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. 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.’” 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. Don’t prophesy anymore at Bethel, because this is the king’s sanctuary and the temple of the kingdom.” 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. But the LORD took me from tending the flock and said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’”
Remember when your mother sent you to tell your sibling that it was time to come in from playing outside, and your sibling said, “No, it’s not!” That’s a pretty good illustration of what was happening in the days of Amos the prophet. God sent Amos to warn the Israelites to turn from their sins. Amos assured them that “This is what the LORD says!” But, most of the people didn’t want to listen. Amaziah was a false priest who told Amos, “Get out of here! You’re a liar!” Amaziah didn’t like what God was saying.
Sometimes we don’t like what God says to us, either. We especially don’t like it when he warns us about our pet sins—our drunkenness, our materialism, our lust, our gossip. It hurts when God’s Word condemns our sins.
It may hurt to face the truth of our sins, but it will hurt much more and much longer if we ignore the reality of our sins. Instead, may God help us to confess those sins and then look to the cross of Christ where there is forgiveness. Because as serious as God is about telling us about our sins, he is just as serious about telling us about how he saved us from those sins. Let us listen carefully whenever God speaks to us through his Word!
Loving Father, thank you for your Word and for those who faithfully share that Word with me. Help me to listen carefully so that I might repent of my sins and find comfort in my Savior. Amen.