Amos 1:1 – 6:14 (NIV)
Elly Grover, Administrative Assistant, Care Ministries
Use What You Have…Make a Difference!
Amos was a simple, humble man who herded sheep and took care of sycamore-fig trees. His life was devoted to serving the Lord, so when God gave him a vision of the future judgment of Israel and told him to take His message to the northern kingdom of Israel, he obeyed.
During this time (760-750 BC) Israel was enjoying economic prosperity and peace. They had become complacent, selfish, materialistic, and indifferent toward God, ignoring the needy (even selling them into slavery). Amos was given a message of condemnation for the nations who had sinned against God and harmed His people. He spoke with boldness and brutal frankness in denouncing sin. I don’t think that Israel had a problem with God’s judgment falling on their enemies. But when Amos confronted Israel with their sin and warned them of their coming judgment I don’t think that was what they wanted to hear!
Amos wasn’t the son of a prophet or the son of a priest…just a humble shepherd/tree-tender. There are two lessons that we can learn from today’s scripture reading.
The first is to use what we have. God has given us exactly what we need, to do exactly what He wants us to do. God can do extraordinary things through us no matter how ordinary our occupation seems to be. Our part is like that of Amos: listen to God and obey.
The second is to examine our own hearts…have we gotten too comfortable? Have we let the things of this life take God’s place? Do we care about the poor and are we doing something to help them?
In Amos 5:6 we are instructed to “Seek the Lord and live…” Daily seeking His guidance through prayer and reading His Word will give us the strength and wisdom to use what we have and make a difference for the Kingdom!