Scripture reading – Amos 9, 2 Chronicles 27

Click on this link for translations of this Bible study. 

Today’s Scripture reading concludes our study of the prophecies of Amos and also includes the story of the Queen of Sheba’s visit with King Solomon (2 Chronicles 27). The focus of the devotion is Amos 9.

 

Review

The LORD gave Amos five visions that foretold His judgment of Israel, for that nation disobeyed and rejected His Law and Commandments. Amos 7 presented the imminent judgment of the LORD with a vision of grasshoppers (i.e., locusts, Amos 7:1-3), a fiery judgment (Amos 7:4-6), and the vision of a plumbline that was symbolic of the Word of the LORD (Amos 7:7-9).

Amos 8 recorded a vision of “a basket of summer fruit” (Amos 8:1-3) that symbolized how Israel was like fruit, ripe for God’s judgment. Amos also warned that the time would come when the people would “seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it” (Amos 8:12).

Amos 9 – The Fifth and Final Judgment

 

A Vision of the LORD Standing in Judgment (Amos 9:1-4)

Amos 9 introduced the fifth and final vision of God’s judgment. Amos wrote, “I saw the Lord standing upon the altar: and he said, Smite the lintel of the door, that the posts may shake: And cut them in the head, all of them; And I will slay the last of them with the sword: He that fleeth of them shall not flee away, And he that escapeth of them shall not be delivered” (Amos 9:1).

Amos was prophesying God’s judgment of the northern kingdom of Israel, and the Assyrian invasion fulfilled the destruction foretold by the prophet. That nation’s soldiers were known for their merciless killings. However, the LORD drew them to carry out His judgment upon Israel. His wrath and judgment were inescapable, and Israel could not flee or find refuge (Amos 9:2-4). Judgment was determined, for the LORD had “set [His] eyes upon them for evil, and not for good” (Amos 9:4).

 

The Fifth and Final Judgment - A Vision of the LORD Standing in Judgment (Amos 9:1-4)

The LORD Chose Israel, but the People Rejected Him (Amos 9:5-10)

Israel forsook the LORD, and the nation turned to idols. The people rejected the “Lord God of hosts” (heaven’s army, Amos 9:5). The LORD revealed Himself as Creator, for it was He that set the “stories [clouds] in the heaven” and called up the “waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth” (Amos 9:6).

Perhaps the children of Israel believed their unique relationship with the LORD would spare them His judgment (for He had “brought up Israel out of the land of Egypt,” Amos 9:7). The LORD, however, reminded Israel that He is God of all the nations, the Ethiopians, the Philistines, and the Syrians (Amos 9:7). He is just and “the eyes of the LORD God [were] upon the sinful kingdom” (Amos 9:8). The LORD had determined to “destroy it [Israel] from off the face of the earth” (Amos 9:8), yet, in His mercy He promised to remember His covenant and would save a remnant of “the house of Jacob” (Amos 9:8).

Amos prophesied the LORD would disperse Israel among the nations of the earth, writing, “I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth” (Amos 9:9). So, it came to past, for Assyria took the Jews from their land. They have been scattered among the world’s nations ever since. Yet, while the kingdoms of Ethiopia, Philistia, and Syria ceased, the LORD never took His eye off Israel. He promised, “Yet shall not the least grain [i.e., soul] fall upon the earth” (Amos 9:9).

Believer, what a comforting truth! The LORD knows His children, and you might find yourself tossed about like grain in a sieve; however, not one soul of His will be lost. Yet, the LORD warned, “All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword,” for some foolishly boasted, “The evil shall not overtake nor prevent us” (Amos 9:10).

 

Vision of a New Kingdom in the Last Days (Amos 9:11-15)

Since my devotions are as much a commentary as a daily Bible study, I will take the liberty of parsing out my interpretation of Amos 9:11-15.

The books in my library have a broad range of explanations for the concluding verses of Amos 9 (which I will take little time to analyze). I am confident that the final verses describe the LORD’s Millennial Kingdom that Christ will establish at His Second Coming. Amos 9 promised that the LORD would “raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, And close up the breaches thereof; And I will raise up his ruins, And I will build it as in the days of old” (Amos 9:11).

We know the Temple of Jerusalem was rebuilt after the Babylonian exile. However, the Romans destroyed it in AD 70, and it has yet to be rebuilt. The LORD declared He would rebuild “the Tabernacle of David,” a promise yet to be fulfilled. During the Millennial reign of Jesus Christ, the nations of the earth will gather to worship the LORD. When that day comes, “the remnant of Edom” (a remnant of Esau’s lineage) will gather along with other Gentiles  (“all the heathen”) to worship the LORD (Amos 9:12; Acts 15:15-17).

While the land of Israel is today torn by strife, war, and bloodshed, there is coming a day when Israel will be a fruitful land (Amos 9:13), and the “people of Israel” will return from being dispersed among the nations of the earth (9:14). They will rebuild their cities, plant vineyards and gardens, and enjoy the fruits of their labor in peace (Amos 9:14). The LORD has promised to the Jews, “I will plant them upon their land, And they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them” (Amos 9:15).

Vision of a New Kingdom in the Last Days (Amos 9:11-15)

Closing thoughts –

Except for the promise of a new kingdom when the LORD will “raise up the tabernacle of David” (Amos 9:11), the prophecies of Amos have come to pass. Israel (the northern kingdom) was the first taken captive, and the people were scattered “among all the nations” (Amos 9:9). Judah, the southern kingdom, was graciously promised, “I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob” (Amos 9:8). 

The promise of a new kingdom when Israel will dwell in peace will be preceded by the apostle John’s revelation:

Behold [look and see], he [the LORD Jesus Christ] cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him [on the cross]: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. 8  I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty” (Revelation 1:7-8).

Even so, Lord, Come Quickly!

Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith 

* You can subscribe to the Heart of a Shepherd daily devotionals by entering your name and email address at the bottom of today’s devotion.

The Internal Revenue Service recognizes Heart of A Shepherd Inc as a 501c3 public charitable organization. Your donation is welcome and supports the worldwide ministry outreach of www.HeartofAShepherd.com.