Famous Amos is a brand of chocolate chip cookie which I really enjoyed eating when I was a kid. These cookies were always available in the supermarket here in the Philippines. Lately, however, I haven’t seen one at any grocery store. Maybe they stopped importing this brand of cookies here in Manila. I hope this comes back in our country because it tastes really good. 🙂
You may be asking why I’m blogging about a certain brand of chocolate chip cookie. Well, the reason there is because there’s a book in the Bible that I’ve read lately with the namesake: Amos. Thus the title 😀
However, unlike the name of the brand of cookie “Famous Amos”, the book that I read from the Bible isn’t as FAMOUS.
Were you surprised that there was such a book? I bet that a lot of us didn’t even know that such a book existed in God’s word. 🙂
Usually, I tend to not have that much of an interest from books like Amos in the Bible (others would be Joel, Nahum, Haggai etc.). Sometimes I get the feeling that I think I’d have more insights and revelations from the more popular ones out there. What a mindset right?! :))
Last week, however, while I was reading the book of Amos, God broke this kind of thinking in me. A few verses from Amos struck me hard and even inspired me with the prophet’s life. Last week I encountered this passage of scripture:
And Amaziah said to Amos, “O seer, go, flee away to the land of Judah, and eat bread there, and prophesy there, 13 but never again prophesy at Bethel, for it is the king’s sanctuary, and it is a temple of the kingdom.” 14 Then Amos answered and said to Amaziah, “I was[a] no prophet, nor a prophet’s son, but I was a herdsman and a dresser of sycamore figs. 15 But the Lord took me from following the flock, and the Lord said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’ 16 Now therefore hear the word of the Lord.
In this passage of scripture God called Amos to speak and prophesy against king Jeroboam of Israel as clearly seen in verse 11:
For thus Amos has said, “‘Jeroboam shall die by the sword, and Israel must go into exile away from his land.’”
Amos’ job isn’t a very popular one. I’d compare his job to a modern day journalist whose job is to expose corruption in the government. It’s a very dangerous job and risk your life with a kind of job as his. Amos was famous here, but it’s not the good kind of famous. He was infamous to the king and his officials because they didn’t like him for speaking God’s word of truth to them. Amaziah, one of the king’s officials, didn’t like what he saw and heard from Amos. That’s why in verse 12, Amaziah told Amos:
And Amaziah said to Amos, “O seer, go, flee away to the land of Judah, and eat bread there, and prophesy there, 13 but never again prophesy at Bethel, for it is the king’s sanctuary, and it is a temple of the kingdom.”
Amaziah didn’t like what he heard from Amos, that’s why he told him to leave them and not prophesy again. He told Amos that it’s the king’s sanctuary! It’s as if he’s telling Amos NOT TO DO those things because he was just an ordinary person. Who was he anyway to say those things in the king’s sanctuary? I think for Amaziah, if the king doesn’t know you, if you’re not popular or famous, if you’re just an ordinary human being then it’s better not to speak up at all. He discourages that kind of a behavior from people like Amos. Sounds familiar?
Though we may not have really experienced this kind of treatment from anyone. I believe that some of us feels like Amos a lot of times. Sometimes we feel like we’re just a nobody in this world. We think we don’t have the background, the experience or the pedigree to have any say in the important matters of this world. Why waste our time in having a say in the important and essential matters of this world when nobody will even listen to us? Is this true for you? Have you felt the same way before?
Well if those things are true for you, I’d just like to encourage you how Amos responded to Amaziah’s comments about him. Reading his reply to Amaziah inspired me to emulate what he did. In verses 14-16, this is what Amos said:
Then Amos answered and said to Amaziah, “I was[a] no prophet, nor a prophet’s son, but I was a herdsman and a dresser of sycamore figs. 15 But the Lord took me from following the flock, and the Lord said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’ 16 Now therefore hear the word of the Lord.
After reading Amos’ response to Amaziah, I got encouraged. These are one of the few verses in this book that really struck me. It changed my mindset about how I see certain things. At first, like what I mentioned above, I felt that I won’t get too much insight or revelations from this book because Amos isn’t famous in the Bible. I was no different from Amaziah, I was treating Amos the same way! But God rebuked me as I read this passage of scripture. Amos’ reply to Amaziah was very commendable and I think so should be our response everytime people would look down on us. He had two responses:
First, he had a proper estimation of who he really was. He knew that he was no prophet nor a prophet’s son. He wasn’t really as famous as Isaiah or Jeremiah in the Bible. He said that he was just an ordinary herdsman and dresser of sycamore figs. I believe that we should have the same response. We shouldn’t try to pretend who we are NOT. Let’s not try to pretend we’re someone else, or pretend as if we’re really something when in fact we aren’t! At the end of the day our true and real identities will be revealed so it’s better to just accept who we really are.
Second thing that I liked with Amos’ response is what he said in verse 15. That verse started with the word: “BUT”…”BUT!” Amos didn’t let his background or who he was define what God can do in and through him. He wasn’t limited and boxed with his pedigree or occupation. Amos said that it’s God who took him from where he was and commanded him to speak the truth of His word to his people. What great confidence and what a great reminder! Amos said that it was God who told him to prophesy to the people of Israel:
“…But the Lord took me from following the flock, and the Lord said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’”
What a great and amazing yet humbling sight. Amos wasn’t FAMOUS. Yet, even though he wasn’t famous at all. Even though he didn’t have the pedigree or background, he didn’t let that stop him from letting God do great and amazing things in his life. I believe that the same is true for a lot of us today. We shouldn’t let our skills, experience, or reputation define what God can do through us in the future. Especially for us Christians, we know already that we’ve been set apart by God to do great and amazing things for him. We shouldn’t let our insecurities get in the way of our great destinies. After all, if it’s God who calls us, he’ll also be the one who’ll accomplish his work through us. Let’s just go and Let God. 🙂 If God tells us to do something, let’s have the same response as Amos which is obedience:
Now therefore hear the word of the Lord.