Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Participation in Divine MissionAmos 7 :12-17
V.15 “I am not a prophet, nor a prophet's son; but I am a herdsman, and a dresser of sycamore trees, and the Lord took me from following the flock and the Lord said to me. "Go prophesy to my people Israel".
I am sure many of us have faced a time when we needed to speak up against a higher authority whether it's at school/college or work. It probably was not an easy task and more than likely nerve wracking. Amos the prophet was in a similar situation where he had to stand up for God and against the priest Amaziah in Bethel and King Jeroboam II. During the reign of King Jeroboam II , Israel was in a time of prosperity and relative peace. During this time King Jeroboam installed a golden calf in the sanctuary at Bethel (1 Kings 12:25-30) and Amaziah was the appointed priest. King Jeroboam installs this golden calf in Bethel, so that his people wouldn't have to travel to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices and thereby ensuring that his people remained loyal to him. Here we can see how underneath this convenience there was a trap for the people of Israel to follow false idols. Amos 7:12-17 shows how the Amaziah, the priest of Bethel tells King Jeroboam that Amos has conspired against the King by phophasizing " Jeroboam shall die by the sword and Israel must go away from his land". The priest further insults Amos and tells him " O seer, go, flee away to the land of Judah, earn your bread there and prophecy there". He basically tells Amos, you're a false prophet who is trying to make money, so go away from our land. In this passage we can also see that Amaziah was a strong defender of the King and with royal power. We can imagine how insulted Amos must have felt and someone in his situation may have felt intimidated, scared or overwhelmed.
However Amos is a man of God and he responded not only courageously but with strength from God. His response to Priest Amaziah was " I am not a prophet, nor a prophet's son; but I am a herdsman, and a dresser of sycamore trees, and the Lord took me from following the flock and the Lord said to me. "Go prophesy to my people Israel". He gives a fitting reply back to the priest and lets him know that he was appointed as a prophet by the Lord. Amos tells him that this is not his job, neither is he doing this for money, nor trained to be a prophet. He tells him that he was a simple shepherd who answered God's calling. Then Amos continues to prophesy the message from the Lord about Israel's pending destruction due to their idol worship and sinful ways. Amos does not let the priest's power or authority deter him from speaking the message from God. In the same way, we may be faced with many challenges in life, including times when we need to stand up against anything that goes against our christian faith. But will our knees tremble and fail or can we be strong in faith like Amos and stand up for Christ?. Amos was not alone in his battle and had the power of God in him as his armor. He trusted God's plan and walked the path God laid for him. In the same way God has a path laid out for all of us and sometimes that path may be very difficult to follow as Christians. In today's society, which is filled with many conveniences, sometimes the easier path is not the right one. We may have to choose the more difficult path and see the Lord's ways. However with God on our side we have nothing to fear, as Psalms 118:6 states " The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do to me?".
Dear Father, teach us to remain strong in our faith during hard and pressing times. Give us strength to follow your ways even if it is a difficult journey. We have faith in a God who is powerful, mighty and faces our battles for us. Lord grant us grace to discern your will and accept whatever it is you have planned for us. Help us to strengthen our hope and faith in Jesus Christ. AmenThought for the day
" Faith tells me that no matter what lies ahead of me, God is already there."
Dr. Shiby Abraham
St. Johns MTC