Amos – Shepherd Prophet of Judgment (4 of 5)

Focus Text: Amos 7.10-17

Godly men have always been the subject of ridicule and persecution; Amos was certainly not an exception. Consider the following paragraph from the life of Amos, the Shepherd Prophet of Israel.

“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 shall surely be led away captive From their own land.”’ Then Amaziah said to Amos: ‘Go, you seer! Flee to the land of Judah. There eat bread, And there prophesy. But never again prophesy at Bethel, For it is the king's sanctuary, And it is the royal residence.’ Then Amos answered, and said to Amaziah: ‘I was no prophet, Nor was I a son of a prophet, But I was a sheepbreeder And a tender of sycamore fruit. Then the Lord took me as I followed the flock, And the Lord said to me, “Go, prophesy to My people Israel.” Now therefore, hear the word of the Lord: You say, “Do not prophesy against Israel, And do not spout against the house of Isaac.” Therefore thus says the Lord: “Your wife shall be a harlot in the city; Your sons and daughters shall fall by the sword; Your land shall be divided by survey line; You shall die in a defiled land; And Israel shall surely be led away captive From his own land.”’” (Amos 7.10-17).

Perhaps it gets old to some, but there is just no way to overemphasize the courage of the prophets of the Lord. There were prophets of false gods who were weak-kneed cowards, but God simply could not (nor can He now) use someone with that character flaw. It took inordinate courage for Amos to even be in the land of Israel, a land wholly given over to idolatry; however, for him to speak directly and specifically to the leaders of Israel, even calling their names and indicating that they were going to die in God’s judgments upon the land – now that takes an extra measure of courage. It was little wonder that Amaziah told Amos that he ought to go home (back to Southern Israel) and prophecy and never to come back to the North again! Amos’ words stung the guilty and the guilty struck back!

After being told to be quiet and leave, Amos simply bowed his back and became even more determined to deliver the message of God’s judgments upon the land, even telling Amaziah that his wife was to become a harlot in the city and that his sons and daughters would die by the sword! Fear was not a word that Amos seemed to know and certainly intimidation was not within the realm of the possible with this man of God. Contrast the courage of Amos with the spineless and mindless deeds of the prophets of false gods and a chasm widens almost as wide as eternity itself.

When reading of Amos’ exploits, one is reminded of Paul’s admonition to Timothy, saying, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1.7). When prophets and preachers display this attitude, souls will be affected positively and eternal punishment will be avoided; Amos, fearless shepherd prophet to Israel.

Questions:

1. What tale did Amaziah bear to king Jeroboam regarding Amos?

2. What 2 “reasons” did Amaziah offer as to why Amos should never prophesy in Israel again?

3. Why could Amos have such courage? Why would the prophets of false gods lack courage?

4. What fate awaits the fearful as mentioned in Revelation 21.8?