. Walk in a manner that agrees to God’s word and be a shining light of Christ to the world.
Finally, agree to meet with and walk with your brothers and sisters in Christ. Bless each other and encourage each other. Respectfully discuss your differences. Likewise walk in wisdom toward outsiders. So that God can use your fellowship with others to reveal Jesus Christ and win as many souls as possible for the Kingdom of Christ. Amen
The Reformation Study Bible
The Twisted Scriptures by Carl Ketcherside