In Amos 7:9, Amos prophesies that Israel’s king Jeroboam will be killed and the people will be taken captive into exile. The next verse introduces Amaziah the priest.
Amaziah sends word to the king, telling him that Amos is plotting against him. Then he tells Amos, “Shut up and go away! Don’t preach anymore here at Bethel; go somewhere else, somewhere far away.”
This was the priest. The supposed-to-be man of God. The one who should have been the religious leader, the example and teacher of how to live the right way, of how to please God.
And here he was, stirring up trouble against God’s prophet Amos. Here he was, saying he didn’t want to hear Amos’s message anymore, telling Amos to go away. Here he is, recorded in the Bible for all of us to read about and shake our heads at.
But before we judge him too harshly. . . How many times have we been in his shoes?
How many times have we not liked the message–whether the message the preacher shares on Sunday, or the message our conscience is telling us, or the message from somewhere/someone else?
How many times have we wanted a certain person to just shut up and go away? Even if deep down inside we know they’re right, know they’re saying what God wants them to say?
How many times have we been against someone who is a follower of Christ, the same as we claim to be?
If God were to write about us for future generations to read about, what would He say? What would they think? What kind of example would we be?
I wonder if Amaziah ever changed. Did he later realize Amos was, well, right? Did he apologize? Was he given a second chance, and did he take it?
I don’t know. But I do know that we have second chances. We have the opportunity to change, to apologize, to make things right, to listen to what God has to say. But that opportunity won’t last forever: someday, it’ll be too late.
I pray you and I won’t be like Amaziah, but rather like Amos.