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Prophecy has often been described as “speaking truth to power.” Amos predicts the demise of the king, not in some corner somewhere but at the king’s royal shrine at Bethel. The priest in charge, Amaziah, reports the traitorous words to the king and bans the prophet from ever returning to the religious center of Israel, the Northern Kingdom. But Amos has the last word. He will not be silent despite the threats against him. The word of God cannot be suppressed by powerful priests or royal decree. Judgment will surely come to the land because the Lord has decided it!

This is what the Eternal Lord showed me: a basket of ripe fruit.

Eternal One: What do you see, Amos?

Amos: I see a basket of ripe fruit.

Eternal One: The time is ripe for the end of My people, Israel.
        I will not overlook their wrongdoing any longer.
    On that day, the joyous songs sung in the temple will turn to wailing and crying,
        and dead bodies will be piled up everywhere, scattered here, scattered there.

Says the Eternal Lord.

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