Amos was a native of Tekoa, a small village about ten miles south of Jerusalem in Judah. He had no formal training in any “prophetic school,” where he could be equipped for what he was called by God to prophesy (Amos 7:14). Yet, during the reign of Jeroboam II (786-746 B.C.) in Israel, God called this simple shepherd to leave his home in Judah to prophesy to the northern kingdom of Israel, which stood at the zenith of its power and material prosperity. In obedience to the summons, Amos set out for Bethel, the chief seat of idol worship in the north. His message was one of divine judgment upon the covenant people of God. This was no easy task: Amos was a southerner ministering in the north, a countryman facing the nobility and sophistication of a professional priesthood, a prophet a doom in an age of comfort and secure materialism.
While untrained, Amos was not unskilled; his prophecy reveals a deep understanding of the times in which he lived as well as an accomplished understanding of the Law. Amos not only knew the Word of God, but also knew how to interpret it to supply an answer to the covenant people of God in an apostate age. So in Amos we find a man prepared, equipped, disciplined and enabled by God. The call of God is always based on exact knowledge of the sufficiency of His power to equip. How confident we can be as we face the wise and noble of this world, knowing that God does not call the qualified, but qualifies the called (2 Cor 3:5-6).