Monday, December 19, 2011

2 Timothy 4:2 — preach the word; be ready in season and out of season (κήρυξον τὸν λόγον, ἐπίστηθι εὐκαίρως ἀκαίρως)

Amos, the prophet from Tekoa in Southern Israel, was called by God to prophesy doom and judgment upon the people of Northern Israel because of their social injustice, false & idolatrous worship, and wickedness.

He just warned Israel through visions (ch.7) that God would come and severely judge His people. Then in 7:9 Amos said that the high places will be desolated, the sanctuaries of Israel will be laid waste, and God will rise up against the house of Jeroboam with the sword.

A prophet named Amaziah then went to King Jeroboam II and said that Amos has conspired against him (7:10, 11). Then Amaziah the prophet responded to Amos and said:

Amos 7:12-13 — Then Amaziah said to Amos, "Go, you seer, flee away to the land of Judah and there eat bread and there do your prophesying! "But no longer prophesy at Bethel, for it is a sanctuary of the king and a royal residence."

Amos was not wanted in Bethel. The rich, the famous, the powerful, & the royal wanted nothing to do with Amos nor the Word from the LORD. This is the example of preaching "out of season" — when the Word of God is not wanted.

But Amos replied saying that he is not a prophet, nor a son of prophet (not from a prophetic lineage) but rather the Lord sovereignly took Amos from shepherding the flock & God commanded him to go prophesy to the people Israel (7:15).

I love the contrast in the following verses:

v.16 - Amaziah the prophet says that you shall not prophesy or speak against the house of Israel.

v.17 - But the Word of the Lord says that: (1) Amaziah's wife will become a harlot; (2) his sons & daughters will die; (3) the land will be parceled up by a measuring line & you will die on unclean soil; and (4) Israel will certainly go from its land into exile.

Amos faithfully preached God's Word even when it was not wanted — he preached the Word when it was "out of season." May we so learn from Amos & do the same!
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