Amos 7.10-17 – Giving a hard word

Sometimes in life we are presented with situations wherein we need to tell people the truth, straight up, with no sugar coating, whether they like it or not. I’ve had to do this when working in schools, something like,

‘If you continue to A/B/C or don’t stop X/Y/Z you will fail this piece of work/quarter/semester, and that will be on you.’.

Not a particularly fun conversation to have, but sometimes we need to give someone the hard word. Today, Amos gives a hard word to Jeroboam, king of Israel.

First, a wicked prophet from a place of wicked worship stirs the pot by conspiring against Amos (vv.10-11), to which the king (who, by all accounts, was a bad king) responds by telling Amos to basically get gone (vv.12-13). Amos replies and says that he attended no prophet school, received no formal training, no on-the-job mentoring, but simply responded to God’s call (vv.14-15). Then, he gives the king a hard word, straight from the Lord,

17 Therefore thus says the LORD:

“‘Your wife shall be a prostitute in the city,

and your sons and your daughters shall fall by the sword,

and your land shall be divided up with a measuring line;

you yourself shall die in an unclean land,

and Israel shall surely go into exile away from its land.'”

As the ruler in-charge, tragedy would befall Jeroboam (v.17a), and his nation would go away into exile (v.17b).

 This was a difficult word in difficult circumstances, but Amos was faithful and true in delivering it.

What is God calling you to do that is difficult?

Is He calling you to pastures new as He called Amos?

    Sometimes the hardest word is not ‘go’, but ‘stay’.

Is He calling you to be His messenger of truth to someone around you?

    Is He speaking a hard word of truth into your life right now?

Point to ponder – When God gives us a hard word, there is always something wonderful behind it, something for our ultimate benefit, because God works all things, both good and bad, together for the good of those who love Him, and for the good of those He has called for His purpose.

Published by James Travis

Pastor of Saar Fellowship in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Married to Robyn and Dad to our two boys.

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