Amos; and our calling.
Amos 7:14-15 “Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son but I was a herdsman, and a gatherer of sycamore fruit: (wild figs)
And the Lord took me as I followed the flock, and the Lord said unto me, Go prophesy unto My people Israel.”
He was not a prophet or a prophet’s son, but called from being a shepherd and gathering wild figs, he was called to preach repentance to Israel, that they might remember their Shepherd, and bring forth fruit to God.
Israel and Judah had separated. In Jerusalem was the temple. And the king of Israel was afraid that Israel would go back to Judah to worship at the Temple.
So he set up two idols to worship. He told them that these were just a representation of God; but he lied to them.
Israel apostatized. They had begun to worship the idols which were calves.
This was great sin. God is a jealous God, and so He sent them prophets to rebuke the king, the people, and this sin.
But the practice stuck. They refused to be healed of it. And so finally, after many years; God was going to send Israel into captivity.
And to a terrible people: cruel and vicious; the Assyrians.
But before He did, He sent Amos to call them to repentance, and to tell them what was going to happen if they refused to hear, this last time.
Amos 3:1-2 “Hear this word that the Lord has spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying,
You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.”
It was because Israel knew the Lord, He was God, that He was going to punish them for turning away from Him. They had seen His works, they had been given His Word, and they knew He was the real God.
Light brings responsibility. When we know to do good and do it not, that is sin. (James 4:17)
And sin added to sin, is spitting in the face of God.
He is long-suffering, and merciful; but He knows when enough is enough.
He decides when drastic measures are called for. It is to bring all who will hear His Words, to return to Him.
They knew that what they were doing was against God’s Commandments and laws; yet they continued in them, because they thought they could get by with it.
So Amos came up to Israel, and preached repentance to the people, and at Bethel. (This was one of the places where the idols were, and one of the palaces of the king.)
Amos 7:1-3 “Thus hath the Lord God showed unto me; and, behold, He formed grasshoppers in the beginning of the shooting up of the latter growth;…
And it came to pass, that when they had made an end of eating the grass of the land, then I said, O Lord God, forgive, I beseech Thee: by whom shall Jacob arise? For he is small.
The Lord repented for this: It shall not be, saith the Lord.”
First, it was grasshoppers to eat the grass to feed the flocks. But at Amos prayer, God “repented” or stopped His judgement, so that all would not be destroyed.
(This show us how important our prayers are. The Lord hears the prayers of the righteous, and many times it is our prayers that change a situation for good.)
Second, God sent scorching heat to lay waste the waters they counted on.
But again Amos prayed for them, and God halted the judgement that way.
But the third time, The Lord showed Amos a plum line. (A plumb line is a line with a weight on the bottom to hold it down straight.)
Amos 7:7-8 “Thus He showed me, and, behold, the Lord stood upon a wall made by a plumb line, with a plumb line in His hand.
And the Lord said unto me, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A plumb line, Then said the Lord, Behold, I have a set a plumb line in the midst of my people Israel: I will not again pass by them any more:”
God would put a plumb line in the midst of His people. If they would “straighten out” their lives by turning back to Him, they would be spared.
But those who refused, and remained “crooked”, would fall as a wall which leans.
And how did God want them to repent?
First to return unto Him.
Amos 5:4 “For thus saith the Lord unto the house of Israel, Seek ye Me, and ye shall live:”
Second, The Lord wanted them to treat the poor with dignity, and fairness.
Amos 8:4-6 “Hear this, O ye that swallow the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail,
Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? And the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah (like a bushel) small, and the shekel (their money) great, and falsifying the balances by deceit?
That we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes; yea, and sell the refuse of the wheat?”
The title of this is Amos; and our calling.
As Christians, we too, are called to our family, our friends, our church, and our nation: to pray for and to seek their good.
And the greatest good we can pray for, is for them to know and love The Lord, and to treat others as they want to be treated, with dignity and respect.
Under the idolatry of Israel, many were destroyed spiritually, long before God sent them out of their land, in judgement.
He sent prophets to preach His Words, and chastening circumstances so they would see His hand.
Finally, He sent them out of the good land, to sift them as wheat:
Amos 9:9-10 “For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth.
All the sinners of My people shall die by the sword, which say, The evil shall not over take or prevent us.”
But even as Amos left Israel to return to being a shepherd, he heard a promise:
God would not utterly forsake His people.
They would have to go through terrible trouble to finally learn the lesson He would have easily taught them, had they listened and turned to Him.
“In that day will I raise up….and I will build…saith the Lord that does this. I will bring again…and I will plant. (Amos 9:11-15)
The Lord sent Amos to preach repentance to “all who will” hear.
And we are all called to witness to our Lord Jesus Christ. To let our lights so shine that all may see our good works and glorify our Father which is in heaven.