The Greatness of the Simple

Amos, the transplanted prophet who spoke against Samaria in its last decades, gave a memorable reply to the chief priest who suggested he needed to stop preaching, leave them alone and go back home. Amos said, “I am not a prophet, nor am I the son of a prophet; for I am a herdsman and a grower of sycamore figs. But the Lord took me from following the flock and the Lord said to me, ‘Go prophesy to My people Israel.”’ Amos was acknowledging he was a nobody, but God had given him divine directions to preach – and he was determined to do it.

God in his divine wisdom uses simple, ordinary things and people to do his work and fulfill his plans. Like Amos, God may place us in the lives of people for a season so that we can influence them to come back to Him. He may call us from unknown places to do his work. There were many known women in Bethlehem, but God chose a simple unknown woman named Mary to be the mother of Jesus. There were many known and popular men in Israel, but Jesus chose twelve unknown men to represent him in the world – fishermen who learned to fish for men. He gave them a simple message of his death, burial and resurrection to preach all over the world. God has a purpose for His simple message and for using simple people to share it. Remember what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 1:27-29? “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things – and the things that are not to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.”

Do you feel too plain and unsophisticated to do great things? Remember Amos and think again.

– Roy Graneau (of Edmonton), with revisions from Tim Johnson – by permission.