The Lord showed me a vision of himself standing beside a wall and holding a string with a weight tied to the end of it. The string and weight had been used to measure the straight-ness of the wall. 8Then he asked, “Amos, what do you see?” “A measuring line,” I answered. The Lord said, “I’m using this measuring line to show that my people Israel don’t measure up, and I won’t forgive them anymore. 9Their sacred places will be destroyed, and I will send war against the nation of King Jero-boam.” Amaziah, the priest at Bethel, sent this message to King Jeroboam of Israel: “Amos is plotting against you in the very heart of Israel. Our nation cannot put up with his message for very long. 11Here is what he is saying: `Jeroboam will be put to death, and the people will be taken to a foreign country.’” 12Then Amaziah told me, “Amos, take your visions and get out! Go back to Judah and earn your living there as a prophet. 13Don’t do any more preaching at Bethel. The king worships here at our national temple.” 14I answered: “I’m not a prophet, and I wasn’t trained to be a prophet. I am a shepherd, and I take care of fig trees. 15But the Lord told me to leave my herds and preach to the people of Israel.