|The Biblical Examiner
An Examination of Biblical Precepts Involved in Issues at Hand
In using this text, we run the risk of using a much used verse. It is a favorite passage, one which I have often used in the past.
There is a very important point which we need to consider before we look at this. This point is obvious yet overlooked. Isa. 8:20-- To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. Isaiah is very clear here. Every message and messenger which is from God will speak according to the OT law and the prophets.
In other words, the New Testament presents nothing new, (except the mediation work of Christ). The message is not new. Thus, every NT doctrine must be understood in the light of what is already established in the law and the prophets. The Lord Himself made this extremely clear, Jn. 5:45-47; Lk. 24:44-48.
Therefore, our doctrine of "can two walk together, except thy be agreed?" must be viewed in the light of the law and of the prophets. Let's follow Amos just a little.
In chp. one, we see the Lord pronouncing His judgment against the heathen nations. Even the pagans will be held accountable to the Lord God of Heaven. No one will escape His notice and judgment. In this judgment against the heathens, it is for obvious wickedness. Anyone should have known not to do these things.
The Lord points out that if the heathen cannot avoid the judicial wrath of God, then how do His people expect to avoid His wrath. They can't and won't.
Now he moves on to His people. Judah and Israel, 2:4-8. Why is God going to move in His wrath against them? Amos 2:4-- because they have despised the law of the Lord, and have not kept his commandments. The Lord then promises to send a fire upon His people, to devour the palaces... Despise here is speaking of rejecting. Using Scripture to interpret Scripture here is what we find.
I Sam. 8:7; 15:23, 26; 16:1
Isaiah 5:24; (30:12)
Jer. 6:(19) 30; 8:9
Ezek. 5:5-8 (20:13, 16, 24)
The passage which best sums up what Amos 2:4 and 3:3 is saying would be Lev. 26. The word despise is used in vv. 15 and 43. This is re-given and expanded on in Deut. chp. 28 through chp. 32. This will be difficult but let's just look at some major points.
First, Lev. 26:12 is used by Paul in II Cor. 6:16. And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for yea re the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Then in Eph. 2:21. In whom all the building fitly framed together growth unto an holy temple in the Lord.
Of course, these are only two of the many NT passages which refer to the principle here that God dwells in His people. Thus, although Lev. 26 was addressed to the OT Hebrew nation, the principle contained therein is as far reaching as the church of the living God today.
Next we see in Lev. 26:3, the condition of inheriting God's blessings is to walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them. Verses 4-13 gives the blessedness of walking in His law.
Next, v. 14. If His people refuse to hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments; and... despise His statutes, or if their soul abhors His judgments... then v. 16-39 describes the result.
Next, verses 40-46, as we reverse what is said with no damage to the context, we see that if His people ignore or reject their responsibility to obey His law, He will cast them away.
Without exception, in all the passages listed above (and many more which are not listed), we see that when God's people reject (despise), the law of God as given by Moses, God will reject them. This is what Amos is saying, 2:4. God's people despised the law of the Lord, and kept not His commandments. The result was a fire of judgment upon them. Paul applied this principle for the church as did Peter (I Pet. 1:14-25), as well as the writer of the book of Hebrew, 10:26-32.
This brings us to Amos 3:2, 3. V. 2, the Lord reminds His covenant people that they alone are the chosen ones. They are the ones which He choose to show Himself strong through by giving His law to.
Then in v. 3, we see that His people rejected HIs law. In doing so, in accord with Lev. 26 and Deut. 28, their God departed from them. Bringing us to the verse itself.
Can two walk together, except they be agreed. Agreed on what? Agreed that every area of life must be submitted to the law of God. Agreed that everything must be done in accord with His revealed will (as given to Moses). Agreed in their desire of obedience to that revealed law-word of God.
The agreement here isn't that the world is a mess. It is not even that the word of God is the word of God.
The agreement here is primarily between the law-giver and the ones the law was given to. Between God and man. As long as man agrees that the law of God is the rule for everything he does and he is committed to doing the commandments by the power of God, the law-giver will walk with the law-keeper.
A secondary application here would be between man and man. The agreement her is that the law of God is the final authority and the two, by God's grace are dedicated to law-keeping.
The walking together is based in the mutual dedication to that law.
As the two walk in that mutual agreement and dedication, they cannot help but be together. The mutual agreement and dedication is not that they should be together but that they should walk in the total law-word of God.
As people walk in dedication to the total law-word of God, others will see that love for God's word. their holy righteous life will bring conviction (or persecution), on those watching and the dedication to the commandments will reveal the law of God in us, Jn. 15:10.
The walking together here is common dedication to soul-winning and evangelization of the world. Common dedication to capturing every area under the authority of the law of God. Common dedication of standing against evil and wickedness even in high places.