Prophesy to My People
James A. Forbes Jr.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. loved the book of Amos. Oh, how many times did he say, “Let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.” He loved this book. Knowing this, let us consider the prophesy of Amos (7:7-17):
This is what he showed me: the Lord was standing beside a
wall built with a plumb line, with a plumb line in his hand.
And the Lord said to me, “Amos, what do you see?” And I
said, “A plumb line.” Then the Lord said,
“See, I am setting a plumb line in the midst of my people
Israel; I will never again pass them by.
The high places of Isaac shall be made desolate,
and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste,
and I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the
Then Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, sent to King Jer-
oboam of Israel, saying, “Amos has conspired against you in
the very center of the house of Israel; the land is not able to
bear all his words. For thus Amos has said,
‘Jeroboam shall die by the sword and Israel must go into
exile away from his land.’”
And Amaziah said to Amos, “O seer, go, flee away to the land
of Judah, earn your bread there, and prophesy there; but never
again prophesy at Bethel, for it is the king's sanctuary, and it
is a temple of the kingdom.”
Then Amos answered Amaziah, “I am no prophet, nor a
prophet's son; but I am a herdsman, and a dresser of sycamore