“The LORD roars from Zion and thunders from Jerusalem; the pastures of the shepherds dry up, and the top of Carmel withers.” Amos 1:2Amos 1:1-2, 9:13-15
Imagine that—God chose a sheepherder to prophesy judgment on Israel! A shepherd from the herdsmen of Tekoa would to speak to His people, and the word would communicate not sweetness and delight, but wrath. Israel’s waywardness would not go unaddressed.
Amos knew the use of a rod and staff, sling and stone, to divert and redirect his sheep when he observed them straying. Though the metaphor was clear to him, the words he spoke may have sounded strange coming from a lowly shepherd. Did the real Word of God actually come to him? Yes! And powerfully so!
Through Amos’s strong words we can’t help but see how God hates sin. Sometimes He must use rod or staff to bring us back to the fold. Those tools of correction come to us in many ways, each carefully designed to point to the One who loves and cares for us. As we learn from the Lord’s rod and staff, we come through on the other side reassured with the final words of Amos to the people (God’s words to us): “I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted.”
"The Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you from the evil one. …May the Lord direct your hearts.” (2 Thessalonians 3:3, 5)