Amos says he must prophesy God's message of punishment
After Solomon’s death, the kingdom of Israel was divided into two. Amos lived in the southern kingdom of Judah, but spoke against the greed, corruption, and injustice of the prosperous northern kingdom of Israel. He warned the Israelites that God would “punish you for all your iniquities.” To prove that his message was from God, Amos, in a poetically beautiful section, asked a series of questions that all have the obvious answer of “no.” The final question emphasized that God had spoken to Amos and he could do no other than to prophesy God’s words.
Hear this word that the LORD hath spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying,
You only have I known of all the families of the earth:
therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.
Can two walk together, except they be agreed?
Will a lion roar in the forest, when he hath no prey?
will a young lion cry out of his den, if he have taken nothing?
Can a bird fall in a snare upon the earth, where no gin is for him?
shall one take up a snare from the earth, and have taken nothing at all?
Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid?
shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?
Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing,
but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.
The lion hath roared, who will not fear?
the Lord GOD hath spoken, who can but prophesy?