Reflection for Today ▶️ ⏩ ⏹️
The Prophet Amos, engraving by Gustave Doré, 1865
The words of Amos, who was among the herdmen of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel, two years before the earthquake.
— Amos 1:1
One of the earliest prophets, Amos was a herdsman living in Judah around 760 BC. He was called by God to prophesy in Judah's sister nation Israel, which had fallen into debauchery, decadence and injustice. Amos was not from a line of prophets, thus not raised to stand up and speak truth to power, yet he immediately followed the call, leaving his land and traveling across the border to Israel.
Amos is thought to be the first prophet to write down his own words, which interestingly makes his written prophesy older than that of prophets who appeared before him; the written word of the earlier prophets, and indeed many of the earlier books of the Old Testament, are generally dated to sometime during the Babylonian exile.
Amos warned of God's omnipotence and His pending wrath and judgment, his key message being one of social justice and surrender to God. It is this same message that echoes through subsequent Old Testament prophets and the New Testament Gospels, and continues to resonate today in a society that is still far from egalitarian, far from just, and far from God.1
1 Edited extracts from But let justice roll on like a river: the voice of Amos today, 2016