“The words of Amos, who was among the sheepherders from Tekoa, which he envisioned in visions concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam son of Joash, king of Israel, two years before the earthquake.” – Amos 1:1 NASB
It would have been logical to assume that God would call Amos to minister to Judah, his own homeland. But, instead, God gave him prophecies concerning neighboring Israel. This assignment was not his choice but his response to God’s command. Even his calling was special, for Amos was not a priest or a prophet, but just a sheepherder.
We can imagine how Amos might have resisted his assignment. Yet he faithfully proclaimed God’s messages.
His presence in Israel was particularly galling to Amaziah (a priest with strong connections to King Jeroboam). He objected to Amos’ mission, in particular feeling that he had no business delivering these prophecies in Israel. He told him to go back to Judah and prophesy there.
Amaziah completely ignored the sovereignty of God or the possibility that He was trying to speak to the people of Israel. Amaziah had his own agenda, and his own biases. Based on his human understanding, his only conclusion was that Amos was trying to stir up trouble and influence the policies of Israel. From our perspective, we can know that Amos simply was obeying God, and that Amaziah spiritually was blind.
Amos was demonstrating that God can speak to anyone, at any time, about any subject. He has no limits. He could send Amos to Israel, just as He could send Jonah to Nineveh.
How easy it can be for us to focus on human factors and forget about God’s sovereignty. The story of Amos reminds us why we need to submit our hearts and minds to God. To obey Him, regardless of our own understanding. To be sensitive to the Spirit. Always listening. Always ready to hear, and respond.
PrayerFather, forgive me for placing limits on You. I realize that You are sovereign over all creation. That, with You, all things are possible. I trust in You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Extended ReadingAmos 1