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RESOURCE CENTER AND ARCHIVES

Amos 7:417comment (0)

January 31, 2013

By Robert Olsen

Related Scripture: Amos 7:417


Explore the Bible 
Assistant Professor of Christian Ministries, University of Mobile

Can I Get a Witness?

Amos 7:4–17

Interceding Witness (4–6)
Chapter 7 of Amos opens with visions given to Amos. 

In the first vision God sends locusts to eat up all the crops, which would lead to widespread famine. Amos cries out for God to spare Israel, and He does. In the second vision, God sends fire in order to judge Israel. Again Amos pleads with God not to carry out this judgment, and once again God relents. 

Amos acting in such a way shows the power of intercession. God desires that we pray and ask on behalf of other people because God answers prayer. 

Some Christians choose not to pray because they think that it serves no purpose. If God is all-knowing, then why will He “change His mind” if I pray? Won’t He do what He has already determined to do? However, the Bible shows that on several occasions God relents. He states He is going to do something only to stop because of the prayers of someone. This should motivate us to pray on behalf of others, especially praying for the salvation of our unsaved acquaintances. 

Truth-Telling Witness (7–9)
In the third vision in the chapter Amos sees God with a plumb line held up against a wall that represents Israel. 

God is using the plumb line to see if the wall is straight. Israel is God’s chosen people; they were supposed to build their society according to God’s Law. Instead the wall is not straight because Israel has worshipped foreign gods and has not lived according to God’s commands. This shows Amos that God is going to carry out His judgment. Turning away from God to foreign gods is too much for God to bear, and He is going to punish Israel so that they turn back to Him. 

Opposed Witness (10–13)
At this point the priest Amaziah tells Jeroboam, the king of Israel, about Amos’ prophecy and tells him how Amos’ prophecy is against Jeroboam and Israel. Amaziah confronts Amos and tells him to leave and go back to Judah. He did not want to hear the true word of the Lord — neither did Jeroboam. 

In many instances, the corrupt kings of Israel would have prophets and priests who would only tell them things that they wanted to hear. It is no different in our society today. Telling people about Jesus and preaching the gospel is an offense. It tells us that we are sinners and separated from a holy and righteous God and that we can do nothing on our own to remedy the situation — only God can remedy the situation, which He did by coming in the flesh, suffering and dying for mankind. Society does not want to hear this. They do not want to hear that they fall short and are sinners, and so they demand that we change our message. Society says we should embrace all religions and embrace views like homosexuality, but these views are counter to what the Bible teaches. 

Obedient Witness (14–17)
Amaziah suggests that Amos is a professional prophet who prophesies for money, which is apparently how the corrupt prophets of Israel behaved. 

Instead Amos tells Amaziah his credentials — he was a shepherd and he also tended figs. He was not a professional prophet; rather he was called by God to prophesy — how could Amaziah argue against the message he was relaying? And because of God’s displeasure with Amaziah and what he represented — a corrupt and distorted representation of God — God would punish him along with Israel. 

When we encounter opposition, we do not respond by changing the message to tell people what they want to hear. Christians will face opposition for stating what the Bible says, and we need to persist in presenting the true message of the gospel and not try to make it acceptable to our hearers.

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