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Thursday, January 12, 2017
Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet's son; but I was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycamore fruit: And the LORD took me as I followed the flock, and the LORD said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel.
The period of time being covered in our devotional reading for today is the time leading up to the destruction of Israel, the ten tribes of Israel's twelve tribes that divided from the twelve and followed Jereboam at the end of King Solomon's reign as the third King of all of Israel.
Jeroboam was from Bethel and had become the leader of the ten northern tribes that would be captured by Assyria around 725 BC. Jeroboam had set up "altars" in Dan and Bethel, his hometown. These were "adulterous worship centers" and used for the purpose of keeping these rebelling Jews in line.
The "chief priest" at the so-called "temple" in Bethel was a man named Amaziah. After the prophetic ministry of Amos had been revealed to Amaziah, he went to King Jeroboam and complained about the prophecy given by Amos.
Amaziah told Amos to go back down south to prophesy among his own people, the people of the two southern tribes, Judah and Benjamin. Amaziah would realize he was messing with the wrong man, the prophecy of Amos would come true and his adversary Amaziah and his family would suffer the consequences, verse 17.
The response from Amos to the false accusation made by Amaziah was one that has been often quoted down through the centuries, "I was not a prophet, neither was I a prophet's son," verse 14.
Amos then explained he was a farmer and a rancher in the divided kingdom in the south, Judah. Amos was a "herdman", a rancher, and a farmer, a "gatherer of sycamore fruit" in Tekoa, a community near Bethlehem.
God had called this "country boy" to become his spokesman to the ten northern tribes, Israel. Amos had never trained to be a prophet and simply followed the Lord's lead when called upon, as was the case with all "true prophets of God", II Peter 1:21.
The test of a "true prophet of God" is that everything He reveals must come true in the exact detail given, Deuteronomy 18:20-22. Amos was a true prophet of God and the prophecy he gave the ten northern tribes did come to pass, the ten tribes, Israel, were taken into captivity by the Assyrians.
Just this reminder, Jesus said in His Olivet Discourse, that the greatest indication that His Second Coming was close would be the "deception" presented by false prophets with their signs, wonders, and miracles, Matthew 24:4,5,11 and 24.
We have a proliferation of false prophets using signs wonders, and miracles today - a definite signal that Jesus will be returning to earth in the seemingly near future.
Remember, the Rapture happens at least seven years before His Second Coming. That means the Rapture could happen at any time. Keep looking up.
PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me, Lord, to live each day as the day that the Rapture will happen.