The prophecy is Amos’s great
burden from the Lord concerning the national sin of God’s chosen people, as
well as the judgment that must fall upon them unless they repent. No better
testimony could be given concerning Amos than his own (7:14-15): “I was no
prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son. But I was a herdsman, and a gatherer of
sycamore fruit and the Lord took me as I followed the flock, and the Lord said
unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel.” From his testimony we learn
that Amos was not a graduate of the school of the prophets, nor had he any
formal religious training or academic preparation for the mission to which God
called him. Rather, he was a simple shepherd who also gathered sycamore fruit,
and who in obedience to God was used mightily to deliver God’s message of
judgment against Israel, the northern kingdom.
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