Anyway, our blogger was reading through the book of Amos again, and it occurred to him that if Amos lived in Prescott, Arizona today he would find himself the victim of an Injunction Against Harassment. Here's the story, with our blogger's editorial comments [in brackets].
Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent a message to Jeroboam king of Israel: [think "Judge Kenton Jones"] "Amos is raising a conspiracy against you in the very heart of Israel. The land cannot bear all his words. [So a false report to the authorities to shut someone up - to stifle someone's First Amendment right to Free Speech.] For this is what Amos is saying: " 'Jeroboam will die by the sword, and Israel will surely go into exile, away from their native land.' " [Ironically, Amaziah quoted Amos exactly right. How much worse his punishment on Judgment Day, for showed he clearly heard the message, didn't he?]And you know what? Amos was right! The Israelites failed to maintain justice in the courts and all this happened as Amos foretold.
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. Don't prophesy anymore at Bethel, because this is the king's sanctuary and the temple of the kingdom." [Ah yes, "Shut up" in the name of Law & Order and religion."]
Amos answered Amaziah, "I was neither a prophet nor a prophet's son, but I was a shepherd, and I also took care of sycamore-fig trees. [Same with our blogger. He was just minding his own business . . .] But the LORD took me from tending the flock and said to me, 'Go, prophesy to my people Israel.' [No one call's themselves to be a true prophet. Call it a 'calling.' Frankly, no one wants to be a true prophet. And that's how you can tell when someone is a false prophet. People have this bad habit of shooting the messenger. Forth-telling is not a fun job.] Now then, hear the word of the LORD. You say, " 'Do not prophesy against Israel, and stop preaching against the house of Isaac.' "Therefore this is what the LORD says: " 'Your wife will become a prostitute in the city [gasp! - Can you say that? Well, prostitution is not as bad as adultery when you're starving and doing it to stay alive], and your sons and daughters will fall by the sword. [What? Isn't that a death threat?] Your land will be measured and divided up, and you yourself will die in a pagan country. [Oh no! Another "death threat!" Quick! Run to Judge Kenton Jones and get an Injunction against this guy! We've got to shut him up!] And Israel will certainly go into exile, away from their native land'"
But no one wanted to listen to him. Worse, they wanted him to shut up.
Close your ears if you want, but it won't stop the message. Or listen and repent. It's your choice.