God’s Word of Justice
Amos 9:1-15: Today’s reading is the concluding chapter to the book of Amos. Judgments are pronounced, but the chapter concludes with a description of the future restoration of Israel.
The LORD builds his home in the heavens, and over the earth he puts the dome of the sky.
The Lord's Judgments
1I saw the Lord standing by the altar. He gave the command: “Strike the tops of the Temple columns so hard that the foundation will shake. Break them off and let them fall on the heads of the people. I will kill the rest of the people in war. No one will get away; not one will escape. 2Even if they dig their way down to the world of the dead, I will catch them. Even if they climb up to heaven, I will bring them down. 3If they hide on the top of Mount Carmel, I will search for them and catch them. If they hide from me at the bottom of the sea, I will command the sea monster to bite them. 4If they are taken away into captivity by their enemies, I will order them to be put to death. I am determined to destroy them, not to help them.”
5The Sovereign Lord Almighty touches the earth,
and it quakes;
all who live there mourn.
The whole world rises and falls like the Nile River.
6The Lord builds his home in the heavens,
and over the earth he puts the dome of the sky.
He calls for the waters of the sea
and pours them out on the earth.
His name is the Lord!
7The Lord says, “People of Israel, I think as much of the people of Ethiopia as I do of you. I brought the Philistines from Crete and the Syrians from Kir, just as I brought you from Egypt. 8I, the Sovereign Lord, am watching this sinful kingdom of Israel, and I will destroy it from the face of the earth. But I will not destroy all the descendants of Jacob.
9“I will give the command and shake the people of Israel like grain in a sieve. I will shake them among the nations to remove all who are worthless. 10The sinners among my people will be killed in war—all those who say, ‘God will not let any harm come near us.’”
The Future Restoration of Israel
11 The Lord says, “A day is coming when I will restore the kingdom of David, which is like a house fallen into ruins. I will repair its walls and restore it. I will rebuild it and make it as it was long ago. 12And so the people of Israel will conquer what is left of the land of Edom and all the nations that were once mine,” says the Lord, who will cause this to happen.
13“The days are coming,” says the Lord,
“when grain will grow faster than it can be harvested,
and grapes will grow faster than the wine can be made.
The mountains will drip with sweet wine,
and the hills will flow with it.
14I will bring my people back to their land.
They will rebuild their ruined cities and live there;
they will plant vineyards and drink the wine;
they will plant gardens and eat what they grow.
15I will plant my people on the land I gave them,
and they will not be pulled up again.”
The Lord your God has spoken.
The Temple mentioned in verse 1 refers to the temple in Bethel, not Jerusalem. What judgments are cited in verses 1-10? King David ruled a united Israel from 1010 to 970 B.C. Around 931 B.C. the kingdom split in two. Eventually the northern kingdom (Israel) was defeated by the Assyrians (722 B.C.); afterward, the southern kingdom (Judah) was defeated by the Babylonians (587 B.C.). The concluding verses (11-15) offer a vision of a reunited Israel. In what ways do these concluding verses speak of God’s faithfulness? Based on what you have read these past few days from the book of Amos, how would you define the Lord’s justice?
Righteous and loving God, I thank and praise you for your steadfast love and faithfulness. Teach me to listen for your voice and help me to do your will. Amen.
Countries divided by civil unrest
Micah 1:1-16: Micah announces the LORD’s judgment of Israel and Judah.