I’m sure the Israelites were pretty excited when Amos began his prophecy. For most of the first two chapters, God rails on the nations surrounding them – Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Edom, Ammon, and Moab – explaining the judgments that he’ll send on them.
You can almost hear the Israelites cheering Amos on – “Yeah, you tell ’em, Amos! Give ’em hell! Let ’em burn!”
These were Israel’s enemies; they had done some pretty bad stuff over the centuries to God’s people, and now they were getting their just desserts.
So what a surprise it had to have been when Amos, without skipping a beat, finished condemning Moab and laid into Judah then Israel! That’s when things started getting a little sticky.
You see, Amos was just a shepherd in Judah, not a professional prophet. He led animals. And it sounds like he wasn’t even a lead shepherd – he was just “one of the herdsmen”. There was absolutely no reason to listen to this guy, especially since they didn’t like what he said. No reason except that he had a message from God.
When a person is called by God to preach a message, you can count on the fact that he’s going to step on some toes. Because God is more concerned with your character than your comfort, his messages are bound to make us uncomfortable so that he can grow our character.
Our theme at OTCC for 2009 is going to be commitment. I’m going to preach on it in every series. I’m going to call for it in every area of your life.
I’m sure that I’ll step on some toes. It’s going to be uncomfortable. But it will be worth it if you’re willing to make the commitments necessary to grow.
Israel wasn’t willing to listen to Amos and in fewer than 50 years they were destroyed by Assyria. Don’t let yourself be destroyed because of a few uncomfortable messages. Instead, prepare yourself for some great personal growth by opening your hearts to whatever your next step is on your spiritual journey.