Amos’ home was Tekoa, in Judah, but God sent him to prophesy in Israel.
He had gone to the northern kingdom and preached with such power that the land was not “able to bear all his words” (Amos 7:10, NKJV). Certainly many Israelites looked at Amos with suspicion and rejected him as God’s messenger. In spite of that rejection, he faithfully performed his prophetic ministry.
Read Amos 7:10-17. What familiar pattern is seen here? What other examples can you find in the Bible of the same thing happening? What should we learn from all these examples?
Among those who did not like Amos’ preaching was Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, who accused Amos of conspiracy against Israel’s king. Bethel was one of the two royal sanctuaries, the very centers of apostate worship. Amos had predicted in public that if Israel did not repent, its king would die by the sword and the people would be led away captive. Amaziah ordered Amos to go back to the land of Judah, where his messages against Israel would be more popular.
In his response to the priest, Amos affirmed that his prophetic call came from God. He claimed that he was not a professional prophet who May be hired for services. Amos distanced himself from professional prophets who prophesied for gain.
However, speaking the truth by no means guarantees acceptance, because the truth can at times be uncomfortable and—if it disturbs those in power—it can produce serious opposition. God’s call compelled Amos to preach so openly and so boldly against the sins of the king and the nobility from the northern kingdom that he was accused of treason.
What is our attitude when told that our actions and/or lifestyles are sinful and will bring punishment upon us? What does our answer tell us about ourselves and about, perhaps, the need for a change of heart and attitude?