Amosby J.R. Hudberg
Many of us grow up on stories that end ″happily ever after″. However, once we've had some life experience, we discover that finding a good, happy resolution is not as simple as we once believed. Amid the difficulties of life, trying to end a story happily takes a lot of work, patience, apologies, and forgiveness.
But the resolution that follows the climax of Amos' prophecies tells us that there really is a ″happily ever after″. After the many chapters of Israel's sin and God's judgment, the book of Amos ends with the beautiful picture of Israel's future.
Coming back to ″that day″ (Amos 9:11), Amos now describes not death and destruction, but life more abundant than one can imagine. God will not only restore Israel to her land (v. 15), but will also rebuild her walls, and bless her crops (v. 11, 13-14). And all this will be done by God himself. The many references to ″I″ in these verses are significant, just as they were in the sections on judgment. God is not present in discipline and distant in blessing; rather, He is active among His people at all times, both in consequence and in reward.
God himself paints a picture of an Israel so abundant with life that they cannot keep up with its produce (v. 13). The people will still be eating the fruits of the previous harvest when the time comes to plant. This abundant fertility is coupled with peace with their neighbours (as shown by them being able to plant vineyards, live in cities, and not be uprooted). Not only will they enjoy abundant harvests, but they will also be able to enjoy the fruit of their vines and the crops of their fields in peace and safety.
And, amazingly, this is not even the greatest blessing of the resolution.
Throughout his prophetic speeches, Amos has been speaking the words of the Lord to Israel and reminding them that it is the Lord who has spoken. Until now, he has been referring to God as ″the Lord,″ ″the Sovereign Lord,″ ″the Lord God Almighty,″ or ″the Lord Almighty″. Here, right at the end, Amos refers to Him as ″the Lord your God″ (v. 15). The ultimate resolution is not restoration to prosperity, but restoration to a relationship with the God who chose them.
How will you wait for the coming day when all things are made right and God's reign is full and final? What activities will become important as you think about the fullness of God's kingdom? How will you pray about it?
Is there a particular aspect of the coming kingdom that you are anticipating most? What is it and why?