Don’t be complacent. Don’t be proud. Don’t trample on the poor. And don’t threaten Amos! Those are the messages I take from today’s reading. The priest at Bethel, Amaziah, didn’t like to hear the things Amos was saying, so he told him to leave and go prophesy in Judah. Basically, he told him to get out of Dodge.
Did Amos listen? Nope. He kept on saying what the Lord put in his mouth, and furthermore had some choice words for Amaziah:
Amos answered Amaziah, “I was neither a prophet nor a prophet’s son, but I was a shepherd, and I also took care of sycamore-fig trees. 15 But the LORD took me from tending the flock and said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’ 16 Now then, hear the word of the LORD. You say,
” ‘Do not prophesy against Israel,
and stop preaching against the house of Isaac.’
17 “Therefore this is what the LORD says:
” ‘Your wife will become a prostitute in the city,
and your sons and daughters will fall by the sword.
Your land will be measured and divided up,
and you yourself will die in a pagan [a] country.
And Israel will certainly go into exile,
away from their native land.’ “
I wish I could be that bold in the face of outright hostility! I tend to cringe and cower…any boldness that comes out of my mouth is most certainly from the Lord, because if I had my way I would do everything to avoid rocking the boat. Until I get angry. I am okay when people do unkind things to me. But mess with my husband? I want to wield a frying pan against the offending person. Mess with my child? Lord, help me!
This morning I wanted to be bold and, ahem, LOUDLY speak some truth into a situation…but instead I felt compelled to go be by myself for some prayer time. So when I ran out to the bank, I took a detour into a parking lot at a grocery store and took a moment to pray. It wasn’t long enough. I think I could actively pray every waking minute and still not be finished. The Lord knows my heart.
I am reminded of the Lord’s wisdom: to whom much is given, much will be required. Much is being required of our little family of three these days, and I am counting on the Lord to sustain us. I am counting on HIS will being done. I am praying that we will honor Him with our actions and with our words.
And I’m counting on the Lord to soften my heart so that I no longer feel the desire to take up a frying pan for anything other than cooking!