God will not bring his judgment unless he has already revealed his plans (Hb. sod) to the prophet. This separates the Lord from pagan gods or mere chance or coincidence. Many other philosophies and religions present a world view filled with random events, unjust consequences or a universe controlled by gods whose behavior is unpredictable, unannounced or illegitimate. The God of Israel was consistent, predictable and faithful to his word. Thus, he was just, fair, holy and could be forgiving and merciful.
The word “plan” in Amos’ words, “Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing his
plan to his servants the prophets,” is the Hebrew word sod. The word sod communicates
the basic thought of “intimacy” or “secret.” It is used in the OT to refer to: a close relationship, schemes of a united group against their enemies, counsel, friendship, or a secret.
In Job 15:8 it is the sod, or the secret council of God, that is unknown to natural man.
In Psalms 25:14 it is a close relationship God has with the righteous who get to know his covenant.
Jeremiah uses it to describe the relationship between God and the prophet:
“Which of them has stood in the council of the Lord to see or to hear his word? Who has listened and heard his word?...If they had stood in my council, they would have proclaimed my words to my people and would have turned them from their evil ways and from their evil deeds.” – Jeremiah 23:18, 22
And, in Proverbs 3:32:
“The Lord detests a perverse man but takes the upright into his confidence.”
This principle of sod between the prophet and God is confirmed in these biblical stories
where the prophet knew and announced the “secret plan of God” because the prophet
“stood in the council of God.” These men were taken into “God’s confidence” and he
“shared his plans” with them so they could announce them to the world:
Noah and the flood; Abraham/Lot and Sodom’s destruction; Joseph and the seven year famine; Moses and the ten plagues; Ahijah announced the division of Solomon’s kingdom; an anonymous prophet foretold Josiah’s reform; Ahijah announced Abijah’s death and the end of Jeroboam I’s dynasty; Elijah announced the famine to Ahab and prophesied the deaths of Ahab and Jezebel; Elijah foretold the death of Ahaziah; Elisha told of Moab’s defeat by Jehoshaphat; Jonah
announced the prosperity of Jerobaoamm II’s reign; Isaiah announced Assyria’s invasion, the additional years to Hezekiah’s life, the Babylonian exile and Cyrus’s rise to power to release the captives and rebuild the temple; Jeremiah and Zephaniah predicted the Babylonian captivity;
and the list goes on and on into future events which include prophecies by Jesus including his prediction in 30 AD of Titus’ total destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 AD.