-The LORD shows Amos what He intended to do with the Northern Kingdom under the wicked king Jeroboam. The first two things, a locust-swarm and fire from the deep, were dismissed on account of the prophet’s pleading with God on behalf of the smallness of Jacob. The LORD did relent of these judgments, but He showed Amos a plumb line (a tool to measure and ensure straightness especially for walls, a crooked wall will mean instability to the building and eventual collapse). God was about to put a plumb line on His people and spare them no longer (Amos 7:8). Sin had so infected this people that the LORD could not and would not stand for it any longer. With the sword the Almighty will rise up against the house of Jeroboam (Amos 7:9). *Application* First, we should understand the heart of Amos in pleading for his countrymen before the LORD. As righteous individuals it is our duty and responsibility to pray for and intercede for the leadership and well-being of our respective nations (1 Timothy 2:1-4). We, like Amos, at times will be called to stand up and point out unrighteousness as well as things that go against the sovereign will of God. It is in those times that we must be courageous but loving as we stand for the principles of the Heavenly Kingdom that we as Christians would and should pray for by command from Jesus Himself (Matthew 6:10). If any nation truly could follow the LORD’s righteous commands it would be perfect and for this we pray knowing that one day King Jesus will return and install His righteous reign (Revelation 19:6). Second, the plumb line for us is a reminder that the LORD is perfect and wants us to be holy as well (Leviticus 19:2). Sin makes our path crooked and it is the LORD’s desire for us all to come clean before Him through repentance and faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. Meditate on His Word, confess your shortcomings humbly before His gracious throne, and walk continually in His Spirit. These are the keys to a right relationship and fellowship with God.
-Next we see that Amos encounters persecution from Amaziah, the priest of Bethel (in the Northern Kingdom). Amaziah tells King Jeroboam of the prophet’s pronouncement of judgment upon him (Amos 7:11). Amos is told to leave and flee back to the land of Judah (where he was from, Amos 1:1) and do his prophesying there (Amos 7:12). Amos’ response was witty. He claimed he was really no prophet by pedigree, but a simple herdsman and grower of sycamore figs (Amos 7:14). But, and this is the key, the LORD took him and said to him, “Go prophesy to My people Israel (Amos 7:15).” It was God who was speaking and had nothing to do with Amos’ thoughts, initiatives, or agenda. He finished with a flurry of strong prophetic words given by the LORD about certain destruction at this point. *Application* How do we handle the naysayers and persecutors when we know we’ve given a word directly from God? With the true in love, that’s how (Ephesians 4:15). As we see here in Scripture, Amos is firm, secure, and strong with his words. He does not back down; he does not capitulate to the false prophet. His announcement is steadfast, but he doesn’t fight in his own strength. He simply gives the word of the LORD and leaves it at that. If you know the LORD is telling you to deal with a specific circumstance that you know is wrong, go in power and authority from the most High and love those you must rebuke with the same love He demonstrates to us. Remember, God’s judgments and warnings are for corrective purposes. If the sinner is warned and still rejects, His wrath will come because of their own doing and we should feel remorse for their bad decision, not bitterness and hatred.
Verses to Memorize: Amos 7:8, 15