‘I have overthrown some of you, like God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah!… Therefore, this is what I will do to you!… Prepare to meet your God!’ Amos 4:11-12.
The disaster spoken of in Amos 4:11, may well be the earthquake mentioned in Amos 1:1 & 2:13 & 8:8. Yet that overthrowal had not been so utter and complete, as in the earlier case of Sodom and Gomorrah!
For in the earthquake mentioned in Amos 1:1, apparently, some had nevertheless been like a firebrand plucked from the fire. Yet God still warned them that if they would not repent, they must prepare to meet God in judgment! The Lord would come with His fearful wrath, and they would then meet Him in judgment!
That punishment would be far more dreadful than any previous calamity. The people are told to get set to meet God, Whose patience had been exhausted!
Calvin comments: “God had used a severity towards…Sodom and Gomorrah. That, we know, was a memorable evidence of God’s wrath — which ought to have filled all ages with dread. As it ought also, at this day….
“Scripture, whenever it graphically paints the wrath of God, sets Sodom and Gomorrah before our eyes. It was indeed a dreadful judgment — when God destroyed those cities with fire from Heaven; when they were consumed; and when the Earth, cleaving asunder, swallowed up the five cities….
“But He says that nearly the same ruin had taken place (later) among the people of Israel — only that a few escaped, as when anyone snatches a brand from the burning…. Had Amos only said that they had been overthrown as Sodom and Gomorrah — he would have said too much…. But in the meantime, they ought at least to have been moved by punishments so grievous and dreadful. Since God had manifested His displeasure to them, as He formerly did to Sodom and Gomorrah….
“Amos here declares…that the people in vain hoped for pardon…. For God had made the attempt in vain, by many scourges and chastisements, to subdue their extreme arrogance. ‘Therefore,’ He says, ‘thus will I do to you!’….
“The Prophet…now removes the exception which he lately mentioned. As though he had said that God would execute extreme punishment on this reprobate people, without any mitigation…. ‘I will now deal more severely with you. For your obstinacy, compels Me. Since then I have hitherto produced no effect on you — I will now bring the last punishment!…
“‘Because I will do this to you — prepare to meet your God!’… See at last, that you ‘meet your God’ — so that you may anticipate the final ruin which is impending!… ‘Prepare…to meet your God!’