Written By Angelique Geeringh
In the Old Testament, nestled between the books of Joel and Obadiah, we find the book of Amos. This little book is often referred to as being filled with 'doom and gloom' but, when we take a closer look, this minor prophet actually held up a mirror to all the Israelites, telling them to repent and change their habits to stop God's terrible judgement.
After the death of Solomon, Israel was divided into two. During the time of the divided kingdom of Israel, Amos was one of few prophets who warned the Northern Kingdom of Israel about impending judgement. Amos was a farmer, and a shepherd in a small town outside of Jerusalem (part of the Southern Kingdom of Judah) called Tekoa.
He was not officially trained in the scriptures; however, he was well-educated in the scriptures. Amos listened to God and followed His instructions to go and prophesy to the Northern Kingdom of Israel. There, they were caught up in idol worship, and the wealthy were exploiting the poor through slavery and unkind treatment. The wives of the prosperous farmers from Bashan are singled out by Amos, and he harshly calls them 'the cows of Bashan' (Amos 4:1) for oppressing the poor and crushing the needy.
This is an important reminder for each of us that we need to care for those who are less fortunate than us and to bring the light, love, and provision of Jesus wherever we go. Do we leave footprints that are self-centred and self-absorbed or are they filled with love, kindness, and peace?
If we reflect Jesus in our lives, we will be the ones who bring the Good News to this sad and lonely world.
Isaiah 52:7 (NIV)
'How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation,who say to Zion, "Your God reigns!'