The Country Preacher Who Came to Town
Dr. J. Vernon McGee
In the days of Amos (8th century B.C.) God's message through this remarkable prophet dealt with the fact that God's people were breaking His laws, which He had given "that it may go well with you and your children after you forever" (Deuteronomy 12:28). Amos was angry at the violence they had done to the justice and the righteousness of God.
Since Amos and the little book that bears his name may be unfamiliar to you, let me set the stage by quoting the section of Scripture that we will be looking at in this very interesting chapter.
Thus He showed me: Behold, the Lord stood on a wall made with a plumb line, with a plumb line in His hand. And the LORD said to me, "Amos, what do you see?" And I said, "A plumb line." Then the Lord said: "Behold, I am setting a plumb line in the midst of My people Israel; I will not pass by them anymore. The high places of Isaac shall be desolate, and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste. I will rise with the sword against the house of Jeroboam." Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent to Jeroboam king of Israel, saying, "Amos has conspired against you in the midst of the house of Israel. The land is not able to bear all his words. For thus Amos has said: „Jeroboam shall die by the sword, and Israel shall surely be led away captive from their own land.? " Then Amaziah said to Amos: "Go, you seer! Flee to the land of Judah. There eat bread, and there prophesy. But never again prophesy at Bethel, for it is the king's sanctuary, and it is the royal residence." Then Amos answered, and said to Amaziah: "I was no prophet, nor was I a son of a prophet, but I was a sheepbreeder and a tender of sycamore fruit. Then the LORD took me as I followed the flock, and the LORD said to me, „Go, prophesy to My people Israel.? Now therefore, hear the word of the LORD: You say, „Do not prophesy against Israel, and do not spout against the house of Isaac.? "Therefore thus says the LORD: „Your wife shall be a harlot in the city; your sons and daughters shall fall by the sword; your land shall be divided by survey line; you shall die in a defiled land; and Israel shall surely be led away captive from his own land.? " (Amos 7:7-17)
Six miles south of Bethlehem is Tekoa. It is little wonder if you have never heard of it. Figuratively, it is a wide spot in the road, a whistle-stop on a branch line. Today it is a ghost town. The name tekoa means "a camping ground." It was not much more than that even in its heyday. It was a country place. Using the common colloquialism of the day, it was the jumping-off place. Years ago I heard a man say that to reach the place where he was born you go as far as possible by buggy, then you get off and walk two miles. That's Tekoa also.
Tekoa is the birthplace of Amos. This fact is the little town's only claim to greatness. It is true that one of David's mighty men was born there. But the thing that gives it character and ...
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