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Scriptures:Read Amos 8&9
Key Verse:"On that day I will raise up the tabernacle [booth] of David,... and rebuild it as in the days of old."(Amos 9:11)

        Amos resumed announcing his visions as though the priest of Bethel had been silenced and terrified by Amos' presence and prophecy against him. In the fourth vision, Amos saw a basket of ripe summer fruit, signifying that Israel was now ripe for judgment. The Lord would be longsuffering no longer; the time of His wrath had come (8:2; cf. Rom. 2:4-6). Amos again describes the greed and wickedness of the money-hungry merchants who anxiously awaited the ending of their meaningless religious observance of abstaining from work on the Sabbath or the New Moon feast (meaningless because for them it had lost its spiritual significance); they wished to once again go to work on the Sabbath and prey upon the poor and defenceless with their dishonest business practices (8:5-6).

        The Lord saw their deceitf ulness and lies and would not let it go unpunished (8:7). When the day of the Lord's judgment would come, all joy would be turned to mourning and the gloom would even be evident in the darkness of the sky. Amos prophesies of a day coming when there will be a famine for the word of the Lord, when God stops sending His prophets and is silent when they cry out to Him. At that time even the strongest of people will fall into sin by seeking out other means of divination rather than trusting in the Lord and waiting faithfully on Him. Israel looked to the calves at Dan and Bethel, as well as to the idolatrous shrine at Beersheba in southern Judah. However, just as God would destroy these pagan shrines, so too anyone who acknowledges and participates in the works of Satan will "fall and never rise again" (8:13-14).

        In his fifth and final vision, Amos saw the Lord standing near the altar at the heathen temple of calf worship in Bethel, where He would execute His judgment. The Lord would bring down Bethel's temple and crush the heads of the Israelite idol worshippers (9:1); this is reminiscent of the feat of Samson whom the Lord strengthened to bring down the temple of Dagon upon the Philistine idol worshippers. The point of the message is that it would be impossible for any of them to escape the Lord's wrath. There is no place to hide from the omnipotent God, for He sees and knows all (omniscient), and He is not limited in where He can go (omnipresent). His judgment would follow them, even after going into captivity in a foreign land (9:2-4). Every individual would be judged and all of the guilty sinners would meet their end (9:9-10).

        Once again, Amos stresses that just because they are Israelites, who were supposed to be the people of God, they were no better or safer than the Gentiles. The Lord's domain is not limited to Israel (Rom. 2:11; 3:29). He is the sovereign Lord over the whole world and over all nations, even over their enemies. The God who can bring whole nations from one country to another is also able to bring that nation to nothingness. Although it was possible to do so, the Lord promised that He would not utterly destroy the house of Jacob (Israel). Nothing would stop God's plan of redemption through His Son Jesus, the Messiah, who was to come from the tribe of Judah, the house of David.

        In the final portion of Amos' book (9:11-15), his tone radically changes as he has a glimpse of future glory and of the Lord's victory. Rather than words of doom and destruction, Amos' prophecy is now words of hope and life, not only for Israel but for the Gentiles as well. He tells of the future hope and restoration of David's "fallen down booth" (a literal translation; 9:11). God would be faithful to the promise He had made to David concerning an everlasting dynasty (2 Sam. 7:16), for the eternal King Jesus would be raised up to reign on the glorious throne of David forever (cf. Luke 1:31-33). At that time, Amos prophesies that the Lord's people will be all those who call on His Name, regardless of their nationality. The Apostle James quoted from this prophecy of Amos to support the acceptance of Gentiles among God's people, without first trying to make them become Jews (Acts 15:8-19). Through faith in Jesus, all God's people will be blessed and given an inheritance in His wonderful and flourishing Kingdom, where they will dwell with Him in peace and security forevermore.


        Lord, thank You that through faith in Jesus we will be blessed and given an inheritance from Your Kingdom, and for peace and security that You give to those who dwell in You.

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