And so it was, when they had finished eating the grass of the land, that I said: “O Lord GOD, forgive, I pray! Oh, that Jacob may stand, for he is small!” So the LORD relented concerning this. “It shall not be,” said the LORD.
The terrible vision Amos had of a locust swarm devouring the harvest convinced him that this would be the end of his people. They could not survive such a complete devastation, so Amos cried out to God to forgive His people.
Amos’ care and concern for the people was answered by God’s love and concern. This intercessory prayer was answered, and God decided to spare them from this disaster.
For more about why God gives prophecies, including another example of when God relented and did not do what He had prophesied, see our article on the “Purpose of Prophecy.”