Focal Passage: Amos 9:5-15
The Bible’s “Famous Amos” did not make cookies; far from it! He identified himself simply as one who was “among the sheepbreeders of Tekoa.” He seemed to be saying, “I’m just one of the farmhands from the backside of nowhere.”
But some of the most well-known words of the Bible came from him, words like: “Let justice run down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream” (Amos 5:24). He was a prophet of true reform, a spokesman for biblical justice, a man who knew what was required for national renewal.
Today’s focal passage, Amos 9:5-15, gives a message of hope that such national renewal is possible, and —“under God”— is on the way!
One writer has described the passage this way: “Man’s End as God’s New Beginning.” We can see that farmer Amos was indeed famous Amos when it came to understanding the deep truths of how this troubled world will actually and finally conclude.
Verses 5 through 8a, Man’s End: When Judgment Falls.
Our text for today has the Lord standing by the altar — which was a symbol of the nation’s “religiosity;” it was what Paul called “a form of godliness but denying the power thereof” (II Timothy 3:5).
God gave Amos the vision so he could preach this final message on judgement … and hope. Dr. Roy Honeycutt describes God’s judgment in verses 5 through 8a as being inevitable (notice vv. 1-4); it is inescapable, irresistible and indiscriminate.
Judgment is inescapable (verse 5). Amos had just said in verses 1-4 that no matter how high on a mountain people may climb or how deep in the sea they may plunge or how far they may travel, God will find them and bring judgment on them.
Now in verse 5 the prophet speaks of the whole earth being melted and flooded by the power of God; no one escapes His judgment. An old hymn, “The Great Judgment Morning,” says, “they’ll cry to the rocks and the mountains; they’ll cry, but their cries are too late.”
Judgment is irresistible (vv. 6-7). The great God of creation controls the elements. He who founded the earth and the seas uses His creation to bring all peoples to where He wants them to be, whether Ethiopians, Israelites, Egyptians or Syrians: all come under His Lordship. We know that one day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord!
Judgment is indiscriminate (v. 8a). The people of Israel thought of themselves as being so special to God that He would not judge their sinful behavior. When Amos says that “the eyes of the Lord God are upon the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from the face of the earth,” he is describing Israel itself.
There are millions of people on earth who consider themselves good enough to miss God’s judgment, but goodness will get no one into God’s Heaven. And yet …
Verses 8b through 15, God’s New Beginning:
“Yet I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob,” says the Lord. Here now comes the promised restoration and the Messiah’s reign! So we see that “the end” is not the end at all! Judgment is the motivation to lead us back to God, who will heal and restore the fellowship broken by sin. Read verses 13-15 aloud and stand on the promises of Christ our King! B&R