Today we start a new series of devotions from the book of Amos. Seldom read or quoted in sermons, written by a normal man called to serve God, and carrying a theme which we would all do well to see and action in our lives, Amos is nestled in there with the other minor prophets (known so because their books are shorter, not less important).
So, chapter one, verse one, reads,
The words of Amos, who was among the shepherds of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel, two years before the earthquake.
Amos prophesied around 760-750 B.C. and was a prophet mainly to the northern kingdom of Israel, as opposed to the southern kingdom of Judah. The two had been divided for more than 150 years when Amos ministered to them on behalf of the Lord.
His occupation is right in there, among the shepherds of Tekoa, and this is not a spiritual thing, he is not a pastor of a flock of God’s sheep. He wrote that he is a ‘sheep raiser’. Amos is just a regular person, going about his regular person life, called to serve God.
Maybe that is you right now; living your normal person life but you feel that God is calling you to serve Him in a new way now or near into the future, maybe things are moving and changing in your life and you are preparing for a big move in order to serve God in a different or new way, maybe God is calling you to do something above and beyond what you have ever done with or for Him before…how exciting!
But, maybe that scares you, maybe you feel inadequate, maybe you feel that you don’t have enough training or ministry experience (or even life experience) to do the job well…well, as the old saying goes – ‘God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called.’
Now, if we are talking about senior leadership positions, those with a heavy responsibility, sure, go and get some education and watch how God calls you to a leadership role; feel the call, learn what you need to learn, but, as we see with Amos,
God calls who God calls;
it is what we do with that call that counts.
Amos was a simple farmer called to serve God and His people. David Guzik writes on this,
“It seems that Amos had no formal theological or prophetic training, though there was a school of the prophets known as the sons of the prophets at that time (1 Kings 20.35, 2 Kings 2.3-15, 2 Kings 4.1, 2 Kings 4.38). Amos was a simple man, a farmer, who had been uniquely called to ministry.”
Amos spoke of his background in 7.14-15, but we’ll get there…for now, Amos was called to serve God in a totally different way than he had before. When God calls us to serve Him we need not doubt as to the wisdom of the call, we need not doubt as to the purpose of the call, and we need not doubt that God who calls and guides us to a new field of service will equip and provide all we need when we are there.
Simply, God calls us all so serve Him in some way, no matter who we are or where we are from, God calls us to serve Him.
When He does, there is only one answer!