A common accusation being thrown about on political ads is to label someone a “Washington Insider”… meaning he/she is so connected in the workings of the federal government that he/she is not in touch with – or doesn’t care about – the common voter. Instead, he/she is mostly concerned with using his/her position to benefit him/herself.
There were lots of “Samaria Insiders” among the prophets of Amos’ day, but Amos was clearly NOT one of them.
Amos did not consider himself a professional prophet… nor was he the son of a professional prophet. Rather, he was a simple shepherd and a farmer of fig trees (Amos 7:14,15). His chief qualification for prophesying to the kingdom of Israel was simply God’s calling on his life.
To be fair, though, Amos should not be labeled a “country bumpkin” who knew nothing of sophistication… and who only threw a few spiritual jabs at Israel. His prophecies reflect a deep understanding of God and the world Amos found himself in. His prophecies came from a heart and mind that thought much about God and the world around him.
Amos’ prophecies warned Israel of the coming of the great “Day of the Lord” that would bring judgment against the injustices of both the Israelites and their neighbors.
Amos’ prophecies/book lists 8 accusations against the nations (ch.1,2); 3 messages about the sins of Israel (ch.3-6); 5 visions of future judgment (ch.7-9); and ends with a promise of restoration for God’s people.
The name “Amos” means ‘to be burdened’ (2:13), and he was certainly burdened at the sins of his people.
– Amos’ Accusations against the nations…
If God judges lost people for their sins, how much more will He hold His own people accountable? Privilege brings responsibility… and where there is responsibility, there is accountability.
Is God having to be patient toward you? Is His judgment on others a warning to you? Are you paying attention to it?
– Amos’ Messages about the sins of Israel…
God’s people were living in luxury… and doing their religious duties… but they had ignored a personal relationship with God and His call on their lives.
Amos boldly pointed out the fact that their priorities were out of order.
Have you gotten so wrapped up in doing “God things” that you’ve ignored God? When you do those “God things”, why are you doing them? If you’re doing them to earn God’s favor/attention/blessing, that’s religion. God desires relationship!
You can read Amos’ story in the book of Amos.