-THE HUMBLE COURAGEOUS PROPHET-
Amos was called by God to prophesy to the Northern Kingdom Israel. He was a sheep breeder where he lived in the Southern Kingdom of Judah, as well as being a seasonal worker of tending fruit by cutting slits in the fruit of the tree, which was similar to a fig, to make them sweeter for sale at the markets.
Although Amos was a native of Tekoa, a city of privilege aristocrats, 6 miles from Bethlehem, but ten miles south of Jerusalem, he had travelled extensively selling his wool. He was not necessarily a poor man, but all that he had, he left when God called him to be a missionary prophet. Amos was not the son of a prophet, nor was he a member of the prophets school or a priest. He received his training as a prophet directly from God and God called him from the sheep pastures to warn his straying people and surrounding nations of judgement.
Amos prophesied what God showed him by visions from 792 to 753 B.C. The visions included judgement inflicted by divine intervention for sin on the Nations and on God's people including doom and exile upon the Northern Kingdom. Amos prophesied about the Lord's relationship with Israel, the consequences of disobedience, as well as ungodliness, self-righteousness, self-indulgence and against pride, luxurious living, immorality, corruption of Judicial system. He did speak for God of restoration and hope for the future.
His skill with words showed him not to be an ignorant peasant and he had a broad range of general knowledge. As a boy he knew Jonah, Elisha and Hosea. These men knew each other well and probably travelled together. Younger prophets such as Isaiah and Micah would have heard Amos preach the messages of God.
Amos was a humble man and wise, his preaching could be understood by all. He was clever, fearless and faithful.
Amos denied association with the Royal Court prophets and any professional prophet who made their living by only passing on to the people and the leaders of Northern Israel what they wanted to hear in exchange for money.
The nation, being free from foreign oppressors had forgotten God and divided themselves into a two-class society of the wealthy and the poor. Insincere worship was a root problem. The people did regularly participate in religious activities but their living was opposite to what they acknowledged. They also had become devout over pagan worship, and were inhumane in their treatment of others, especially the poor, breaking The Covenant of Brotherhood.
As prosperity increased, morality declined. Amos was sent to the Northern Kingdom at the time God's patience had been sorely tested and had come to its end. Amos condemned all who made themselves rich and powerful at the expense of others by cheating.
Amos warned the Northern Israel of the coming exile because of sin. His message is relevant to all generations for the affluent societies where their injustice towards the poor and needy. The prophecies were about the almost total destruction of Northern Israel, and that God would uproot His people and put them into the hands of a pagan nation.
Amos was to prophesy that The House of David would again rule over Israel. A fulfilment that represented Christ, as promised to Abraham and King David.
Amos spoke for God, the King who rules the universe and holds the destiny of all peoples. God is Lord over all and His planned purposes reached beyond Israel. Amos told the people they should not only remember covenant pledge but their obligations to God.
God has chosen Israel with which came a very unique relationship, but not exclusive rights on God, the Creator of all.
Amos, the shepherd from the hills of Judah who feared God and no one else. He prophesied 800 years before Christ and the messages were far ahead of his time, Christians continue to gain knowledge and wisdom from them still, as they are suited for every generation.
Amos had courage and raised his voice against abuse of the Laws of God. Amos also knew he would be an unpopular man as he delivered God's messages, and knew that his life was in danger, but he did not fail to preach God's messages boldly and courageously. Israel needed a strong prophet at that time to reveal the truth and let the people know of the sure results and outcome of idolatry.
The people did doubt the authority of Amos but because God had revealed to him their sins, he spoke truthfully and boldly. God always gives warning before Judgement and offers a way of escape.
The Priests rebuked Amos and false prophets drove him out of Israel.
The prophesies came to pass. All great empires have fallen because of sin. It will always be the undoing of man till the return of Jesus Christ.
Just as people hated Amos, the people of God today who speak out in opposition to the world, denouncing its lifestyle are disliked and some voices are silenced, but nothing can take the place of the redemption of souls through the costly price paid by Jesus Christ.
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