Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Promise To Abraham Will Be Fulfilled

Amos 9:1-15

“I saw the Lord standing upon the altar: and he said, Smite the lintel of the door, that the posts may shake: and cut them in the head, all of them; and I will slay the last of them with the sword: he that fleeth of them shall not flee away, and he that escapeth of them shall not be delivered.” (Amos 9:1)

Amos had a vision of God standing upon the altar.   He commanded that he hit the top of the doorway hard enough to shake the door posts on each side.  The lintel is the cross member that supports the weight of the wall and roof over the door.  It is supported by the doorposts.  Hitting the lintel hard enough to shake the doorposts weakens the entire wall, loosening the posts and lintel from their moorings.   He then commands to cut them in the head and God will slay all of the people.  By hitting the part that is supported by the other people, the government, God will bring down the entire nation.  As the wall falls, even those who try to escape will be caught.    

“Though they dig into hell, thence shall mine hand take them; though they climb up to heaven, thence will I bring them down: And though they hide themselves in the top of Carmel, I will search and take them out thence; and though they be hid from my sight in the bottom of the sea, thence will I command the serpent, and he shall bite them: And though they go into captivity before their enemies, thence will I command the sword, and it shall slay them: and I will set mine eyes upon them for evil, and not for good.” (Amos 9:2-4)

When God brings judgment, there will be no place to go for safety.   Digging all the way into hell for a bomb shelter would not enable one to escape God’s judgment.   Neither will starting a colony on the moon or some other planet.  Fleeing to another country or disappearing off the grid will not protect a person.  Events will overtake them as impersonally as a snake biting a passing animal with no concern for who they were.  Surrendering to their enemies to appease them will only result in more of them being killed.  God will be seeking to destroy, and not to bless them.  While this was originally a warning to Israel, we need to remember that it is also an example for us according to I Corinthians 10:11. 

“And the Lord GOD of hosts is he that toucheth the land, and it shall melt, and all that dwell therein shall mourn: and it shall rise up wholly like a flood; and shall be drowned, as by the flood of Egypt.  It is he that buildeth his stories in the heaven, and hath founded his troop in the earth; he that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name.” (Amos 9:5-6)

The things that happen will not just be the natural consequences for their sin.  Those have already been carried out and did not change people’s behavior.  Now God himself is going to take action.  It will be like the whole land melts leaving no stability.  The people will be upset and the problems will continue to grow until they pour over the land like a flood sweeping down the Nile, drowning everything in its path.  It is God that built the different levels of heaven, from the atmosphere and stratosphere to the farthest reaches of the universe.  It was him that placed humanity on earth, and it is him that causes the water to evaporate from the ocean and fall as rain on the earth.  He is God.

“Are ye not as children of the Ethiopians unto me, O children of Israel? saith the LORD. Have not I brought up Israel out of 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 off the face of the earth; saving that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob, saith the LORD.  For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth.  All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword, which say, The evil shall not overtake nor prevent us.” (Amos 9:7-10)

God said that to him there was no difference between the black people of Ethiopian and the Jews of Israel.   He had brought up Israel out of Egypt.  In much the same way the Philistines had migrated from the Nile Deltas area to Palestine as the Egyptian people grew stronger, and the Syrians had migrated southwest from around the Kur river in Armenia.  God will judge and destroy any sinful nation.  He has however promised never to completely destroy Israel.  They will be scattered among all the nations like sifting corn through a sieve, with never a kernel allowed to take root.  All the evil of Israel will be destroyed who think their Jewish culture will not be judged by God and he will not allow them to be punished. 

“In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old: That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the LORD that doeth this.” (Amos 9:11-12)

When the time comes, God will restore the House of David to the throne.  He will rebuild the city of Jerusalem like it was before, as a world center of worship of God.  Israel will once again be a world power governing the nations around her, such as Edom and the other non-Jews that are descendants of Abraham. 

“Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt.  And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them.  And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God.” (Amos 9:13-15)

In that day, the land will produce abundant crops year around.  They will have to wait for one crop to be harvested before they can plant the next, and planting may be delayed while they process the previous crops.  Crops such as grapes will grow in the mountains where they didn’t survive in the past, and the barren, rocky hills will become productive farmland.   The Jews will no longer be held in other countries but will again occupy their own land, cultivating it for themselves.  They will rebuild the ancient cities, and reap the benefits of their own labors.  Never again will they be taken from their land.  God himself will see to it.  

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