Wednesday, October 12, 2011
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."
The priest of God, who should have allied with the prophet of God out of respect and obedience to the Word of God, turned against Amos. The reasons are clear. Amos was calling Israel to repent as he warned of God's impending judgment. This threatened the livelihood of Amaziah, a profitable religious niche he had cared out for himself. Amos took the people to task for worship mixed with idolatry. And Amaziah was at the top of that religious system.
The weapon being used against Amos is political in nature. Amaziah hopes that by being a tattletale to the king, that Amos will be intimidated and shut down. He is conspiring against God's prophet. By doing so, he is rejecting God's plan. But he seems totally unaccepting of the message that Amos brought. He accuses the prophet of treason because Amos preached that Jeroboam would be taken into exile at the end of a sword (Amos 7:11). He tries to chase the prophet down to Judah (Amos 7:12-13). He tries to destroy Amos' reputation and to scare him away from his calling.
But Amos responded with the truth. He had no calling but what God had given him. God took a shepherd and part-time fig picker and made him a prophet (Amos 7:14-16). And Amos had a message from God for Amaziah the priest: God was going to humiliate the leader of false worship in Israel (Amos 7:17). The same fate that awaited Jeroboam awaited Amaziah as well.
The main lesson I see in this episode is that the truth of God can defend itself. God will not let His Word go unheeded among His people. And He will not let His servants who faithfully proclaim His truth to be slandered. God did not stop the slander, but He did vindicate His prophet even as Amos had to endure the confrontation. It takes courage to uphold the truth. But God will uphold those who have the conviction to obey Him.
- Posted on an original iPad.
prepare your minds for action...
1 Peter 1:13