Thursday, October 15, 2009


“Get out, you seer! Go back to the land of Judah. Earn your bread there and do your prophesying there!” Amaziah the priest shouted at prophet Amos. The travelling prophet from the South could not keep his comfortable business running since the Lord called him. Amos was a contented shepherd and farmer in a land of plenty at that time in Judah, under the reign of King Uzziah, the son of Amaziah. But he was alarmed at the wickedness of his fellowmen and women from the North. “The Lord roars from Zion and thunders from Jerusalem,” Amos borrowed few words from Prophet Joel’s prophecies to kick off his series of pronouncements. “Do not think God is far away from seeing what you guys did up there,” Amos thought to himself.

King Jeroboam II and his priest had grown weary of Amos prophesying doom to the king and the kingdom. Jeroboam had previously won some battles and enlarged Israel’s territories. God gave him victories through the prophecy of Prophet Jonah, not because he was righteous nor endearing to God. It was purely out of God’s promise to keep Israel’s name being blotted out. All prophets and most Jews would remember the promise so graciously given to Abraham, Isaac and Israel. Amos prophesied the impending reversal of Jeroboam’s victories if he did not repent.

All was well when Amos started to preach against nations surrounding Israel. One by one, nations were prophesied against due to their wickedness and idolatries. When Judah was included in the prophecies of God’s wrath, eye brows were raised. Perhaps, the prophet himself would have taken it doubly hard when the words came out of his mouth. Indeed, God showed no favouritism. Consequences of sins loomed dangerously to anyone who dared to commit them.

Once Amos’ prophecy touched on Israel, all hell broke loose. The damning prophecy had overwhelmed the proud Jeroboam. He was angry with Amos, a foreign prophet as far as he was concerned. God had seen enough of treacherous evil being brazenly committed. The rich were getting richer and prouder while the poor being greatly marginalised and trampled down. From the king to the priest right down to the so-called prophets, all had gone astray. A complete revamp was what Israel needed. Only a total turnaround could prevent God from pouring out his wrath on his people.

Before Amos’s prophecies got to Jeroboam, he had been fed with positive messages from the false prophets. His security was shaken to its core when his own demise was pronounced! Instead of putting on sackcloth and fear God, Jeroboam put on defiance and shunned Amos. The rebellion signalled the end of Jeroboam and the eventual fall of Israel. In a vision, Amos saw the ripe fruit in a basket and wondered what it meant. God declared, “The time is ripe for my people Israel; I will spare them no longer.”

The words of God spoken shall never return to him void and shall accomplish their purposes. Somewhere out there, a nation had been prepared for Israel’s destruction. Assyria would be awakened while Israel slumbered.

Amos preached on regardless, knowing full well that destruction would be near. But in his heart, he knew his God would never blot out the name of Israel. Thus he declared with confidence the Word of the Lord, “I will bring back my exiled people Israel; they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them. They will plant vineyards and drink their wine; they will make gardens and eat their fruit. I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land I have given them.”

What would Prophet Amos say to us if he were still alive today?

1. Do not take your blessings as being God’s favour all the time.
2. The rich must help the poor and the strong must help the weak.
3. Beware of false prophets who proclaim only prosperity gospel
4. Do not hear only what your itchy ears want to hear.
5. God does not show favouritism. Sin is sin and sinners will have to bear the consequences.

Next: Prophet Hosea


  1. Talk about sending us out of our comfort zone ...

    Keep it up!

  2. God comforts the disturbed and disturbs the comfortable - sorry forgotten who said that. Anne, Tks for the comment.