The Task of the Prophet

This is what the Lord God showed me: a basket of summer fruit. He said to me, "Amos, what do you see?" I said, "A basket of summer fruit." Then the Lord said to me, "An end has come for my people Israel, because I will not overlook their sins anymore. "On that day the palace songs will become funeral songs," says the Lord God. "There will be dead bodies thrown everywhere! Silence!"

"Listen to me, you who walk on helpless people,you who are trying to destroy the poor people of this country, saying, "When will the New Moon festival be over so we can sell grain? so we can bring out wheat to sell? We can charge them more and give them less, and we can change the scales to cheat the people. We will buy poor people for silver, and needy people for the price of a pair of sandals. We will even sell the wheat that was swept up from the floor." The Lord has sworn by his name, the Pride of Jacob, "I will never forget everything that these people did. The whole land will shake because of it, and everyone who lives in the land will cry for those who died." Amos 8: 1-8

SITUATION Amos saw God's coming judgment on Israel through two visions. After each
vision, he prayed that God would be merciful.

OBSERVATION God sent his prophet Amos to warn the people of Israel to repent of their sins. God gives us these examples to teach us that he hates sins.

INSPIRATION The task of the prophet is to nurture, nourish, and evolve a vision of alternative to the dominant system. The prophet must generate hope for something that lies beyond the present order. We need a vision of an alternative future that will energize us and motive us to act, a vision of possibilities that will make our blood run hot and give us the courage to revolt against the way things are.

A prophet's vision can re-place people's numbness with energy. The possibility of a glorious "might be" can enable us to live in ways that appear dangerous to the custodians of the status quo. With the vision, the dead bones can come alive. The psychically dead can be resurrected. The spiritual sleepers can be awakened. Out of sorrow for the death of the old can come a new dynamism to us; through the message of the prophet we can come to believe in a new heaven and a new earth. The apathy that works in people in dying societies can be dispelled. There can be passion. There can be a "new song" (Isaiah 42:10), and the fatigue that is so evident among those in the present order can be overcome . . . .

All this energy comes from the message of the prophet. The people of the dying society can be "born again." The prophet's hope can generate the dynamism for change. (From Wake Up America by Tony Campolo)

APPLICATION Use Sundays as a chance to get to know God better. Go to church faithfully. Worship and listen attentively. Spend Sunday building relationships with others in your church or spending time with your family.

EXPLORATION Bold Witnesses --

"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its salty taste, it cannot be made salty again. It is good for nothing, except to be thrown out and walked on. "You are the light that gives light to the world. A city that is built on a hill cannot be hidden. And people don't hide a light under a bowl. They put it on a lampstand so the light shines for all the people in the house. In the same way, you should be a light for other people. Live so that they will see the good things you do and will praise your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:13-16;

"Then Jesus said to them, "Do you hide a lamp under a bowl or under a bed? No! You put the lamp on a lampstand. Everything that is hidden will be made clear and every secret thing will be made known. You people who can hear me, listen! "Think carefully about what you hear. The way you give to others is the way God will give to you, but God will give you even more. Those who have understanding will be given more. But those who do not have understanding, even what they have will be taken away from them.". Mark 4:21-25

"But those who follow the true way come to the light, and it shows that the things they do were done through God."John 3:21

"But when the Holy Spirit comes to you, you will receive power. You will be my witnesses -- in Jerusalem, in all of Judea, in Samaria, and in every part of the world." Acts 1:8

"We must not become tired of doing good. We will receive our harvest of eternal life at the right time if we do not give up." Galatians 6:9

The Devotional Bible - Experiencing the Heart of Jesus, Max Lucado General Editor, New Century Version, Thomas Nelson Publishers

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