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The Prophetic Burden

Description

Ask God to search your heart and your life, and to help you break connection with anything out of line with Him.

Pray: 

Lord, You take no pleasure in judgment. Let me turn from anything that would make it necessary in my life.

Read: 

Amos 7:1-17

Reflect: 

What is the heart of the prophet?

Most prophets were part of guilds based at sanctuaries. They made their living from prophesying, perhaps to order (1 Kings 22). Amaziah, priest of Bethel, mistakes Amos for one such prophet for hire. Coming from Judah, Amaziah assumes there's a political motivation here, attacking the legitimacy of the northern kingdom, its king and its sanctuaries. Amaziah dismisses Amos as a fraud.

But Amos is neither a prophet nor a guild member. As a shepherd and tender of sycamore-fig trees (14), God has called Amos from entirely outside the prophetic and priestly systems, from outside even the nation of Israel, to announce this judgment. The nation was so spiritually and morally corrupt, there was none able to hear and bear God's Word.

Amos has struggled with the burden of this prophecy, wrestling in prayer with God for Israel. He takes no delight in announcing that a plumb line hangs among Israel against which all will be measured (7-9). Amos has longed for the judgment to be turned aside. Yet, the rejection of the Lord's Word by Amaziah is the last straw. Judgment and exile are confirmed.

Apply: 

Ask God to search your heart and life, and to help you break connection with anything that is out of line with God.

Pray: 

Father of light, help me to hear You no matter how Your Word comes to me. Help me to respond to You.

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