Amos did not ask to be a prophet, especially a prophet to neighboring Israel. "I was a herdsman and a dresser of sycamore figs. But the Lord took me from following the flock, and the Lord said to me, 'Go, prophesy to my people Israel'" (Amos 7:14-15). God said go, Amos obeyed, and Israel should listen, but they refused, "Go," they said to Amos, "flee away to the land of Judah, and eat bread there, and prophesy there, but never again prophesy at Bethel" (Amos 7:12-13). You should be careful what you ask for.
My dad could lecture, "I've talked to you and talked to you." We knew we had more time. Dad could talk; truly an artist at work. "I've talked to you and talked to you until I'm blue in the face." This was the high point of the lecture. Dad really did turn blue. Still, no worries, as long as he kept talking. "I've talked to you and talked to you until I'm blue in the face, and now I'm done talking to you."
Uh oh. As long as Dad was talking, he was still trying to straighten us out. There was still hope. When the talking stopped, hope vanished; then came pain.
"Behold, the days are coming," declares the Lord God, "when I will send a famine on the land-not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord" (Amos 8:11). Chapters 3, 4, and 5 begin with God saying to Israel, "Hear this word." Israel will wish they had. "They shall wander from sea to sea, and from north to east; they shall run to and fro, to seek the word of the Lord, but they shall not find it" (Amos 8:12).
Lord God, thank You for Your Word. It guides me in life, leading me down the right path.
Too often, though, it may appear that I'm not listening to You. Probably because I'm not. I take You for granted, or I follow some silly notion that I have a better idea about life than You do. Please, God, do not give up on me. Thank You for Your patience and endurance. I need Your Word. Keep speaking, and I will develop the heart of Your Son, who said He does not live by bread alone, but by every Word You speak.