I like Amos. Amos the prophet. I like him particularly because he says "Hey, don't get on my case. I'm a shepherd, for crying out loud. I didn't ask for this job. I never did a crazy thing in my life until I heard the voices.*" OK, that's not exactly what he said, but the general sentiments are there.
In Chapter 7, Amaziah, the appointed priest of Bethel, files a complaint with King Jeroboam. Some translations have him saying "Amos has conspired against you...". Conspired is a sanitized version. Amos does not have some Michael Moore conspiracy going on. The word is better translated bound. Amos has bound you. He has nailed you with his prophecy. He's not just aggravating us, Your Highness. He's right.
Amaziah goes on to say "The land is not able to bear all his words." Amos was so dead on - so binding in his prophetic word - that the people of the land couldn't stand up under the weight. They weren't arguing with his accuracy - they were crushed by the weight of it...and that made leaders mad.
I had a fascinating meeting today with someone who is asking for just that. The heavy word - the correct, whole Word of the Lord that carries weight with people. Better truth that people feel they cannot bear than a lie that props them up a little longer.
*Blatant rip off from Field of Dreams.