“Then the Lord said, ‘Behold, I am setting a plumb line in the midst of My people Israel; I will never again pass by them; the high places of Isaac shall be made desolate, and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste, and I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword.’ Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent to Jeroboam king of Israel, saying, ‘Amos has conspired against you in the midst of the house of Israel. The land is not able to bear all his words. For thus Amos has said, “‘Jeroboam shall die by the sword, and Israel must go into exile away from his land.'” And Amaziah said to Amos, ‘O seer, go, flee away to the land of Judah, and eat bread there, and prophesy there, but never again prophesy at Bethel, for it is the king’s sanctuary, and it is a temple of the kingdom.’ Then Amos answered and said to Amaziah, ‘I was no prophet, nor a prophet’s son, but I was a herdsman and a dresser of sycamore figs. But the LORD took me from following the flock, and the LORD said to me, “‘Go, prophesy to My people Israel.”‘” (Amos 7:7-15 ESV)
Amos the prophet is in a difficult spot. God has sent him to warn Israel that they are about to face major judgment. They have set up idols and loved and worshipped them, instead of following the real God who made and saved them.
So picture Amos, standing right there in Bethel where Jeroboam first set up his idols, saying all these things God has sent him to say. It isn’t easy. It isn’t safe. The king has ears everywhere, and Amos could wind up in jail or dead.
Amaziah the priest comes to tell him this. “Just take your prophesying somewhere else,” he says. “I’m sure the land of Judah would love to have you, and you could make a good living. And it would be safer.”
But Amos sets him straight. “I’m not a professional prophet,” he says. “I’m not trying to make a career for myself. I’m here for one reason only—because God commanded me to be here.”
Now that’s awkward. Amos isn’t an idol worshipper. He doesn’t put anything before the Lord—not his career, not his safety, not even his own life. And that puts him in direct conflict with the leaders of Israel, who are idol worshippers.
There will be times in your life when you stand where Amos stood. As a follower of Jesus Christ, you put Him first—the One who loved you and laid down His life for you. But that will bring you into conflict with others around you—those who are still chasing glory, or power, or money, or safety. It will be scary.
What can you do? Only one thing, the same thing Amos did. Keep your eyes on the Lord. Remember the one who saved you—who died and rose again to make you a child of God. Let Him draw you near to Him and keep you close. Like Amos, you may be nothing more than a herdsman or a gardener, but you are God’s. And through you, He can do great things.
Prayer: Lord, make me faithful to You, even when I’m afraid. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Reprinted with permission from Lutheran Hour Ministries
1. How much do you worry about your own safety?
2. Have you ever been pressured to do something different than what God wanted?
3. How did God get you through that time?