Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Amos 9:11-15

The Restoration of Israel
11"In that day I will raise up the fallen booth of David,
And wall up its breaches;
I will also raise up its ruins
And rebuild it as in the days of old;
12That they may possess the remnant of Edom
And all the nations who are called by My name,"
Declares the LORD who does this.
13"Behold, days are coming," declares the LORD,
"When the plowman will overtake the reaper
And the treader of grapes him who sows seed;
When the mountains will drip sweet wine
And all the hills will be dissolved.
14"Also I will restore the captivity of My people Israel,
And they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them;
They will also plant vineyards and drink their wine,
And make gardens and eat their fruit.
15"I will also plant them on their land,
And they will not again be rooted out from their land
Which I have given them,"
Says the LORD your God.

For a book that is so full of judgment--both present and foreshadowing the future--the Book of Amos comes to a happy ending! Amos, whose name means "burden" or "burden-bearing", will now share God's Word that a remnant will be saved--a burden released!

"I will raise up the fallen booth of David...." (vs 11) I needed a little bit of help with that language. The King James' uses 'tabernacle', which is a "hut or lair" [Strong's]. During the time of Israel's wandering in the exodus, they lived in temporary shelters, tents or booths. Let us not forget the Tent of Meeting in which Moses spoke with God in that time. The Feast of Booths (or Feast of the Tabernacles) was the Thanksgiving feast celebrated by Israel and required a trip to Jerusalem for worship and sacrifices. It recognizes God's provision during the time of the exodus and His yearly provision in the form of the harvest. [http://www.bible-truth.org/Feasts-Tabernacles.html]

Here in Amos, God is referring to a time in which there will be One to come and sit on David's throne, ruling a new kingdom, a millennial kingdom. God will see the creation of a new tabernacle for His Son in Jesus's earthly reign. And His people, Israel, the remaining chosen, will regain their home and land lost to others who would not be saved ("possess the remnant of Edom" vs 12. Remember Obadiah's prophecy.). Truly, a time of ultimate Thanksgiving!

"A throne will even be established in lovingkindness,
And a judge will sit on it in faithfulness in the tent of David;
Moreover, he will seek justice
And be prompt in righteousness."
--Isaiah 16:5

"And all the nations who are called by My name...." (vs 12) Amos not only refers to Israel's saving, but he also speaks of the Gentiles who will also know this time of Thanksgiving through their salvation in Jesus. I love the affirmation of New Testament quoting Old, and the Apostle James is the one who quotes Amos in Acts 15. He--along with Peter, Paul and Barnabas--appeared before the Jerusalem Council, demonstrating through Word and testimony that God planned to save Gentiles as well as Jews.

In a beautifully poetic picture, God describes a coming period of fruitfulness. The plowman overtaking the reaper and the grape treader overtaking the seed sower (vs 13) does not mean that one will destroy another. "Fruitfulness is so enormous that planting and reaping seasons overlap," says my study Bible. Where that basket of summer fruit in Chapter 8 was beyond its ripeness, rotting, this growth and abundance under Christ will be beyond plentiful.

"'Indeed, your threshing will last for you until grape gathering, and grape gathering will last until sowing time. You will thus eat your food to the full and live securely in your land.'"
--Leviticus 26:5

God will restore everything that was taken away from Israel. His people will be finally restored to their earthly home. And what a lovely close, continuing with the blessing of fruitfulness analogy: "'I will also plant them on their land, and they will not again be rooted out from their land which I have given them,' says the Lord your God." The ancient promise of Abraham will finally be fulfilled.

Matthew Henry's words on the end of the Book of Amos speak volumes of the time to come and the promise of fulfillment today through Christ in the Church:

"Verses #(13 to 15) may refer to the early times of Christianity, but will receive a more glorious fulfilment in the events which all the prophets more or less foretold, and may be understood of the happy state when the fulness both of the Jews and the Gentiles come into the church. Let us continue earnest in prayer for the fulfilment of these prophecies, in the peace, purity, and the beauty of the church. God marvellously preserves his elect amidst the most fearful confusions and miseries. When all seems desperate, he wonderfully revives his church, and blesses her with all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus. And great shall be the glory of that period, in which not one good thing promised shall remain unfulfilled."
--Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

An Introduction to Hosea.... 'Til next Wednesday!


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Next week: Introduction to Hosea

Note: I read from the New American Standard Bible translation,
specifically, The MacArthur Study Bible (NASB).
I will quote other sources if used in a post.

I also use
Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible
(with notes from the King James Version).