Amos was just a layperson like me, not a paid professional like a pastor who preaches as their vocation. Amos devoted his life to serving the Lord. You could find him herding his sheep and tending to the sycamore-fig trees in the Judean countryside. He came from a humble family, but God saw his heart. God told him to take his message to the northern kingdom of Israel, but the message continues to bring wisdom to all generations.
If you’ve been following my devotional blog, it wasn’t long ago that we walked together through the books of 1 and 2 Kings. You’ll find reflections on what was happening in the lives of these kings as well as God’s people. I love how we have nearly a snapshot in time of when Amos first heard from God between knowing about the earthquake and the kings in power at the time. As we read through the Book of Amos, imagine what it would have been like to bring such messages to the people.
Amos’ message in this passage is quite condemning. We see that God’s judgment is for all. Does this mean we must all answer to God, even non-believers? Amos may not have felt equipped to say such things, but we don’t see him wasting any time in trying to bargain with God. He simply spoke God’s truth. That’s a good message to take away, isn’t it?
We may feel unprepared or ill-equipped to open our mouths to speak about God. Think about the vital work God has designed for you. You may look at your vocation and wonder how you can make a difference. Then think of Amos. He didn’t even live in the region he was told to preach to. He wasn’t the son of a preacher or a prophet. Yet, God always equips us for the jobs he wants us to do for him, even when we don’t understand why or how.
What of God’s pronouncements in today’s reading stand out to you? Did anything shock you? Certainly, God has not been blind to the sinning going on, and his consistent response seems be to send fire down to destroy.
For me, this is a bit of a consolation. I look around and see what I recognize as sinning all around me. From Amos’ words, I’m confident God sees it, too.
While it may seem like the sin today is more rampant than ever before, it’s probably just because I’m listening even closer to the Holy Spirit. I’ve made it a priority to listen for God’s guidance. I was just marveling today how blessed we are to have the power of God (the Holy Spirit) alive inside us, guiding us, empowering us.
Take some time today to pray for this sinful world and those ready to choose God’s truth over the world’s lies.
Let’s pray. Lord, forgive me for those times when I fall short of your intentions for me. I know I’m a sinful being, forgiven only by your grace through Jesus Christ. I pray for the lost souls of this world who don’t even know they are sinning. Surround them with loving believers who can show the way back to you. May your Spirit burn brightly inside me and other believers to draw people back to you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.