Eight hundred years before the birth of Jesus, God called a very busy man out of his field while he still had a shepherd’s crook in his hand. Although Amos was not formally educated, he received divine training directly from God while working in the wild uplands of Judah.
His writing indicates a supernatural skill as he poetically illustrates hillside life. Like another shepherd named David, Amos also gazed upon the stars and pondered the beauty of their Creator. Isaiah was a courtier, Jeremiah was a priest, Joel was a baker, and then God chose Amos. This rugged arborist was a hard working shepherd who was not one to chatter. He delivered the message God gave him point blank!
The bible testifies to God’s love for His people in many ways. Today we are blessed by the continuing stream of the messengers He commissions to share the Truth with His people. In our current generation, we have the added benefit of reading and hearing the Word of God spoken in our own language. “Faith comes from hearing the message” (Romans 10:17)
Undoubtedly, Amos knew the prophet Jonah and possibly even Elisha. Hosea was a peer who was working in Israel at the same time. These two characters were selected by God as His ambassadors during a wild time of history.
Amos was a humble man, who feared God, but not man, king or priest. INSIGHT: Today God still balances power through His chosen voices across the globe. The light of Truth will continue to test all governing powers as God holds them accountable
Amos prophesied while Uzziah was on the throne of Judah and Jeroboam II was the king of Israel. It was a peaceful and prosperous time for both kingdoms (2 Chron 26 – 2 Kings 14:25) It was also a time when the people of Israel were seeking every pleasure to be had. God sent His two emboldened messengers, Hosea and Amos to warn His people.
Wisely Amos did not preach over the heads of the common people. With great understanding and compassion he cleverly delivered his message by judging the enemy, not the people. He had a certain rough way of speaking the truth, but the common people found his words refreshing. How much do we value truth today? God fearing people prefer to hear the truth over the lies of the Liar.
King Jeroboam had made Israel flourish and he was not receptive to the courageous words of Amos. The king had the finest cavalry of horses so when this lowly, most likely foul smelling shepherd thundered “And the horseman will not save his life”, the king was furious! Amos also boldly proclaimed that a shepherd would save Israel from the lion’s mouth. (Amos 3:12)
Amos is known as the Prophet of Justice. During a time of prosperity, Amos spoke out for the needs of the poor. He was disrespected among the rich as his words convicted their hard hearts. Amos was not the son of a priest or a prophet.
In chapter 5 Amos pronounced God’s judgment on the people as they were greedy, unclean and profane in the eyes of the Lord. As Amos drew this hard line between good and evil, a priest in Bethel told Amos to go back to the land of Judah as his voice was unwanted in the courts. Heart changing repentance is what our holy God seeks that we may be reconciled. The Lord will not forget anything we have done, but in His mercy, He will forgive those who return to Him. God said that He will turn their religious feasts into mourning and all their singing into weeping.
“The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign Lord, “when I will send a famine through the land—not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord.” (Amos 8:11) In chapter 9 Amos speaks hope as he voices God’s promise. “I will bring back my exiled people Israel; they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them.” (Amos 9:14)
As His church, we are to stand as His voice and pray for those God places in power. We are His chosen ambassadors today and He commands us to speak the truth without fear. “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” (2 Corin 5:20)
Copyright © 2019 by Barbara Alley Hoyle.
All rights reserved.
“It is finished.” 4/18/19