Derek Smith, Lead Pastor LHBC
Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent to Jeroboam king of Israel, saying, “Amos has conspired against you in the midst of the house of Israel. The land is not able to bear all his words. 11 For thus Amos has said,
“‘Jeroboam shall die by the sword,
and Israel must go into exile
away from his land.’”
12 And Amaziah said to Amos, “O seer, go, flee away to the land of Judah, and eat bread there, and prophesy there, 13 but never again prophesy at Bethel, for it is the king’s sanctuary, and it is a temple of the kingdom.”
14 Then Amos answered and said to Amaziah, “I was no prophet, nor a prophet’s son, but I was a herdsman and a dresser of sycamore figs.15 But the Lord took me from following the flock, and the Lord said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’ 16 Now therefore hear the word of the Lord.
“You say, ‘Do not prophesy against Israel,
and do not preach against the house of Isaac.’
17 Therefore thus says the Lord:
“‘Your wife shall be a prostitute in the city,
and your sons and your daughters shall fall by the sword,
and your land shall be divided up with a measuring line;
you yourself shall die in an unclean land,
and Israel shall surely go into exile away from its land.’”
I love the book of Amos. It’s my favorite of the 12 minor prophets (which is an oxymoron because there was nothing minor about Amos!). Amos was just minding his own business tending sheep when the Lord called him to prophesy to the people, and it wasn’t a popular prophecy. Kings and military leaders don’t like it when preachers say judgment is coming, but that’s exactly what the Lord had in store for His people in the Northern Kingdom of Israel.
By all accounts Amos was unqualified to be a prophet. He wasn’t a religious leader, a preacher by trade, or from a royal family. He wasn’t highly educated or sophisticated. He wasn’t rich or famous. He was just a regular Joe faithfully and quietly serving God out in the pasture lands. But make no mistake, God is not looking for sophisticated people, smart people, rich people, or influential people to do His work. He’s just looking for available people, and Amos was ready and willing to give a hard message.
Amaziah was the opposite. He had the qualifications and the political connections. He was the priest at Bethel, but the altars there were now for other gods besides Yahweh. Amaziah was a political puppet, the King’s ventriloquist dummy. Bethel was “the King’s sanctuary” and the Temple now a “temple for the kingdom”. However, Amos was more interested in a heavenly Kingdom. He didn’t pander to man or bow to earthly kings. He was an ambassador of the King of Kings, his citizenship was in the sky, and He wasn’t interested in whether or not Amaziah or the King liked what he had to say.
I want to encourage you today: be an Amos! God doesn’t call qualified people to do His work, He qualifies those whom He calls, and He is calling you and I to step up and be a witness for Him. You may feel inadequate and incapable of impacting others for Christ, but know that all it takes is a person dependent upon the Holy Spirit and willing to do whatever God asks. Now, keep in mind that Amos had to give a hard message and so too the gospel of Christ is not always warm and fuzzy. But the joy in your soul in knowing you have obeyed God and have not given in to the wishes of man is worth more than anything money can buy. Feel unqualified? Join the club….but man is it awesome when an all-powerful God takes powerless people and does powerful things for His glory!
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Father God, I feel so unqualified to tell others about You. I fail so often and I have so many fears and insecurities. But Lord I believe that You are all powerful. You have said that if I depend on Your Spirit and simply obey Your call that You will use me. Use me today Lord for Your glory!
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
I will restore to you the years
that the swarming locust has eaten,
the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter,
my great army, which I sent among you.