When Uzziah was king of Judah, two years before the great earthquake, a shepherd from Tekoa had the first of many visions from the Lord. His name was Amos. Amos wrote down the words the Lord had given him. He left his flock of sheep in the care of another shepherd and went out to share God’s message.
“Hear this word,” Amos announced, “… that the Lord pronounces over you, over the whole family brought up from the land of Egypt: You alone have I favored, more than all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish you for your crimes. … The Lord God does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants, the prophets. The lion roars — who will not be afraid! The Lord God speaks — who will not prophesy!”
Amos knew the words of his prophecies would not always make people happy. Sometimes God was warning the people of Israel to stop being greedy or unkind to one another or to remember God in everything they do. Whether the messages were promises or threats, Amos would obey God and deliver them.
“Seek good and not evil,” said Amos with a loud voice, “that you may live; then truly will the Lord … be with you! … Hate evil and love good, and let justice prevail at the gate.”
There were times when Amos would fear the anger of the Lord, and he would appeal to God for them. When the Lord said he would send locusts and fire, Amos said, “Forgive, O Lord God! How can Jacob stand? He is so small.”
And the Lord listened to Amos. Perhaps he was even testing the faith and compassion of his prophet. “It shall not be,” the Lord answered.
Sometimes Amos would suffer because of the anger of his people. When King Jeroboam heard that Amos said he would die by the sword and Israel would be exiled, he told his priest, Amaziah, to give Amos a message. “Off with you visionary,” said Amaziah. “… Never again prophecy in Bethel.”
And Amos answered, “… I was a shepherd … (and) the Lord said to me, go, prophecy to my people Israel. Now hear the word of the Lord! … Your land shall be divided … (and) Israel shall be exiled. … Hear this, you who trample upon the needy and destroy the poor of the land! … The Lord has sworn by the pride of Jacob: Never will I forget a thing they have done!”
READ MORE ABOUT IT:
Amos 3, 5, 7, 8
1. What did Amos do before he became a prophet?
2. What king was angry by the prophecies of Amos?
During biblical times, messages, documents and stories were written on papyrus and leather scrolls, or on tablets made of clay, stone or wood. Writings found by archaeologists tell us how people lived, what they ate, where they worked and much more. The earliest written languages used pictures of objects to represent sounds and to form words and names. Eventually alphabets were developed and the ability to record and convey information became easier. The Bible tells us the Holy Spirit inspired people to write down the histories, parables and teachings that became our Bible.
Jesus quoted the Scriptures often, so he obviously was very familiar with them. We should follow his example and read a Bible passage every day.
Catherine Fieschi was born in 1147 into an Italian family that had a long history of supporting the pope and the work of the church. When Catherine was 13, she was denied entry to a convent because she was too young. Three years later, she married Julian Adorno. He hoped his marriage to a wealthy Fieschi would help his family.
After years of spending his wife’s money foolishly, Julian joined her in helping people who were poor or who were suffering hardships. This led to Catherine being appointed matron of a hospital, where she and her husband lived in an apartment.
After many people in their community died from the plague, Catherine and Julian both developed health problems. Julian died first, then Catherine died in 1510. She was declared a martyr and a saint. We honor her on Sept. 15.