Amos was a prophet to the northern tribes of Israel.
Therewas a time of prosperity and boom in Israel during Amos’ life. Their economywas strong, and their military was victorious. But despite growing stronger inforce and size, their faith got weaker and weaker. This is the reason why inAmos 9:7, God is upset with the Israelites about their constant complacency andlack of desire to stay faithful to Him. Even though He was the one who broughtthem out of Egypt, rescued them, took care of their physical and mental needs,provided them with food and shelter, gave them a cloud by day and a pillar offire by night, didn’t let their sandals be torn during their entire time in thewilderness and helped them cross the red sea. All these things that God did forthem were very conveniently forgotten by the Israelites. The more materialisticthe people of Israel became, the more their they forgot about spirituality andthe relationship they had with God. Every time God’s people sway from Him, Hedoesn’t like it.
We know from the Bible that God is a jealous God and is verypossessive of us. That is why He would get reasonably upset with the Israelitesbecause time and again, despite their shortcomings, God loved them and providedfor them. Yet they were ungrateful and turned to other idols and images. Eventhough we see God’s anger in verse 8, where He says He will destroy the sinfulnation of Israel from the face of the Earth, He is still bound to the covenantHe made with Jacob and just for their sake, God spared them. In verse 9, Godsays He alone gives the command which has the power to shake Israel and all thenations. Just like when one sifts ingredients through sieve, the purestmaterials are the ones that pass through it. Like a farmer sifting grainin a sieve, God will disperse his people among different nations to separatethe precious and faithful remnant, from the ufaithful.
Using that illustration, God tells us that the shaking that He will cause willresult in the death of all but the ones who are faithful and true to His word.In the next verse, 10, He says that the sinners will all die because of thecoming judgement which they brought upon themselves. It is the choices of theIsraelites to disobey God which makes Him angry and as a result must punishthem for their sings.
Even those who think nothing bad will happen to them willbe struck down. The Lord knows our lives inside out. He can see straightthrough us. He saw through the hearts of men and women who tried to excusethemselves from living a righteous life by fashioning excuses and ideas. Theytry to excuse themselves from God’s standards and then think that they areexempted from punishment and judgement. They developed a very laid back andrelaxed attitude that nothing can harm them.
Mainly because they started to seeGod as someone who is there but doesn’t really care about a lot of things they doon Earth. We know that the religion during those days, centered in the city ofBethel. It taught to be popular rather than seeking God’s righteousness; andwas more concerned about being politically correct than it was about beingtrue. Verse 11 talks about how God is gracious and despite our failures, He isthe one who restores us into completion. He promises to restore the lineage ofDavid and repair and rebuild Israel to it’s former glory.
Verse 12 mentions theland that God has in mind for the Israelites. He says that they will posses theland of Edom. We can see here that it is God who is moving and creatinghistory. He is the one who is forming nations, raising them and putting them down.It goes on to show the sovereignty of God’s power of shaping not just historyand the nations, but also shaping our lives. He further goes on to say in verse13, about His blessing that will upon the land.
This will cause the crops andgrains to grow faster. The land will produce more because of the fertility ofthe soil and the vineyards which are full of produce, will generate good wine.God says that after the scattering of His people, one day, He will bring themall back and rebuild their ruined cities and help them live a good life againwith grain and wine. The Lord further says in verse 15 that He will plant themin their land firmly.
Never to leave again. When we look at all this texttoday, we see the fullness of everything God said. The scattering ofIsraelites, the destruction that they faced as well as the restoration andrebuilding of the land. If the Israelites heard Amos’ words before leaving Egyptand entering the wilderness, they would have had greater reverence and fear ofGod who clearly warned them about the time that will destroy them because oftheir own sinfulness. As a result, if they would have obeyed the Lord andwalked according to His steps, they may not even have been in the wildernessfor 40 years. God tests to see the Heart of men and women. It is amazing to seeGod’s grace even through the narrative of this text.
Even though God is angry andtalks about the death of those who are sinful, He still gives a promise ofrestoration. Because of the covenant He made with His people, He will ensurethat their race not only survives but thrives, which we can see continuing eventoday. It is interesting to note that all the verses from 7-15 have thepronoun ‘I’ in them. In all the verses, God is saying “I will” and “I am”. Thispoints out the supreme authority that God has.