The Destruction of Israel
9 I saw the Lord standing beside the altar, and he said:
“Strike the capitals until the thresholds shake,
and shatter them on the heads of all the people;
and those who are left of them I will kill with the sword;
not one of them shall flee away;
not one of them shall escape.
“If they dig into Sheol,
from there shall my hand take them;
if they climb up to heaven,
from there I will bring them down.
If they hide themselves on the top of Carmel,
from there I will search them out and take them;
and if they hide from my sight at the bottom of the sea,
there I will command the serpent, and it shall bite them.
And if they go into captivity before their enemies,
there I will command the sword, and it shall kill them;
and I will fix my eyes upon them
for evil and not for good.”
The Lord GOD of hosts,
he who touches the earth and it melts,
and all who dwell in it mourn,
and all of it rises like the Nile,
and sinks again, like the Nile of Egypt;
who builds his upper chambers in the heavens
and founds his vault upon the earth;
who calls for the waters of the sea
and pours them out upon the surface of the earth—
the LORD is his name.
“Are you not like the Cushites to me,
O people of Israel?” declares the LORD.
“Did I not bring up Israel from the land of Egypt,
and the Philistines from Caphtor and the Syrians from Kir?
Behold, the eyes of the Lord GOD are upon the sinful kingdom,
and I will destroy it from the surface of the ground,
except that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob,”
declares the LORD.
“For behold, I will command,
and shake the house of Israel among all the nations
as one shakes with a sieve,
but no pebble shall fall to the earth.
All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword,
who say, ‘Disaster shall not overtake or meet us.’
The Restoration of Israel
“In that day I will raise up
the booth of David that is fallen
and repair its breaches,
and raise up its ruins
and rebuild it as in the days of old,
that they may possess the remnant of Edom
and all the nations who are called by my name,”
declares the LORD who does this.
“Behold, the days are coming,” declares the LORD,
“when the plowman shall overtake the reaper
and the treader of grapes him who sows the seed;
the mountains shall drip sweet wine,
and all the hills shall flow with it.
I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel,
and they shall rebuild the ruined cities and inhabit them;
they shall plant vineyards and drink their wine,
and they shall make gardens and eat their fruit.
I will plant them on their land,
and they shall never again be uprooted
out of the land that I have given them,”
says the LORD your God.
Amos 9 Commentary
by Hank Workman
In the final chapter of Amos and from the 5th vision of Amos, destruction, and ruin for Israel is foretold. There will be nowhere to hide as it will affect every single one. Yet even in this prophesy He will not ‘totally destroy’ (Amos 9:8). His judgment would not be permanent.
God demands obedience. He longs for a relationship. He wants to redeem not punish. But when punishment is necessary He won’t withhold it. The discipline of God comes upon us all; the punishment we sense at times is not unending. Because He is filled with grace and such desire for us, His hand does lift from the things He’s allowed to happen which drive us back toward Him.
As the chapter and bookend, “we see God’s heart for the people. He will finally repair the damage, raise the ruins and rebuild His people and His land.” (Bible Panorama)
“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.”Amos 9:14
I love these verses as they speak of such redemption for all people. The Israelites had willfully done what they wanted and after warning after warning, they would find themselves in exile, in punishment and hardship. We know this happened for 70 years as they were taken captive to Babylon. They lost it all. But God’s love for them did not cease.
The same is true for us. We are stubborn, willful people who overlook God way too many times in our lives and our living. As He would go to extremes to get their attention, to discipline them, He would relent. It was not forever. And He still today does the same with us. He will bring punishment, discipline, and hardship in order to strip us of our self-sufficiency and sinfulness. But God’s love does not cease.
As He promised to restore them, rebuild the ruins, and plant vineyards among other things – it was a promise of productivity and restoration. This grace of Jesus that we all experience does the same thing. What we have ruined and brought devastation to through our own choices, He can rebuild. Where the ground was grown with thistles and briars, He will till and plant anew a work of His glory.
This is what we must cling to. Even in the hardship of discipline now, even in the wreckage, we stand in from our own choices, God can and longs to rebuild. He longs to make things new in ways we never thought imaginable.
Amos 9 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
Within the judgment of Amos, there is hope to be found. There is always hope with God because He is full of both grace and truth.
“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.Amos 9:13 GNB
I have a friend who frequently remarks, “Find where the Holy Spirit is working and join him there.” The reason for this is obvious. When the Lord decides to bless, the growth will happen faster than you can process. We are surprised even though we shouldn’t be. How quickly we forget God’s promises…
Even creation itself follows this consistent behavior. I have several shrubs that I have tried to get rid of over the years. They were half dead and had just become an eyesore in my landscaping. So, during the Fall I decided I would put them out of their misery. I cut them back to the ground and even dug away some of the dirt below the surface in order to cut them deeper.
Now, these shrubs sit on the south side of my house. I really only notice what’s going on over there when I mow the lawn because we spend most of our family time in the back yard. In late spring, when I went out for my first mowing, I was shocked to find these shrubs had grown larger and fuller than I had ever seen! They were beautiful and the growth was unbelievable. Who would have thought that cutting them back to nothing would end up bringing renewed life and restoration to these struggling plants?
This is a pattern of our God. He is not afraid to cut away the dead, even if that means going down to the bare soil. In the end, He knows that restoration and growth will come. For those who trust in Him, He promises it.
Where do you need to be reminded of this truth?