READING: Amos 6-9
“Go, prophesy to my people Israel.”
I’ve been in ministry for more than three decades. When I first heard God’s calling, I was both excited and proud – certain that I was ready for God to use me in a powerful way. My first full-time local church ministry saw success, so my thinking that I was important to the kingdom of God only grew. Over the years, though, I’ve learned otherwise. What I’ve learned is that God often uses the least expected persons to do His work, and none of us is worthy of His calling.
In today’s reading, it is Amos who reminds me of that truth. Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, stood against Amos and told King Jeroboam that Amos was conspiring against him. Amaziah went so far as to order Amos to discontinue his prophesying in Israel: “Don’t ever prophesy at Bethel again, for it is the king’s sanctuary and a royal temple” (Amos 7:13). If Amos were going to be a “seer,” he should prophesy only in Judah—not Israel.
Amos’ response reminded Amaziah that he was hardly a “professional” prophet. Though scholars debate the verb tense of Amos’ response, it appears he told Amaziah, “I am not a prophet nor the son [that is, a student] of a prophet.” That was not his heritage or his line of work; rather, he was a layman, a herdsman, a tender of sycamore trees. He was not out to make a living as a prophet. He spoke prophetically simply because “the Lord took me from following the flock and said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel’” (Amos 7:15).
God’s calling trumped any sense that Amos was not a qualified prophet. All he knew was that God called him, and no words from a priest would stop him from doing his task. I want to be equally faithful to God’s calling.
- Pray for 2-3 people you know who are seeking to fulfill God’s calling.
- Thank God that He uses unexpected people to do His work.
PRAYER: “Lord, I want to be faithful in fulfilling my calling. Help me, especially if I face opposition.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Hosea 1-5