Amos, one of the twelve minor prophets at the end of the Old Testament, was a reluctant messenger, called to speak God’s word to His people. Unlike the major prophets, Isaiah, and Jeremiah, Amos describes himself as a shepherd, and a tender of sycamore trees. He was an ordinary, blue collar guy that God chose to use. Further, he was a southern boy who was sent up north to prophesy against the sins of Israel. That is like a lone Virginian preaching in the streets of Washington during our Civil War. You can imagine that there were many protests in the heart of this young man. But there are times when God calls us to difficult tasks, for which we feel ill equipped, and way out of our comfort zone. You can pray that He ask someone else, but you are there, and the task has been given you. With any call, God never leaves us alone, but gives the strength sufficient for the task. Amos was obedient, and we can be as well.
Can you imagine receiving an instruction from the Lord like Abraham received? “Leave your country, your people, and your father’s house, and go to the land I will show you” (Genesis 12:1). We would have to be pretty certain that it was the Lord who was speaking, and even then, would require a tremendous amount of faith and trust. We are told that Abraham (Abram, at that time) obeyed, and from that obedience a great people of faith was born, beginning a line that would lead to the Messiah. No, it is difficult for me to imagine receiving that kind of instruction from the Lord. Nevertheless, it is the kind of trust our Lord is asking of us. Jesus said, “Do not worry about your life. Your heavenly Father knows what you need” (Matthew 6:25-34). This is not a command to leave our home, but we are called to trust the Lord for all parts of our life, and not be afraid. It is this faith the Lord seeks in all of us.