The Great City of God

Amos 6-9

Focus: Amos 9:11-15 ““In that day I will rebuild the collapsing hut of David. I will seal its gaps, repair its ruins, and restore it to what it was like in days gone by. As a result they will conquer those left in Edom and all the nations subject to my rule.” The LORD, who is about to do this, is speaking! “Be sure of this, the time is coming,” says the LORD, “when the plowman will catch up to the reaper and the one who stomps the grapes will overtake the planter. Juice will run down the slopes, it will flow down all the hillsides. I will bring back my people, Israel; they will rebuild the cities lying in rubble and settle down. They will plant vineyards and drink the wine they produce; they will grow orchards and eat the fruit they produce. I will plant them on their land and they will never again be uprooted from the land I have given them,” says the LORD your God.”

When we read through the prophets one important maxim to remember is, “First the worst and then the best.” Israel’s rebellion against God and breaking of the Covenant had caused her to fall under God’s wrath. She was removed from the land by the Assyrians and faced tremendous loss. Thousands and thousands of people were annihilated while others were carried off into captivity where they served as slaves or infantry in the army where they would likely die in military campaigns. Many of us today cannot even fathom the pain and trauma God’s people suffered, but scripture shows us that it happened because of her sin.

God made a Covenant with His people and they were in breach of Covenant. They faced the penalty that was agreed to from the beginning. However, God’s promise was to bring His people back to the Land and to restore them to Himself. Amos 9:11-15 describes what it will be like when this happens. God will rebuild the tent of David. God is the repairer of our wounds. There will be unbelievable blessing on Israel. The plowman will catch up to the reaper and the one who stomps grapes will overtake the planter. There will be so much food to harvest that by the time the season comes to plow the fields again, the harvester will still be gathering the last season’s crops! When it is time to plant the grapes again for the next season, the abundance of grapes from the prior harvest will still be being pressed for wine and juice- to the point where it will run down the hills where they are being pressed. This will be a time of abundant blessing and peace. God will rebuild the cities that he destroyed, and his people will enjoy the fruit of their labor. This is a time in history that has not yet happened. It is a time that God’s people can look forward to.

The God of the Hebrew people seems to be harsh and even evil. But in fact, he is not. God is calling the faithful to Himself and he promises to abundantly bless those who live for Him. In this world we will undergo tremendous suffering, but we are aliens and strangers. This is not our permanent home. We are just passing through. This world will cease to exist and God’s people will dwell together in His presence with great blessing in the New Jerusalem. Peace will reign and the sickness, suffering and injustice that have plagued our lives will one day be gone. What a glorious hope we have!

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