S21P38 – Portraits of faith: Amos

Amos 7:14-16a
Amos answered Amaziah, “I was neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet, but I was a shepherd, and I also took care of sycamore-fig trees. But the Lord took me from tending the flock and said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’ Now then, hear the word of the Lord.

Anyone who has applied for a job knows that qualifications matter. For the highly specific professional positions, those qualifications can take the form of licenses and degrees. For other positions, work history is sufficient. Either way, the opportunity to sit for an interview is reserved for those who are qualified to do the work. From there, the pool is narrowed to the person who is the best fit for the job. God’s method of qualification can look very different. Enter Amos.

When God called Amos to prophesy his message to Israel, He did not call a prophet. God asked a shepherd, one who likely spent more time interacting with sheep than with people, to deliver his words of judgment. He could have asked someone more qualified who came from a long line of prophets, someone known for his works in this office. Instead, He picked a lowly shepherd with no known experience in prophesying his word. The qualifications for this job were not education and work history but a willingness to obey. This may seem like a low barrier to entry, but simply obeying God can be incredibly difficult. Is this not the root of our current state?

When God calls us to labor for him, it is common to think of ourselves first. We consider whether we are qualified and competent. It is the person of great faith who, trusting in proven discernment, follows God’s direction and relies on his abilities. If God is simply looking for someone who will obey him, He should have no shortage of options. His children should be prepared to move for him in whatever way He requires. Father, give us the faith that looks to your power and knowledge when You call us to things beyond what we believe we can accomplish, knowing that You will give us everything we need to carry out your will.