Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Amos, a tree dresser from Tekoa

I'm reading from the book of Amos and wondering at God's choice for a prophet.  Amos is a shepherd by trade but evidently he doesn't have enough livestock to care for to keep him busy so he does some additional seasonal labor as a sycamore tree dresser.  Whether this second job was to insure financial stability for his family or something that his father had done before him, we cannot tell.  But we do know that his profession, either shepherd or tree dresser (gardener), has nothing to do with formal training in the priesthood or to be a prophet.  His calling as a prophet is purely a spiritual calling from God and a most difficult calling at that.

Amos is called by God to leave his homeland of Judah and travel into the north country of Israel and to tell that country which is in the midst of an economic upswing that God is highly displeased.  Imagine how that falls on deaf ears!  Those who will be in agreement are the least and the lost and the dispossessed.  How much influence for change will they have?  Those who can make change are living high on the hog.  Amos words of warning fall on unhearing ears, even hostile ears and yet he persists in speaking the truth that God has revealed to him; a time of reckoning is coming.

As Christians, we are called to speak the truth in love even if that truth is unwanted and resisted.  In a time when sin is easily disguised and acceptable as freedom of speech or inclusive lifestyles, we need to be people of truth.  Not an easy thing to be, but one that is absolutely necessary if we are to be salt and light in a world that is dark and festering.  What is the truth?  Is there many roads leading to the same exalted place of promise and hope.  All I know is that which Jesus has spoken, "he is the way, the truth and the life.  No one can hope to know the Father unless they come by way of the Son."  Are you so bold as to live a life of truth?  To speak the truth in ways that may expose yourself to ridicule?

The example of Amos is one of boldly speaking for God even when others are content in their comforts that have come at the expense of those unable to speak for themselves.

No comments:

Post a Comment