Truth Telling

Today’s reading:  Amos 7

Have you ever heard the saying, “never let the truth get in the way of a good story”?  It is election season, and I contend a lot of politicians subscribe to this theory.  Most of them don’t really intend to be untruthful, but often they are quick to omit or exaggerate details in order to make a story better or more impactful than it would otherwise be.

As you know from our study over the last few days, Amos was a humble shepherd.  He was not from the lineage of prophets or priests, but God used him as a messenger to warn the Israelites about their impending judgment.  Eventually, however, Amos’ message of God’s truth got in the way of someone else’s good story.

In chapter 7, we are introduced to Amaziah, the chief priest.  Although Amaziah held a position of influence in Israel’s religious community,  maintaining his position was more important to him than listening to God’s truth and doing what was right.  Because Amaziah was threatened by Amos’ message of God’s judgment, he tried to chase Amos away.

Then Amaziah said to Amos, “Get out, you seer! Go back to the land of Judah. Earn your bread there and do your prophesying there” (Amos 7:12).

While Amos didn’t waver from speaking God’s message of truth, Amaziah’s self-centered behavior cost him his land, his family, and ultimately his own life.

Do you know anyone like this?  Someone who prioritizes their position at work, in the community, or even in the church ahead of telling the truth and helping others?  I do.  This behavior is rampant in 21st Century America.  In fact, I would say it is something that most everyone struggles with at one time or another.  Today, let us walk away from Amos 7 with this clear message:

God is serious about truth telling.  Don’t let prestige, authority or money get in the way of speaking the truth and doing what is right.  The stakes are too high.