The Lord God has shown Amos a vision of locusts and one of fire. "Can we survive?" Amos asks.
Then the Lord shows him a plumb line--a way of measuring if a wall has been built straight. It hasn't been.
This vision in some ways is more ominous than the ones of locusts and of fire. We plant crops but we can't keep the locusts away. Some steps for fire prevention are possible, but some fires can't be stopped.
But, we could have built a better wall.
How much of the pain we suffer is due to our not following God's way for us?....
A priest complains to the king that he resents the message that the prophet Amos has been preaching. He tells Amos to go back home, that he doesn't belong in the temple.
Who does? Who should speak? What message? What is it that Amos has said that is so upsetting to those in authority?
Amos asserts that he speaks because the Lord has told him to. His speech has been full of radical social justice (oppressing the poor and crushing the needy (4:1); mistaking ceremony and offerings as a substitute for doing justice (5:21-27); and even more disturbing to us modern readers, living comfortable lives (6:4-8).
Do we get too comfortable in our lives to be able to hear God's call? Who gets our attention? Who does Amaziah think is his real boss? Who do we think is ours?