One could say that was on a national scale in Amos' time and did not involve individualaction. There is truth to that but I doubt the man who lacked bread in his house (verse 6),suffered from drought (verses 7-8), suffered from blight and mildew and locusts (verse9), was thinking much on a national level. His problems were personal - no food, nowater.And, besides, how does a nation repent unless the people who comprise that nation repenton an individual basis? There can be no national repentance without individualsrepenting.There will be in life trials and troubles. No one can say when such occurs that thatspecific instance is God’s chastening. But, it may be. Hebrews 12 teaches beyond doubtthat if you are a child of God you will be chastened. God’s desire is that we are alwaysrepenting of sin in our life and that we are always becoming closer to Him and more andmore what He would have us be.I think Albert Barnes, the commentator, put it best when he made the followingcomments on the Hebrew passages: “And as there is in the life of every child of Godsomething that deserves correction, it happens that it is universally true that “whom theLord loveth he chasteneth.”
Would any of us disagree with that? I think not.
He further says: “It should be a matter of deep concern when we are afflicted in anymanner, not to treat the matter lightly, but to derive from our trials all the lessons whichthey are adapted to produce on the mind.”
Whether it is illness, financial set back, or whatever negative thing it be that comes intoour life we ought to be brought closer to God by it, repent if need be, live morespiritually, and live for eternity. It may or may not be God’s chastening but we need tolearn our dependence upon Him. We are not going to get out of this life alive. What isleft if not God? He knows that. He thus chastens us as needed. Why? For our good and because He loves us desiring only the eternal best for us.“despise not thou the chastening of the Lord”(KJV)See the book of Haggai for more on how the Lord chastens his people. See the TEV version, chapter 1 and 2:17.See also, same version, Amos 4:6-12. Also Isaiah 9:13 (TEV)