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|Pentecost 5 (C)TRACK 1|
July 10, 2022
The prophet Amos is known for siding with the powerless against the powerful. He prophesied during the 8th century BCE, during the reign of King Uzziah of Judah and King Jeroboam in Israel. This is the time in Ancient Israel’s history when the kingdom was divided: Israel in the north, Judah in the south. Amos, called from his work as a shepherd to bring the word of God to King Jeroboam, uses the imagery of a plumb line, which measures the structural integrity of a wall, to describe what YHWH is doing by sending him. God is measuring their worship, and, as we hear in other parts of this book, taking note of their oppression of the poor.
YHWH finds Israel wanting in these areas and sends Amos to warn Israel of their coming defeat and exile. But King Jeroboam will not hear of it. He sends Amaziah, a priest of Bethel, to send Amos away. Amos refuses to budge and shares his prophecy. While he is neither a “prophet nor a prophet’s son” (v. 14), he knows God called him, and can only speak what God has told him to speak.
By the end of the 8th century BCE, Israel is defeated by the Assyrians, placed in exile throughout the Assyrian empire, and the region is purposely populated by people from other lands conquered by the Assyrians.
“O God, our heavenly Father, whose glory fills the whole creation, and whose presence we find wherever we go:
preserve those who travel; surround them with your loving care; protect them from every danger;
and bring them in safety to their journey’s end; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.