Amos 7

The Locusts

1 The Lord God showed a vision to me. I saw a crowd of locusts. The Lord was ready to send them to destroy the crops in the fields. They would come after we had taken the early crops to give to the king. Then the later crops were beginning to make grain. 2 I saw that the locusts came and they ate everything. I asked the Lord, ‘Lord God, please forgive your people. We cannot continue to live if those locusts destroy our food. We are too weak!’

3 Then the Lord decided not to do it. He said to me, ‘That will not happen.’

The Fire

4 After that, the Lord God showed to me a vision of a fire. He was ready to send it to punish us. I saw that it caused the deep sea to become dry. It also burnt all the land. 5 I said, ‘Lord God, please do not do that! Your people cannot continue to live. We are too weak!’

6 Then the Lord decided not to do it. He said to me, ‘That too will not happen.’

The Lord measures the wall

7 Then the Lord showed this vision to me. The Lord God was standing next to a wall. In his hand was a string with a heavy weight on its end. The Lord was hanging the string down the wall. He was looking to see whether the wall was straight. 8 He asked me, ‘Amos, what do you see?’ I said, ‘You are measuring the wall to see if it is straight.’

The Lord said, ‘Understand this. I am ready to measure my people with this string. I will test them and I will punish them for their sins. I will not forgive them any more.

9 I will send enemies to destroy the holy places of Isaac's descendants. All Israel's holy places will fall down. Enemies will use swords to kill King Jeroboam and his family.’

Amaziah speaks with Amos

10 Amaziah, was a priest at the holy place called Bethel. He sent a message to Jeroboam, the king of Israel. He said, ‘Amos is speaking against you among all Israel's people. What he is saying will deceive the people of our nation. 11 Amos is saying, “Our enemies will kill king Jeroboam. They will take all the people to a foreign country as prisoners.” ’

12 Then Amaziah said to Amos, ‘Go away, you prophet! Go back to your own country, Judah. Speak your messages from God to get your food there! 13 Do not speak God's message here in Bethel any longer. It is where our king and our nation come to worship.’

14 Then Amos answered Amaziah, ‘My job was not as a prophet. My father never did that work. My job was to work as a shepherd. I also took care of fig trees. 15 But the Lord told me to leave my work as a shepherd. He told me to go and to speak his message to his people, the Israelites. 16 So listen to the Lord's message to you! You are telling me, “Do not speak God's message against Israel. Do not say that trouble is coming to Isaac's descendants.” 17 The Lord says this to you, Amaziah: “Your wife will work as a prostitute in the streets. Your sons and daughters will die in war. Enemies will measure your land into separate pieces and they will give it to others. They will take your people away from here as prisoners to a foreign country. And that is where they will die.” ’