We all have different calling in life. Some are called to serve as public servants, others as entrepreneurs. Others still, choose to devote themselves to ministry and making a difference in the lives of others. Iba iba man ang ating pinagkakaabalahan, dumadating tayo sa punto na kuntento na tayo, kahit pa routine na lang ang lahat. Ok na, we can go along. When we get exposed to something at nakasanayan na natin masyado, it eventually becomes our comfort zone. Ayaw na nating umalis, kuntento na.
Not so with Amos. He is a farmer, specifically a dresser of sycamore trees, and a shepherd. All his life he is devoted to tend the animals and the sycamore trees under his care. Probably he is content with his lot. But when he heard God calling Him to be a messenger to the Israel, he willingly obliged.
Having heard from the Lord made Amos obey without any compromise because he is convinced and he trusts the One who is calling him for a career move. Take note that he is no professional prophet, but he took the challenge seriously because he who called him needs to be taken seriously. Upon hearing the Word of the Lord, we are always left with two options: either to take the Word seriously and obey, or to ignore the Word and delay. In the case of Amos, he chose to obey.
What he did is no simple task. Hindi kagaya ng pagpapalit lang ng company o ng lugar na titirhan. Originally from the land of Judah, he was tasked to preach in the land of Israel, a land enjoying a time of prosperity yet the people engaged in corruption and moral degradation. In fact the time he set foot on Israel, he was confronted by a priest named Amazaiah and told him to just go back to the sheep and the sycamore trees. “Di ka rito nababagay. Di ka naming kailangan. Bumalik ka na lang sa inyo. If you want to preach, preach there. Don’t earn your living here.” Napagbintangan pang pinagkakaperahan ang ministry! Good thing, Amos didn’t back off.
He has a message of warning to the people of Israel – na sa kanilang karangyaan, sa kabila ng katiwasayan ng kanilang buhay, nakakalimutan na nilang makinig sa Diyos. The Israelites has been living a life of compromise and hypocrisy. They have forgotten the fact that they are a people of God and that they should be a living testimony to their neighbors of God’s faithfulness. They have been living a prosperous life, full of magnificence, but their hearts are far from the Lord. Their outward religious rites don’t necessarily reveal what’s going on in the inside. And to make things worse, they are so impressed with themselves and their religion, looking forward for God’s blessing to shower upon them as if they have done nothing wrong. And God wants to rebuke them through Amos.
Amos has heard of the Word of the Lord and he took it seriously. So serious that he went the distance and faced persecution because he knows how serious the Lord is as well. He was able to stand for what is right and resist going through the motions. It became possible because he heard the Word of the Lord, and he took it seriously.
The Lord is speaking, are you listening? Will you take Him seriously?