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Bible Commentaries

Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected Books of the Bible
Amos 9

 

 

Introduction

God Saw The Sinful Kingdom
- Amos Nine -

God promised Israel that He would bring judgment upon this sinful nation in such a way that no one would escape. They would be treated like the rebellious Philistines and the Syrians had been treated. Many of the wicked in Israel felt that they were too strong to be overcome by such a judgment, but they were mistaken. God said, "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." (Amos 9:8)

God promised that he would raise up the tabernacle of David His elect, and rebuild it in its glory. James quoted this very passage in Acts 15:15-18 and applied it to the church in which both Jews and Gentiles are accepted in Christ. The church is the true Israel of God. Amos prophesied of that time that Gentiles would be called by God"s name. The prophesy that Gentiles would be called by God"s name had its fulfillment in Antioch and also unto this day. "And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch." (Acts 11:26)


Verses 1-4

God"s judgment on Israel --Amos 9:1-4 : The people of Israel had been unfaithful to God. They had worshipped idols, taken advantage of the poor, been dishonest in business and been very violent. Now they would face punishment by many of them being killed and by others being exiled in a foreign land. In a vision Amos saw the Lord standing by the altar in the idols temple. He shook the columns and they fell and destroyed many of the unfaithful people. Those that tried to escape were killed with the sword. God said, (1) Not one of them shall flee away, and (2) Not one of them shall escape. It would be impossible for these people to escape from the wrath of God. The impossibility of escaping from God"s judgment is seen in the words, "If they dig into Sheol, from there shall my hand take them; if they climb up to heaven, from there I will bring them down." This is the same idea used by David in Psalm 139 to prove that there is no escape from God"s wrath.

Amos reminded the people that there would be no escape from the judgment of God. Neither a mountain nor the bottom of an ocean would hide a person from the Almighty. God said, "If they escape to the peaks of Mount Carmel, I will search and find them. And if they hide from me at the bottom of the ocean, I will command a sea monster to bite them." Nothing is really hidden from the vision of God. "All things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do." (Hebrews 4:13) God promised that many would die by the sword. They had no respect for human life, so now it was time to reap what they had sown. God said, "I will fix my eyes upon them for evil and not for good." The evil spoken of here is not something morally wrong. Their rebellion had brought things to such a point that God was determined to hurt them, not help them.


Verse 5-6

The Lord God is all-powerful -- Amos 9:5-6 : Amos gave an amazing picture of God"s judgment. He said, "When the LORD God All-Powerful touches the earth, it melts, and its people mourn. God makes the earth rise and then fall, just like the Nile River." The expression "the Lord GOD of hosts" means that God is the God of armies and all other forces that can be used to bring about his will. God is the high and exalted one. He has built his palace in the heavens. He allowed the foundation of His palace to rest on the earth. The Lord is the one that "calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out upon the surface of the earth."

Through His prophet Amos god made known to the people that He is exalted as the highest heavens. God is also powerful and strong enough to take possession of all things. The psalmist wrote, "The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted." (Psalms 18:46) Israel was at that point in history where they would learn that God means what He says. Mankind is always better off to do the will of God.


Verses 7-10

The Lord He is God -- Amos 9:7-10 : God wanted it understood that not only was Israel dependent upon God but that the entire world stood in total dependence on the Almighty. "Are you not like the Cushites to me, O people of Israel?" declares the LORD. "Did I not bring up Israel from the land of Egypt, and the Philistines from Caphtor and the Syrians from Kir?" (Amos 9:7) God is independent but every man is dependent upon Him. What does the Lord see when He looks at us? When he looked at Israel His eyes saw what a sinful nation they were. God promised that (1) He would wipe out the sinful people, and (2) He promised that he would leave a few of Jacob"s descendants. This was the Lord"s promise. There would be a remnant left after the captivity had ended. In Ezra 2:64 we read, "The whole congregation together was forty and two thousand three hundred and threescore."

In a vivid word picture Amos showed the judgment of God against Israel. God would command the heathen nations to sift the Israelites like grain. The Israelites that remained faithful would be scattered among the nations. The rebellious would be trapped like trash in a sifter and destroyed. In His judgment God would deal with all of Israel. False prophets belittled the idea that any danger was threatening the nation of Israel. They cry "Peace, peace; when there is no peace." (Jeremiah 6:14) God said, "All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword, who say, "Disaster shall not overtake or meet us."


Verses 11-15

The LORD promised Israel a blessing -- Amos 9:11-15 : God did promise that a remnant of Israel would return to their home land. When the remnant returned they would never be taken again bodily out of Palestine. The nation would lose its power but it would happen while they still lived in the land. In what is now a much abused passage God said, "In the future, I will rebuild David"s fallen kingdom." He promised that he would bring Israel from ruin and set it up again as a nation. When the chastisement at the hands of the heathen nations was complete God promised, "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."

Israel would possess some of those nations that had troubled them in the past. "That they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations who are called by my name," declares the LORD who does this." (Amos 9:12) When the people repented and were properly punished God would bless the remnant of this beaten down people. Prosperity would return and the harvest would be great. They would have such a harvest that they would not be able to bring in all their grain. When it was time to plant again there would still be crops from last season. What a contrast in gaining wealth from honest work and from gaining wealth by cheating the poor!

God promised to make Israel prosper again. The people would rebuild their towns and live in them. They would drink wine from their own vineyards and eat the fruit they had grown. A remnant of the Lord"s people would be brought out of captivity. God promised, "I will plant them on their land, and they shall never again be uprooted out of the land that I have given them," The nation was finally brought under the control of others but it was while they were in the land. They were never taken out of Palestine again after the return from this captivity.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at BibleSupport.com. Public Domain.

Bibliography Information
Box, Charles. "Commentary on Amos 9:4". "Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected books of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/box/amos-9.html. 2014.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, October 14th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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