The old Hebrew prophets were never popular in their own time, because their message was always counter to the culture of the time. Take this message from Amos. The Jews always viewed themselves as Gods chosen people (which they were). The mistake they made was in thinking that God was theirs exclusively!! Amos not so subtly blew this out of the water. “Are you Israelites more important to me than the Ethiopians? ” asks the LORD. “I brought Israel out of Egypt, but I also brought the Philistines from Crete and led the Arameans out of Kir.” God, through Amos, is telling His people that they are not His only people!! He’s pointing out to them that while He’s done miraculous things for the Jews, he’s also been working in the lives of “those people” the Jews really didn’t have any use for. Think about this – it would be like a prophet getting up at an American event and announcing to everyone there that yes, God Bless America, but he also loves Iraq. He loves Iran. How about this – that we Christians have all been chosen by God, and so have all the Muslims in the world!! How would this message that God does not favor only the Christians in the world go over with us today?? Probably would not make the speaker very popular.
He continues here – “In that day I will restore the fallen house of David. I will repair its damaged walls. From the ruins I will rebuild it and restore its former glory. And Israel will possess what is left of Edom and all the nations I have called to be mine.” That’s right – he is calling ALL the nations. Not just the Jewish nation of Amos’ time. Not just America today. Christ gave us the Great Commission to share the Gospel with all the nations. It’s not just our duty, it is HIS call to the rest of the world. He is calling them through us. It’s not just for us, not just for the people we like, but also for people that make us uncomfortable. Look around you every day, at all the people you deal with. Look at that one person who is the most annoying to you, and know that God is calling that person to be home with him in Heaven too. Thank God for this. I know, at least in my case, that I have been the one on the outside looking in. I have been the one not worthy of salvation, that God would not love. Thank God for His Holy Prophets bringing the truth that Gods grace and love is for all of us.
““Are you Israelites more important to me than the Ethiopians? ” asks the LORD. “I brought Israel out of Egypt, but I also brought the Philistines from Crete and led the Arameans out of Kir. “I, the Sovereign LORD, am watching this sinful nation of Israel. I will destroy it from the face of the earth. But I will never completely destroy the family of Israel, ” says the LORD. “For I will give the command and will shake Israel along with the other nations as grain is shaken in a sieve, yet not one true kernel will be lost. But all the sinners will die by the sword— all those who say, ‘Nothing bad will happen to us.’ “In that day I will restore the fallen house of David. I will repair its damaged walls. From the ruins I will rebuild it and restore its former glory. And Israel will possess what is left of Edom and all the nations I have called to be mine. ” The LORD has spoken, and he will do these things.”
Amos 9:7-12 NLT