“The words of Amos, one of the shepherds of Tekoa—the vision he saw concerning Israel two years before the earthquake, when Uzziah was king of Judah and Jeroboam son of Jehoash was king of Israel.” Amos 1:1 (NIV)
Amos was a common tradesman, a shepherd; he was neither a prophet nor a son of a prophet, meaning that though Amos did not have the education or family background, he still answered God’s call to leave where he grew up (Judah) and go to what had become a foreign land, Israel. At that time Israel was prospering militarily and economically, but had allowed idol worship for the gods of Canaan which led to injustice and neglect of the poor.
When I first started working my life was simpler and less complex. I used to drive a 5 ton box truck as a postal contractor and dock my truck at 0345 at the Postal facility. The facility itself was stinky and its organized chaos made no sense to me. Throughout the chaos I kept smiling. One early morning a dock worker asked me, why in the heck was I smiling all the time? I had no real answer. From that day forward he called me “Smiley”.
Since then my work and my life have gotten much more complex. Now my work includes working with the intelligence community who daily deal with misdirection, misinformation, psy-ops, and protecting us from physical enemies.
Our Spiritual enemy is hard at his work to get and keep us off track. The erosion of our own society is everywhere with the demise of our country, world, churches and families. Even when discussing “solutions” or current events with like-minded brothers it is hard to avoid getting off track - and becoming tainted and cynical. I have found myself smiling less often.
Amos too lived in a messy time, surrounded by idols and much deceit. Though not professionally trained, Amos answered God’s call to speak God’s Truth to the culture.
When looking at Amos’s response to messiness, I realize that I am not alone and can use God’s strength/wisdom to deal with ALL the messes around me, and to smile more often.
Daily Battle Order: Read (or re-read) the book of Amos. Put yourself in Amos’s sandals to see what he was seeing and remember that each of us are uniquely made by God’s hand and are each called by Him to deliver His message, in the way only we can. And to do so cheerfully and eagerly.