I was no prophet, nor was I a son of a prophet, but I was a sheepbreeder and a tender of sycamore fruit. Then the LORD took me as I followed the flock, and the LORD said to me, “Go, prophesy to My people Israel.” (Amos 7:14-15)
Amos was not a graduate of the school of the prophets. He was more familiar with the plow than with the pulpit. He knew more about seeds and sowing than seeing into the future.
It seems that Amos was simply doing his job as a farmer when one day it happened: “Then the Lord took me as I followed the flock.” It was because Amos was an honorable sheepbreeder and a tender of sycamore fruit that God made him an honorable prophet. Like many others in the Bible, God called Amos as he faithfully performed his present calling. The call came to:
Rachel watering sheep
Moses and David tending sheep
Joshua helping Moses
Gideon threshing wheat
Ruth gathering grain
Elisha serving Elijah
Peter catching fish
Matthew collecting taxes
The life of Amos was not useless as a farmer before he was a prophet. The world needs sheepbreeders, farmers, mechanics, doctors, technicians, insurance salesmen and everything else. To serve God and others honorably in these professions is just as honorable as serving Him as a prophet.
But we see God had a purpose in specifically calling a man like Amos. He wanted to show the greatness of the ministry was in the God who inspires it, not in the man or woman used in ministry. When Amos spoke people didn’t say, “He must have been top of his class at the school of the prophets.” Instead they said, “God is really saying something through that farmer.”
God had another purpose in calling Amos. With so many allusions and illustrations from the world of agriculture, Amos spoke as a farmer and God used it. Every person really called to speak forth for God has a manner and style of their own. Though God speaks through them all, they still do not lose not their individuality or unique character. We might say that the breath which causes the music is the same, but no two instruments give forth precisely the same sound. Amos was a unique instrument and God breathed through him in a special way.
Dear pastor, preacher, or Bible teacher – you are a unique individual. You are singular in what you are by birth, training, life experience and anointing. God can and will use you according to your special calling. It may be in a way noticed or unnoticed by others, but that is unimportant – as long as your calling is noticed in heaven. Just make sure you answer every time God calls!
Blessings to You in Jesus’ Name – David Guzik