Today’s Reading: Amos 7-9:15
Today we finish our second minor prophet (on Sunday we had Jonah, see God Appointed !) . While Amos was not quite the Sunday School classic that Jonah was, it was still interesting. Yesterday I was giddy with the beginning of prophecy in our reading plans, the recognition of God in the lives of the other nations and finally the acting of God in the miserable state of religious life in the nations of Israel and Judah.
Today I found the last verses of Amos 9 as very exciting. Did you know that Amos was written about 760 – 750 BC, over 2700 years ago! It is very interesting to me to see how something that was recorded 2700 years ago can apply to something that you and I can observe today.
Amos 9:11 – 15 (NLT)
11 “In that day I will restore the fallen house of David.
I will repair its damaged walls.
From the ruins I will rebuild it
and restore its former glory.
12 And Israel will possess what is left of Edom
and all the nations I have called to be mine.”
The Lord has spoken,
and he will do these things.
13 “The time will come,” says the Lord,
“when the grain and grapes will grow faster
than they can be harvested.
Then the terraced vineyards on the hills of Israel
will drip with sweet wine!
14 I will bring my exiled people of Israel
back from distant lands,
and they will rebuild their ruined cities
and live in them again.
They will plant vineyards and gardens;
they will eat their crops and drink their wine.
15 I will firmly plant them there
in their own land.
They will never again be uprooted
from the land I have given them,”
says the Lord your God.
If you read the minor prophets with a bit of a “I just have to get through this text.” attitude you might miss the importance of these verses. The verses are a prophecy and a promise. The Lord is promising a few things:
- v. 11 – House of David restored
- v. 12 – Israel will rule over the land of Edom
- v. 13 – great cultivation in the land of Israel
- v. 14 – exiled Jews will be returned to Israel from distant lands, they will revitalize the land
- v. 15 – The Jews will be firmly planted, never uprooted.
v. 11 – SEMI-FULFILLED: The House of David has not been restored politically, but through Christ (Son of David) it has been restored in heaven and will one day be restored on earth during the millennium.
v. 12 – FULFILLED: Let’s take a very, very quick view of the history of the land of Edom and Israel. Over the last 3000+ years the land mentioned has been held by the following: the Jews, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Ptolemies of Egypt,the Seleucids of Syria, Romans, Muslim Arabs, Abbasids, Seljuks, Fatimids, and European Crusaders, Mamelukes, Ottoman (Turkey), and finally Britain in 1918. 15 different powers have laid claimed to land. At least 16 invasions and wars and conquests. 15 different armies and 2500 years separated Israel’s time of rule in the land. The current map of the State of Israel includes the land 3000 years ago known as Edom. Considering the history, that should amaze us!
v. 13 and 14 – FULFILLED and FULFILLED: Did you know that Israel had food exports of over $800,000,000 in 2007. This is from a land that was pretty much barren dessert of marshes when Israel became a state in 1948. For an interesting report on Israeli food exports click here.
v. 15 – SEMI-FULFILLED: The Jews have lived in the promised land as a nation since 1948. They are firmly planted today. However, they live under constant threat of war from neighbors on all sides that do not want them there. They have to make huge investments in national defense. They have had to put up walls as barriers on much of their border.
Therefore, from the 5 verses, written 2700 years ago, we have three that are obviously fulfilled and two verses that are partially fulfilled. Not just fulfilled, but amazingly fulfilled after all these years . Who says we don’t serve a Living God? Who says that the Old Testament is too old and not worth reading? Who says that God is still not at work in this world.
As we continue to read through the history of the nations of Israel and Judah we will read more prophecies. Some of those prophecies will have a profound impact on our lives today and tomorrow.