GOD CANNOT BE DISMISSED
I choose You, today, my God.
Read Amos 7:1–17
Locusts, Fire and a Plumb Line
7 This is what the Sovereign Lord showed me: He was preparing swarms of locusts after the king’s share had been harvested and just as the late crops were coming up. 2 When they had stripped the land clean, I cried out, “Sovereign Lord, forgive! How can Jacob survive? He is so small!”
3 So the Lord relented.
“This will not happen,” the Lord said.
4 This is what the Sovereign Lord showed me: The Sovereign Lord was calling for judgment by fire; it dried up the great deep and devoured the land. 5 Then I cried out, “Sovereign Lord, I beg you, stop! How can Jacob survive? He is so small!”
6 So the Lord relented.
“This will not happen either,” the Sovereign Lord said.
7 This is what he showed me: The Lord was standing by a wall that had been built true to plumb, with a plumb line in his hand. 8 And the Lord asked me, “What do you see, Amos?”
“A plumb line,” I replied.
Then the Lord said, “Look, I am setting a plumb line among my people Israel; I will spare them no longer.
9 “The high places of Isaac will be destroyed
and the sanctuaries of Israel will be ruined;
with my sword I will rise against the house of Jeroboam.”
Amos and Amaziah
10 Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent a message to Jeroboam king of Israel: “Amos is raising a conspiracy against you in the very heart of Israel. The land cannot bear all his words. 11 For this is what Amos is saying:
“‘Jeroboam will die by the sword,
and Israel will surely go into exile,
away from their native land.’”
12 Then Amaziah said to Amos, “Get out, you seer! Go back to the land of Judah. Earn your bread there and do your prophesying there. 13 Don’t prophesy anymore at Bethel, because this is the king’s sanctuary and the temple of the kingdom.”
14 Amos answered Amaziah, “I was neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet, 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 descendants 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 country.
And Israel will surely go into exile,
away from their native land.’”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat would God want to say to our society today? If you were his mouthpiece, what would he say through you?
The final three chapters of Amos present five pictures, three of which come in this chapter. Firstly, God prepared a locust swarm that threatened the nation’s food supply. Amos cried out for God to forgive the people, and God relented (1–3). Secondly, God prepared to destroy the land by a great fire. Amos cried out for God to stop, and God relented (4–6). Thirdly, God showed Amos a wall with himself holding a plumb line in his hand. God was preparing to measure the people against his standard, and this time he would no longer relent from the judgment they deserved (7–9).
Amos’s message was not popular with the priest of Bethel, Amaziah, who sent a message to the king of Israel to have him stop Amos from preaching. Amaziah wanted to deport Amos, but you cannot just get rid of the messenger and lose the message. God had a message for Israel and Amos delivered it. Enough was enough; God could be ignored no longer (10–17).
We live in an age that increasingly despises God’s concern for us. Those who dare to oppose the tide of our culture face the wrath of it. But God cannot be dismissed. When we stand to speak for God, even if we stand alone, we represent a God whose concerns cannot be dismissed.
In what area of life have you been challenged to stand for Christ against the culture? How can you stand for truth while showing Christ’s love today?
God, give me the courage to speak for You even if I stand alone.