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April 23

Amos 7, 10 - 16a

Then Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, sent to King Jeroboam of Israel, saying, 'Amos has conspired against you in the very centre of the house of Israel; the land is not able to bear all his words. For thus Amos has said, "Jeroboam shall die by the sword, and Israel must go into exile away from his land." '
And Amaziah said to Amos, 'O seer, go, flee away to the land of Judah, earn your bread there, and prophesy there; but never again prophesy at Bethel, for it is the king’s sanctuary, and it is a temple of the kingdom.'
Then Amos answered Amaziah, 'I am no prophet, nor a prophet's son; but I am a herdsman, and a dresser of sycomore trees, and the Lord took me from following the flock, and the Lord said to me, "Go, prophesy to my people Israel." 'Now therefore hear the word of the Lord.'
New Revised Standard Version

Something to think about

Amos was not a prophet or a prophet's son, but the Lord said to him: 'Go and prophesy to my people Israel.'

By this appointment Amos became the spokesman of the Lord, and like all other prophets, his message is introduced by the prophetic formula: Ko amar Yahou.

This is what the Lord says. Thus a prophet is the voice of God. Yet in this story Amos met opposition in Amaziah who said to him: 'Get out you seer, go back to your land of Judah, earn your bread there.' (vs. 12-13) as if prophesying (preaching) is a mere human being's business for profit.

There is something wrong here: God's word against human being's word; God's will against human being's.

May we try to identify such paradoxes in our midst and always seek to be humbly put on the right side of them with God's guidance of His Holy Spirit.

Something to do

Next week, give away one of your belongings to a charity shop. Celebrate this with a prayer of thanksgiving.

Something to pray

Merciful God, you are our Father of all Grace and Forgiveness!

We failed to see your will amidst us and sometime if we do see it, we don't support it for lack of courage or fear for others. Lord forgive us!

Give us the strong desire to please you always and you alone. Deliver us from all wrong doings and from the evil one's temptations. Teach us Lord how to live according to your will. Let your Holy Spirit lead us on the right path and help us to always be on your side.

We ask all these in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, with thanksgiving. Amen!

Today's contributor is John Agbodjan, a former student minister at Westminster College, Cambridge.


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