Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
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“But never again prophesy in Bethel,
for it is the king’s sanctuary, and it is a temple of the kingdom.”
Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, in Amos 7:13
What was Amaziah thinking? That high ranking priest forbade Amos to speak, a man whom God anointed and called away from his herds in Tekoah, and then sent him to Bethel to prophesy to the fallen tribes of the north. Obviously, Amaziah did not believe Amos was sent from God to say anything to the worshippers at Bethel. But why?
Amaziah was a part of Israel, the chosen nation. He was a descendant of Abraham, and a partaker of the promised land with all the other Israelites. Amos’ message could only have blessed Amaziah if he had received it and done things God’s way.
Let’s consider Amaziah’s reasons for running Amos out of Bethel. First, he said, “This is the king’s sanctuary.” In other words, “Amos, you can’t give prophecies like that in a place like this. Here at Bethel, we prophesy pleasant things to the king. We promise him the favor of the gods, not their displeasure. He doesn’t pay us to forecast doom and accuse him of sinfulness, as you do.”
Secondly, said Amaziah, “This is a temple of the kingdom.” In other words, “It isn’t a smart career move to say bad things about the nation and the king here. In fact, it is downright unpatriotic. In this place, we flatter the king and proclaim messages that support his policies.”
Men have always had their “high places” where the word of God seemed out of place, such as their great public buildings and their fine cathedrals. When Paul spoke to the saints of “spiritual wickedness in high places,” he was not speaking of heaven; he was speaking of earth. God dwells with the lowly, and you will not find many of them in the high places which men have built.
Do you know of any place where men would think a message from God about righteousness and sin would be unwelcome? If so, stay out of it and pray to hear the voice of God.