First Reading: Amos 7:12-15

The Call of Amos

12 Amaziah also said to Amos, "You seer, go, flee away into the land of Judah, and there eat bread, and prophesy there: 13 but don't prophesy again any more at Bethel; for it is the king's sanctuary, and it is a royal house!"

14 Then Amos answered Amaziah, "I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet's son; but I was a herdsman, and a farmer of sycamore figs; 7:15 and YHWH took me from following the flock, and YHWH said to me, 'Go, prophesy to my people Israel'"

World English Bible

[7:12-13] In this short exchange, Amaziah objected to the prophecy of Amos. Amaziah was a priest at the king's sanctuary in Bethel, the capital of Israel (the so-called "Northern Kingdom"). Surrounding any king were advisors (so-called "prophets"). These "prophets" formed a permanent bureaucracy that guided the king in God's name.

There were other "schools" of prophets that banded together for common worship, spiritual development, and communal living. Like schools in ancient times, these bands of prophets had leaders who taught disciples.

[7:14-15] In either case, such prophets used their oratorical skills and spiritual insights to make a living.

Amaziah assumed Amos came as an unofficial prophet from the king's court at Judea (the "southern Kingdom") or from a school of prophets in the south. He assumed Amos preached against the king to garner support and financial assistance from the king's enemies. Unlike the bureaucratic prophet or the prophet of a school, Amos came to prophesy because of God's call. He was merely a farmer who left his trade (and income) to do God's bidding. Hence, his prophecy was honorable, not self-serving. He traveled far from his homeland to do God's will.

Have you traveled to do God's will? Did you encounter any resistance? What happened?