We see in this chapter an all-too-familiar thing: Someone doesn’t like what Amos says about the king’s family being attacked, so he meets with the king and falsely accuses Amos of making evil plans (Amos 7:8-10). Then he confronts Amos and tries to get him out of the picture. “Seer, go back right now to Judah. Do your prophesying and earn your living there, but don’t prophesy anymore here at Bethel” (Amos 7:12-13).
How does Amos respond? Is he intimidated? We’re not told how he feels, but he responds by stating the call God’s placed on his life, and being faithful to it. “I do not make my living as a prophet, nor am I a member of a group of prophets. I make my living as a shepherd, and I take care of sycamore trees. But the Lord took me away from tending the flock and said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’ So listen to the Lord’s word” (Amos 7:14-16).
Sadly, we see this persecution regularly all over the globe. In fact, we’re even promised that anyone who wants to live as a Christian will be persecuted (2 Timothy 3:12). It happens to people in North Korea, stuck in prison camps because they or a member of their family chose to be a Christian, and it happens on a smaller scale – people mocking or showing anger at the way someone lives their life. How will you respond when it happens to you?
Jesus and Paul give us some helpful tips. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:11-12). “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matthew 5:44-45). “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse” (Romans 12:14).
So, will you have confidence in God’s call on your life, and be faithful to it?