A Reflection on the Book of Amos Chapter 9 Judgement and the Promise of Salvation (@minidvr)

By FNF from Ostschweiz, Switzerland (Kirche Ziteil) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By FNF from Ostschweiz, Switzerland (Kirche Ziteil) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The Book of Amos is  powerful full of the prophecy of God, as revealed through Amos, about the failings, not only of the people of Judah and Israel, but also the surrounding nations, which have done so many evil things in the eyes of the Lord. Chapters 1 to 8 documents them in great detail and these prophecies are so powerful, that Amos gets banished from Bethel by the King, only to give further personal  prophecy on the destruction that will befall the King, his family and his Kingdom.

Amos was a shepherd, the son of a shepherd, not a Prophet or the son of a prophet, perhaps a way of stating that he wasn’t one of the false, professional prophets who tended to be part of the royal households of the day.  His visions pronounced judgement not just on Judah and Israel, but on the Kingdoms around the promised Land, who had offended God in various ways.

Judgement.  Chapter 9 is powerful.  It’s in two parts with huge symbolism, where God pronounces his final judgement on the troubled, obstinate provinces, but also where he also promises salvation – in due time, and tellingly the promise of the Messiah, his Kingdom and how it will be for all peoples at the end of time

Verses 1 to 10 Amos’ final vision shows God standing by (or on) the Altar of the Sanctuary (v1), the Altar of sacrifice thereby denying the sacrifices and passing judgement on their profaning of his holy things- refusing to accept them as empty and worthless. He then proceeds to describe the downfall of the people in graphic terms (v2-10).  His sacrifice will be the destruction of multitudes of people, who no matter where they run or turn will be overtaken by the fate they so richly deserve.

These verses, while a reiteration of Chapters 1 to 8, in summary perhaps with their symbolism and threats, highlight the finality of the warnings that had been given by Amos (and other prophets) which has been continually ignored.  They’re also intended to highlight the power of the almighty, omnipotent God. The Creator of all – what he has made, he has the power to take away and to destroy.  Life itself is his to give or to take away.

Israel’s Restoration. Verses 11 to 15 are the evidence of the merciful and compassionate God.  They promise the restoration of the the Kingdom of David, not the temporal power that David represented (no matter how Holy it was) but the restored, holy Spiritual power of  Jesus, the promised Messiah, a descendent off and member of the House of David.  This isn’t an earthly Kingdom, but the one promised in Revelation.

Reflection on Amos. As far as I am aware, this is one of the earliest prophecies or signs to the promised ‘Restored Kingdom’ of God (v.11), one where all will be well. Our living in the personal presence of God will be afforded to the righteous (v.12). Something to hold our attention; something to give purpose and hope to our earthly lives; something to encourage us to live in accordance with God’s laws; to be disciples of Christ until we meet with him in person in the New Kingdom of God.  Something to help us to endure and persevere in our period of waiting until that Kingdom comes about with Jesus’ return.  The promise of eternal life, united with our God of love and compassion.  Come Jesus, Come.

About Ernie Feasey

Anglican, Ex-Officer, trying to discern a vocation to Ordained Ministry