“But Amos replied, ‘I’m not one of your professional prophets.
I certainly never trained to be one.
I’m just a shepherd, and I take care of fig trees.'”
Amos 7:14 NLT
I have one friend who always answers questions with unfiltered honestly. (One is about all my ego can handle.)
Do these pants look good on me?
I really think I could be an awesome secretary! Don’t you think so?
I just lost my temper there, didn’t I?
After getting past the initial burn, it’s actually relieving to never have to wonder if they are being honest with me or not. It’s the same relief I feel whenever I have to do math; it’s so black and white: What does x equal? 23. Should I join take up professional hula hooping? No.
This week I found out that God kept company with those kind of people, too. Amos, the man I wrote about last week in Soul Funny, is one of those honest types. I’m still laughing to myself over how completely unafraid he is to say it like it is.
God called Amos – a simple shepherd – to do the work of a prophet. God sent him to share with the Israelites the same message of many before him: Turn from your sins and come back to God or there will be consequences of your bad choices. Amos obeyed without question and immediately began sharing this message wherever God directed him. At one point, King Jeroboam learned about what Amos was saying and tried to strong arm him into leaving. Check out the interaction:
Message from King to Amos: “Get out of here, you seer! Go on back to the land of Judah and do your preaching there! Don’t bother us here in Bethel with your prophecies, especially not here where the royal sanctuary is!” (Amos 7:12-13 NLT)
Amos’s response: “I’m not one of your professional prophets. I certainly never trained to be one. I’m just a shepherd, and I take care of fig trees. But the LORD called me away from my flock and told me, ‘Go and prophecy to my people in Israel.'” (Amos 7:14-15 NLT)
So the king basically tells him to take a hike and Amos just tells it like it is! “Look dude, I’m just a shepherd… I didn’t go to school for this! I grow figs and watch sheep. GOD told me to speak, so I’m here to speak.” I can’t stop chuckling about his bluntness. It’s THAT simple for him… no pomp and circumstance, no eloquence or position of personal authority…just I’m here because God told me to be & here’s what he says!
And it should be that simple in my own life today. Look dude, I have no earthly qualifications for being a parent or a wife, but God gave me a husband to respect and three sons to raise, so here I am doing it. Boom. Done.
Dear Lord, thank you so much for putting Amos in my life this week to remind me that you don’t require us to be perfectly trained for your calling. You just want us to be willing messengers in our thoughts, words, and actions. Please help me to keep each day as simply as Amos does – you called me to do it, so here I am doing it. Amen.