Then Amaziah (the priest at Bethel) said to Amos, “Get out, you seer! Go back to the land of Judah. Earn your bread there and do your prophesying there. Don’t prophesy anymore at Bethel, because this is the king’s sanctuary and the temple of the kingdom.” Amos answered Amaziah, “I was neither a prophet nor a prophet’s son, but I was a shepherd, and I also took care of sycamore-fig trees. But the LORD took me from tending the flock and said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’ Now then, hear the word of the LORD.”
When the Pressure is On
It was a time of prosperity in the northern kingdom. Sadly, comfort and ease led to complacency, slipshod worship, superficial offerings, then open idolatry, immorality, self-indulgent/selfish living, and cruelty to the poor. Amos was called to announce God’s judgment on Israel. The people and the king did not like it. Amaziah gave Amos his “marching orders.” “Get out, you seer!” “Who do you think you are?” “This is the king’s sanctuary and the temple of the kingdom!” Oh, oh, the pressure was on!
Amos recognized the threat, but respectfully answered, “The LORD took me from tending the flock and said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’ Now then, hear the word of the LORD.”
Today, the Lord Jesus calls Christians to be witnesses for him, to share the “word of the Lord” with people in our lives, starting with our own families. In addition, we have a sphere of friends, relatives, acquaintances, and neighbors to whom we can tell the good news about Jesus the Savior. Since trusting the Savior begins with recognizing a need for the Savior because of one’s sinfulness, the reaction can be that heard by Amos. “Who do you think you are?” Oh, oh, the pressure is on!
If someone asks, “Who do you think you are?” be ready to give an answer. The apostle Peter gives excellent instruction in his first New Testament letter: “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15).
Israel needed to hear what God had to say through Amos. People today need to hear what Jesus has to say, and that can happen through you!
Dear Holy Spirit, help me listen and learn from Scripture so that, with your blessing, when the pressure is on, I am prepared to give an answer. Amen.