To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: … a time to keep silence, and a time to speak… Ecclesiastes 3:1, 7b
Peacemakers. That is what all believers in Christ are called to be. Paul even told us in Romans 12:18 that if at all possible to the best of our ability we should live peaceably with all men. That should definitely be one of our goals. Nevertheless, in this fallen world there sometimes arises dire straits in society that evoke dire responses from the Lord to confront uncomfortable topics with open, public firmness. That’s the situation the prophet Amos found himself in.
Jeroboam the son of Nebat, because of Solomon’s failures toward the end of his reign that were continued by his son Rehoboam, was chosen by God to be the first king of the new kingdom of Israel that split off from following Judah. God even sent a prophet to tell Jeroboam, a leader in Solomon’s administration, that he would be king over 10 tribes because of Solomon’s idolatry (1 Kings 11:28-40). Of course, his being chosen by God did not end his free will. Jeroboam became king, but Jeroboam out of his fear of men created state-sponsored idolatry with its headquarters in Bethel. He established his false religion despite God’s warnings (1 Kings13:1-5) complete with priests he ordained (1 Kings 12:32, 13:33) from the lowest dregs of society.
So the prophet Amos was sent to tell Jeroboam his descendants would be cut off from rulership. The following passage reveals the response to God’s prophet:
10 Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent to Jeroboam king of Israel, saying, Amos hath conspired against thee in the midst of the house of Israel: the land is not able to bear all his words.
11 For thus Amos saith, Jeroboam shall die by the sword, and Israel shall surely be led away captive out of their own land.
12 Also Amaziah said unto Amos, O thou seer, go, flee thee away into the land of Judah, and there eat bread, and prophesy there:
13 But prophesy not again any more at Bethel: for it is the king’s chapel, and it is the king’s court. Amos 7
Amos was falsely accused of conspiracy and treason against the state, when in fact Jeroboam’s administration had committed conspiracy and treason since Israel, by law, officially worshiped Jehovah. Amaziah, one of Jeroboam’s ordained fake priests, recommended Amos be silenced, censured, censored, boycotted, ostracized, and expelled from Israel, despite the fact he had not broken any laws. However, Amos stood his ground because he loved God too much to back down and was confident in his calling of the Lord, stating:
14 …I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son; but I was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit:
15 And the Lord took me as I followed the flock, and the Lord said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel. Amos 7
He then spoke God’s judgment against Amaziah and kept on prophesying. Since we are in the last days when evil abounds, it’s no surprise when God calls forth people from even the most unlikely backgrounds to boldly proclaim his word. Like Amos, God’s spokespeople may not have a resume or curriculum vitae that qualifies them by man’s standards to speak Christian theological truth, but they are still called nonetheless to speak his word in season or out of season. People both within the church and in the world system, including governments and civic organizations, may try their boycotts, threats, censures, censorship, and lawsuits to silence them, but if they are truly called by God to speak, silence will not be an option for them or their movement. They will not shut up and do as they’re told by evil, godless men promoting sin since their marching orders come from Jehovah, the Creator of heaven and Earth.