Night Whispers Devotional

November 29th

Dream word – CALLING

Amos 7:14

“Then Amos answered, and said to Amaziah: ‘I was no prophet, Nor was I a son of a prophet, but I was a sheepbreeder and a tender of sycamore fruit.’” NKJV

Of holy hop pickers

I went to a Christian men’s breakfast meeting the other day in a local pub. The smell of urine cakes, bacon fat, and stale ale, filled the morning air, mingling itself with the smoke of the burning maple logs lazily humming on the open fire. Interestingly, the pub was next door to a Christian retreat centre, an old Hopping hospital situated in the gardens of Kent. Hops are of course part of the cannabis family and are picked from bines in the fall of the year and used to add bitterness, texture, taste and aroma to various brewed ales. Unfortunately, due to mechanisation, it was in the 1960’s that the annual migration of thousands upon thousands of seasonal hop pickers to the gardens of Kent virtually ceased. Before then, both Gypsies and Londoners all travelled to Kent to mix with the locals and to stay some six weeks in the meagre Hopping Houses and pick themselves some seasonal cash. Unless you are from the former Eastern bloc countries, the life of the working class, uneducated common  migrant worker, the travelling working man, is for the present, now well and truly over in England.

Training for the ministry is a common thing nowadays. In America, the academic completion of undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral training can at best maybe take maybe ten to twelve years. These trained folk are ten a penny at the moment and many of them cannot get jobs in the religious industry at the salary they expect because of the seminary churned ensuing glut in the labour force. Now don’t get me wrong here, I am not into decrying education, good grief, if you have a brain then use it! No, what I am saying is this, academic education may qualify you for the service of men, but it does not qualify you for the service of God. However, the focus on education means there are many called men that would never get a job in a church because they fail the qualifications of men. 

Amos the iron man was a kind of Hopper. A seasonal migrant worker if you will. He may have owned herds and fruit gardens but the context of his prophecy is indicative of him being a migrant and of having received only rural preparation for ministry. Amos had no professional credentials you see, but he did have a calling, courage and a well conditioned character and I tell you, that might not get you a job, but it well get you a ministry! That might not get you a salary, but it will put you in the sincere service of the Most High God. 

Amaziah, the professionally trained scribe serving in the Royal Court having completed his most thorough education, thought little of this sun browned kind of “Holy Hopper” from Tekoa. Amos however, had had a Holy Spirit, red hot burning cow catcher fixed on the front of his words and they scooped old Amaziah up and just threw him out the way. You know, conviction, courage, and a conditioned character when it is coupled with a true calling from God, always has the tendency to do that!

Make sure you’ve got the latter and make sure you get it before the letters after your name, for pieces of paper are easily purchased, indeed, nowadays they are ten a penny.

Listen: Then Amaziah said to Amos: ‘Go, you seer! Flee to the land of Judah. There eat bread, and there prophesy. But never again prophesy at Bethel, for it is the king's sanctuary, and it is the royal residence.’ Then Amos answered, and said to Amaziah: ‘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.”  Now therefore, hear the word of the Lord’” - ( Amos 7:12,16 NKJV.)

Pray: Lord, come be my coach, my tutor, my sergeant major and my blacksmith for the fight. Train me, teach me, arm me, send me, in Jesus name I ask it, amen.

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