A Prophet’s Preface
“The words of Amos who was among the sheep breeders of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel..” Amos 1:1
Tekoa was a place not very far from Jerusalem. Amos introduces himself as one of the sheep breeders of Tekoa. To be a herdsman tending the flocks for others has never been considered a great profession. A vocation that needs no education, intellect, personality or pedigree. As the first sentence of the ‘Preface’ to the book, Amos scripts for the attention of the world and all generations to come, that he is a sheep breeder.
We might think that there was no need for Amos to declare at the very outset that he was a sheep breeder. Nobody would have asked him about his vocation. (Prophet Joel did not mention anything about his occupation). If at all he was particular, he could have incorporated it somewhere towards the end of the book. Because, who will listen to a shepherd? One who has not mentioned even his father’s name!
But the world listened to this poor shepherd. We too listen to him today. God chose the lowly for the great mission, the one who had no qualms in admitting who he was, the one who had no ancestry worth mentioning.
Let us remember that God chose Amos’s descendants to first break the news of the birth of Jesus. David too was a shepherd boy.
Fishermen were also of the same class and status in the society. But they were the favourite disciples of Jesus Christ.
Although we are aware that God chooses even the humble and the lowly for His mission, here Amos confirms it.
With the same yardstick we are also qualified for God’s mission. If we have the mind for it, God will entrust us with His missions in amazing ways.
George Joseph Trivandrum
Social Injustice This is what the Lord says
The people of Israel have sinned again and again and I will not let them go unpunished Amos 2:6-8
Amos was shocked by Israel’s abuse of the powerless. They sold poor people for a pair of sandals, trampled helpless people,denied justice to those who were oppressed, lived in adultery at their religious festivals, went around in clothing stolen from their debtors and offered wine in the house of the Lord.
So God would meet in judgement, not mercy. God’s judgement would seek them out wherever they were.
God wants justice to flow like a mighty river, 5:24. Those who oppose it will be swept away
Cynthia Sathiaraj, Chennai
🍇 Amos: 1-8
Simple thoughts for
This meditation is based on the Amos Chapters: 1-8.
⚡ Amos belonged to Tekoa, a town about six miles south of Bethlehem in Judah (Southern kingdom) but his ministry was in the
northern kingdom, Israel.
⚡ Amos is not a professional prophet. He has not been to ” prophet school”. He says, “I was no prophet, nor was l a son of
a prophet, but I was a sheepbreeder and a tender of sycamore fruit” (7:14)
⚡ What is then that makes him such a powerful spiritual force? In his testimony he gives us the answer.” Then the Lord took me…. and the Lord said to me,” Go, prophesy to My people Israel” (V:15)
Amos fearlessly prophesied by the Spirit of God within him. (3:8)
⚡ Amos names specific sins of various nations and pronounces eight judgments upon the nations. Then he describes the transgress-ions of the people of Israel and Judah and warns of
future destruction and condemnation from the Lord. Among the sins of the nations and the Jewish people is idolatry–the worship of false gods.
⚡ In chapters 3 – 6, Amos delivers three sermons exposing Israel’s sin. Among the problems in Israel are greed, excessive taxation, and cruel oppression of the people. God condemns those who “crush the needy”
(4:1) take bribes, and deprive the poor of justice
(5:12) Though the people profess to follow God and offer sacrifices to Him, their hypocrisy is evident in their excessive lifestyle. There is a total absence of justice and morality.
⚡ Amos has five visions that depict what God will do to punish Israel.
💎 Vision of the locusts (7:1-3)
💎Vision of the fire (7:4-6)
💎 Vision of the plumb line (7: 7-9)
💎 Vision of the summer fruit (8:1-14)
💎 Vision of the Lord (9:1-10)
⚡ Amos provides an excellent example for us today. He reminds that we don’t have to be profession- ally trained to speak for God
when we see human injustice or sinful behaviour, especially by those who claim to be Christians.
⚡ Amos was a fiery spokesman for God, not because of education or
birth, but because he was obedient when the call of God came.
⚡ We too can be God’s person. Listen for His call and do what He asks. Then watch as the power of God works through us as we serve Him.
Some life lessons from Amos:
🚩 God cares about the poor and those in need, and so should we.
🚩 Whenever we have the opportunity to show compassion, we should act upon it.
🚩If our heart is far from God and we are in living in disobedience, then our words and actions mean nothing.
🚩 Judgment is certain for those who ignore God.
Dr. Thomas David.🎯