While Israel is being foretold of its doom, it is probable that a great many people were responding to the prophets (and therefore, God) that God just wasn’t being fair. Why shouldn’t they be able to be “free” as the other nations?
While the focus is on them, their sins, and their need for repentance, God tells them that the other nations that they want to be like will also be receiving consequences. The interesting part about this passage in Amos is that God repeatedly says that those nations also had a choice. Their choice was how they would fulfill their part of the discipline of Israel. They overdid it.
How exactly it works is a mystery. God released the surrounding nations to disciple Israel and Judah. However, these nations, instead of just (for example) invading, they destroyed and annihilated.
Definitely not the intent. So, while Judah and Israel can expect some misery ahead, so can the countries around them.
1) What does this tell us about the character of God?
2) Why is important to understand that both the “chosen” and “not-chosen” will receive discipline from God?
3) What is discipline when it comes from God?