There comes a time when the harsh word is the only word left to speak for one cannot forever endure those who continually abandon the truth and expect no consequence for living the lie. And so the Lord hijacks Amos from dressing vines to speak a harsh word against Jeroboam and the vineyard that is “my people Israel.” Even if the Lord is merciful and slow to anger there comes a day when the steadfast love of the Lord is compelled to say to the wicked, “Thy will be done.” There is a loss for God as well, like a parent of wayward child or the partner of an unfaithful spouse, as the Lord goes into exile and all the hopes and dreams begun in the rescue from Egypt – I will be your God and you will be my people – are for naught. But God’s anger does not burn eternally as God’s desire for intimacy cannot withstand exile forever. Long after Israel is abandoned and Judah is exiled and returned God will write a new covenant on the hearts of humans. The true nature of God will be revealed in the living and dying and rising of Jesus who creates for himself a people to bear witness to the grace of God. The desert will bloom like the Texas Hill Country after a rain and the dry land will rejoice and the people will prosper not because we abandon rebellious ways but because God refuses to abandon us.