The Remnant and Restoration.
Intro: Amos stopped prophesying in ch.7 – was kicked out of the temple in Bethel. In ch.8 he had a vision of summer fruit, the end. What comes after the end? The end of the northern kingdom, also end time judgement – what is after the end? It is not the end entirely – there is a remnant out of which הוה makes a new beginning. A seed from which a renewed Israel grows: what is after the end?: REMNANT AND RESTORATION [OHP1]. I love the minor prophets, neglected because so full of judgement and gloom, but in them are the most wonderful prophecies of restoration. They stand out like shining gems against the bleak background [diamonds on black velvet]. The preceding talk of judgement and wrath makes the prophecy of restoration so much the more wonderful. Nine chapters, only in one is there mention of restoration. All seems lost, hopeless – but God's plan hasn't failed or been discarded. There will yet be a glorious Israel. 146 verses in Amos, 5 verses of glorious restoration. READ
Judgement decreed from heaven [v1-10] - inescapable [v.1-4] v.1 – "I saw the Lord" – brakes on! Back up – actually saw the Lord! Awesome thing (Isaiah, Moses, John, Ezekiel). יהוה Himself gives the order – Amos hears it decreed: inescapable judgement! He sees יהוה at the place of mercy (the altar where sacrifice was made) but it had been defiled by idolatry, it became the place of judgement – they had rejected God's mercy. יהוה had stationed Himself, in place, for action, for judgement - it was imminent! about to be executed! The temple of idolatrous worship would be struck down and destroyed. יהוה had issued the command. Idolatry was to be wiped out. There would be an earthquake that would cause it to totter and collapse (cf. v.5; 8:8). The idolatrous worshippers would be slain. Those not decapitated in the collapse of the temple would be slain by the sword of the invading army. All would die! There would not be one of them left to flee, no survivor to escape and become a refugee. All idolaters will perish. Those who do not worship Him in truth will be slain. v.2- יהוה will relentlessly pursue them. None will be overlooked. None will escape. Nothing they do will be able to spare them. No matter where they go or what they do יהוה Himself will hunt them down, get them, and slay them! There is no escape! No way out! No way to avoid יהוה’s hand of judgement. Be it heaven or hell, one extreme or the other, it makes no difference, the highest height or the lowest depths יהוה will get you! There is no escape! He will bring them down. This is the judgement יהוה decreed. He personally carries it out:"My hand ...." "I will slay ..." It is unequivocally and indisputable יהוה’s doing. "I will search ..." (v.3) "I will command ..." (v.4) "I will set My eyes ..." (v.4) [8x in 4 verses]. When יהוה acts in judgement, who will not fear? For who can escape His hand?! Relentless, thorough, complete is His judgement. v.3 - Nothing we do can extricate us from the inevitable judgement v.4 - Jews, characteristically, show great resource and ingenuity - and all stops are pulled out to avoid this calamity (very reminiscent of during the Nazi era). They attempt to escape in the world of the dead, in heaven (v.2), in caves on Mount Carmel, even on the ocean floor! (v.3). But here is the cleverest of all - they deliberately exile themselves to the place יהוה is sending them anyway, going ahead of the enemies who will take the rest of the nation captive. Why fight the inevitable? - rather cooperate, go along with it, adapt and make the most of it - if you fight, you will be destroyed but if you align yourself with the inevitable, you will survive. Not so! Even this crafty ruse יהוה sees through and personally commands the sword to slay them (just as those who cooperated with the Nazis and became their agents against their brothers finally ended up in the gas chamber with them). יהוה has His eyes against them for evil, not for good. When this is the case - what can be done? What fate could be worse than to have יהוה against you to cause you calamity? This is the fate of those who reject Him and worship other gods.
from the Almighty [v.5,6]v.5 - It was יהוה, God Himself in all His might and authority who decreed this by His awesome and almighty Name! יהוה the LORD, יהוה of armies, will touch the land! - and at His touch it melts, it quakes and all those who dwell in it will mourn at the calamity caused by the earthquake that comes when יהוה touches the land (cf. 8:8; 1:1). When יהוה acts in judgement it is terrifying indeed! Who will not fear Him?! v.6 - Who is like Him?! Who can prevent Him doing what He has purposed?! He builds the heights of heaven! He established the heavens above the earth! He call to the waters and pours them on the earth, filling the seas! יהוה is His Name! Who will not worship and fall down before His awesome greatness! Hallelujah! (Revelation 15:1-4 Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels who had seven plagues, which are the last, because in them the wrath of God is finished. Those who had not given way to the antichrist sang this: “Great and marvelous are Your works, O Lord God, the Almighty; righteous and true are Your ways, King of the nations! “Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy; for all the nations will come and worship before You, for Your righteous acts have been revealed.”)
no different to the rest [v.7,8] v.7 – Israel thought they were God's special people, that they would be spared – but they were no different to the rest. This almighty LORD would destroy every sinful kingdom, Israel not excepted (v.7-10). His chosen nation had no special privilege in the moral sphere. Israel was just like other nations - they thought they were special because יהוה had brought them from Egypt to this land, and hence they would never be removed. But יהוה had also brought other peoples from other nations - the Philistines from Crete and the Arameans from Kir - they weren’t so unique after all! If יהוה had brought certain people, He had also removed them from another land - therefore He could just as easily exile Israel from this land - and He would. We tend to think it is emigration movements, social, political pressure, perhaps famines or conflict that cause a certain people to move. We only see the human reasons - which are not the true cause at all. It is the LORD’s doing (cf. Acts 17:26 He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation) - He brought them! He determines where a people dwell and He determined that Israel would go from the land into exile! He would destroy it and remove it totally from the land! v.8 - יהוה looks, He sees! He knows our deeds! (cf. Psalm 94:4-11). He saw the sin ridden kingdom of Israel and determined that He would utterly extirpate it - wipe it off the face of the earth.
a time of shaking [v.9-10; Hag 2:6,7; Heb 12:25-29] v.9 - יהוה would strike Israel, disturb and unsettle them – a time of shaking (cf. Haggai 2:6 For thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Once more in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea also and the dry land. Hebrews 12:26-29 And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heaven.” This expression, “Yet once more,” denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.). The shaking would be literal: an earthquake – both in Amos' day and in the end times. She would be shaken as grain (or soil) in a sieve (cf. Isaiah 30:27,28 Behold, the name of the Lord comes from a remote place; burning is His anger and dense is His smoke; His lips are filled with indignation and His tongue is like a consuming fire;His breath is like an overflowing torrent, which reaches to the neck, to shake the nations back and forth in a sieve, and to put in the jaws of the peoples the bridle which leads to ruin. Luke 22:31 Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat) – speaks of testing and judgement, true heart revealed - the light, useless, chaff would be blown away - Israel would go into exile, scattering them among the nations - but the good grain (what is solid, the pebbles) would remain - there would be a remnant. v.10 - But all the sinners would die. They would be killed by the sword of the Assyrian army. They were so proud, arrogant, self assured and secure. Their boast would be proved idle words - they proclaim that they were immune to disaster, that calamity wouldn’t come - but every single one of them would be killed!
The Remnant [v.8-10]- some will be spared Yet the destruction is not utter - though the sinful kingdoml would be destroyed from the face of the earth, the house of Jacob would not be utterly destroyed - how would this be? - those that were not slain would be removed from the land - go into exile. So the house of Jacob would continue, drastically reduced, but not in the land - it would continue to exist in a foreign land. In His wrath יהוה the merciful, remembered mercy and stayed His hand (cf. Matthew 24:22 Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. Habakkuk 3:2 Lord, I have heard the report about You and I fear. O Lord, revive Your work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make it known; in wrath remember mercy.). It may seem like calamity and indiscriminate destruction but it is, in fact, very precise and controlled down to each individual - precision surgery. Precise selection in God's sieve. Through judgement the wicked would be destroyed, but not one of the kernels would fall to the ground. Every righteous individual, all the elect, would be preserved! The remnant, those that had repented, would be preserved. Hallelujah! (cf. Matthew 10:29 Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.) - separation of tares from wheat – in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.” The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. 47 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet cast into the sea, and gathering fish of every kind; and when it was filled, they drew it up on the beach; and they sat down and gathered the good fish into containers, but the bad they threw away. So it will be at the end of the age; the angels will come forth and take out the wicked from among the righteous, and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.) - judgement sorts and separates the remnant from the unrighteous in God's sieve. God will restore His remnant.
Restoration [v.11-15]- the tabernacle of David – what is it? [v.11,12] (Gentiles included in the Messianic Kingdom [Acts 15:13-19]) v.11 – The remnant would be restored. We have heard about "that day", the day of יהוה when judgement strikes. But in that day there will also be restoration. The fallen tabernacle of David will be rebuilt – what does this mean? There was a teaching in vogues a few years ago that the rebuilding of the tabernacle of David was the restoration of worship and freedom in the church. Any familiar with it? What is said was that David set up a tabernacle in Jerusalem for the ark to be kept in. Remember he brought the ark of the covenant from the tabernacle and brought it to Jerusalem and placed it in a tent there and set up musicians and Levites to give thanks to יהוה. (1 Chron 16:1-7 they brought in the ark of God and placed it inside the tent which David had pitched for it, and they offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before God.). This teaching said that David reinvigorated worship, took it out of the old dry and dusty traditional system with sacrifices and priests and made it so anyone could come into the presence of God – joy, music and liberty instead of dry and dusty formal traditional religion. What they do not do is read the end of ch.16 – v.39ff says how David retained the priesthood at the tabernacle at Gibeon and offered the proscribed sacrifices there and set up musicians there also. The tabernacle of David in Amos is not referring to this tent that David pitched in Jerusalem but to the house of David, the dynasty of David – the Messiah of David's line will rule! The Kingdom of David's line will be restored with his Son Jesus as King. Something far greater than singing in the Spirit in church! In that day, the day of יהוה’s judgement, He will also restore. Messiah will return and reign (11-15). Jesus is coming as King!The "tabernacle (booth) of David" is the Davidic dynasty the LORD will raise up in the Person of the Christ returning in glory at His second advent to establish the kingdom over Israel (Acts 1:6). James quoted this great prophecy at the first church council (Acts 15:15-17 With this the words of the Prophets agree, just as it is written,‘After these things I will return, and I will rebuild the tabernacle of David which has fallen, and I will rebuild its ruins, and I will restore it, so that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who are called by My name,’). From here we can see how Scripture interprets this Scripture. You will see that what James says is a bit different from what we've read. Did he not know his Bible? [OHP2] He quotes from the Greek translation of the OT called the Septuagint. Really the NT quote and the Greek are very close. James makes explicit who they are to seek and adds a bit at the beginning to show that these verses refer to Christ's return so fulfilment is yet to come. The Greek and the Hebrew essentially differ only in two words: Edom with different vowels is "adam" = "man"; and "possess" (yireshu) becomes "will seek" (yidreshu). But James' exposition depends on these differences. Amos is talking about Israel possessing territory beyond its borders, James says the prophecy is speaking of the Gentiles seeking God and being included in the remnant. God had planned this from the beginning and foretold it happening. This is revolutionary! We were excluded , heathen, without God and without hope in the world. But God has made a way for Gentiles to be included in the remnant that will be restored into the blessings of the Messianic Kingdom., just as Gentiles became subject to David's rule. So in the restored Davidic Kingdom, Gentiles will be included too. The early church found this a staggering concept – and it is! (we've just got used to it) we who were not a people are now God's own people! Restoration far bigger than just Israel! (cf. Isaiah 49:6 He says, “It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel;I will also make You a light of the nations so that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”) In this present age God is calling out a people for His Name. After that the LORD will return and re-establish the Davidic dynasty in Christ (11,12) and millennial prosperity (13), will result in a restored Israel (14,15). Hallelujah!As the judgement had been יהוה’s doing, so would the rebuilding and restoration. [OHP1]The Davidic line of kingship would be re-established - Jesus will reign from Jerusalem! Hallelujah! And the city and nation would be rebuilt to its former glory. The breaches would be walled up. No longer will the enemy be able to come in at will and plunder His possession, His people. No more ruins but a fortified, secure city with יהוה dwelling in her midst. Who had prophesy been to? - Israel, not the Davidic dynasty – restoration of Jerusalem, not Samaria. This is end times restoration, not the restoration of the northern kingdom. v.12 - Not only would Israel be restored and Jerusalem be rebuilt but it would expand, taking over neighbouring territory. Edom, who had perpetually been in enmity against Israel and took advantage of her when she was overrun, would herself be dispossessed by them (cf. Obad 10-14). What she had done to Israel, Israel would do to her - Divine justice and retribution. Edom too would suffer judgement - only a remnant would survive. Israel would possess other nations too - but these are those who willingly aligned themselves with the LORD - the Gentiles who are called by יהוה’s Name, i.e. Christians, who have יהוה’s Name upon them. They would become part of the commonwealth of Israel, be included among God’s people (cf. Eph 2:11-22; Phil 3:20). Gentiles too were included among God’s people just as Amos had prophesied! This was a revolutionary, amazing thing to them - a Gentile could be one of God’s people! So these who were saved will become the possession of Israel. יהוה has declared! So it will be! It is not man’s doing - יהוה Himself does this! All glory be to His Name alone! Hallelujah! The Messiah reigning over all the nations, His Kingdom restored and rebuilt, ruling over all! This is great and glorious (far bigger and more wondrous and of eternal significance than the restoration of singing and praise in the church!).
- the blessing of fruitfulness [v.13,14] v.13 - Having just prophesied judgement, יהוה now speaks of the glorious time of restoration that will follow - Jesus’ Messianic rule. When He reigns the curse is lifted from the land and prosperity flows. Hallelujah! God produces life – His blessing always brings reproduction/fruitfulness. There will come a time of great agricultural blessing and productivity upon the land. Harvest continues right on into the time for sowing; and sowing times into the time of harvest - continual, abundant, overwhelming growth and productivity - it just doesn’t stop. The mountains will drip with wine - symbol of joy and blessing. They haven’t been able to harvest all that the land has produced before it is time to start sowing again. No dormant period of winter. They will still be processing the vintage when sowing time comes. The hills will wave with grain, or be softened with moisture, or be dissolved - no longer hard and barren. v.14 - Not only would fertility be restored to the land, also the people would be restored to the land and rebuild it. The Messianic Kingdom is characterized by RESTORATION! Praise God! Israel will return to the land from exile and rebuild the ruins, plant their fields, vineyards and gardens again - make it productive and habitable. Then they will dwell there and live off of the abundant produce of the land. Enjoy the fruit of their labour, the fruitfulness of the land which יהוה has blessed. Still they will work but it will be productive and fruitful because יהוה is blessing it. It is יהוה’s doing: "I will restore ..."; "I will plant ...."; "I have given ...".
- Israel and the land (ha eretz) [v.15] v.15 - יהוה, our God has spoken! He will do this. His people will be planted in the land which He has given them - never to be uprooted again, never more to be exiled. Praise God! Secure and settled in the land of blessing as יהוה had intended from the beginning. Hallelujah! Bless His Name! He will restore His people and bless them abundantly with every provision and cause them to dwell in security. יהוה has given them the land - who dare take it from them?! יהוה will do this! Praise His wonderful and mighty Name! We have seen this fulfilled in our life time - ? a further fulfilment. Restoration tied to the land and agriculture – can't spiritualize it – it refers to the land of Israel, God promised Abraham the land. A strange thing happens in exposition of the Scripture: prophecies of judgement are said to apply to Israel, and prophecies of blessing are said to apply to the church – this is both illogical and inconsistent. Amos is prophesying the restoration of Israel to its land as promised to Abraham at the beginning – fulfilment is tied to the land (ha eretz) and to this earth. But wee have applied the prophesy of Amos to our own day and situation, so too we can apply the message of restoration. There will be a shaking of all things but after that a time of restoration (Acts 3:19-24 Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time. Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brethren; to Him you shall give heed to everything He says to you. And it will be that every soul that does not heed that prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.’ And likewise, all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and his successors onward, also announced these days.) For the remnant that repent there is restoration: security, plenty, fruitfulness, peace, abundance, fulfilment, contentment; but to the one that doesn't heed the Prophet, Jesus Christ, will be utterly destroyed.