The LORD God wields an inescapable sword. He is the universal sovereign. He will sift them. They will be restored.
THE LORD GOD WIELDS AN INESCAPABLE SWORD
VERSE 1. I saw the Lord standing beside the altar, and he said, “Strike the tops of the pillars, that the thresholds may shake; and break them in pieces on the head of all of them; and I will kill the last of them with the sword: there shall not one of them flee away, and there shall not one of them escape.
I saw the Lord. This is the fifth time the sovereign LORD God appeared to Amos.
the thresholds. These were massive foundation stones on which the doorposts were fixed.
break them in pieces on the head of all of them. That is, “Cut off the heads of all the people who yet remain alive.”
VERSE 2. Though they dig into Sheol, there my hand will take them; and though they climb up to heaven, there I will bring them down.
they dig into Sheol. The New Testament describes heaven and eternal life. But what does the Old Testament say about life after death? Read more »
VERSE 3. Though they hide themselves in the top of Carmel, I will search and take them out there; and though they be hidden from my sight in the bottom of the sea, there I will command the serpent, and it will bite them.
VERSE 4. Though they go into captivity before their enemies, there I will command the sword, and it will kill them. I will set my eyes on them for evil, and not for good.
HE IS THE UNIVERSAL SOVEREIGN
VERSE 5. For the Lord, the LORD of Hosts, is he who touches the land and it melts, and all who dwell in it will mourn; and it will rise up wholly like the River, and will sink again, like the River of Egypt.
he who touches the land and it melts. The LORD God merely touches the earth with his finger and the mountains quake and melt.
VERSE 6. It is he who builds his rooms in the heavens, and has founded his vault on the earth; he who calls for the waters of the sea, and pours them out on the surface of the earth; the LORD is his name.
HE WILL SIFT THEM
VERSE 7. Are you not like the children of the Ethiopians to me, children of Israel?” says the LORD. “Haven’t I brought up Israel out of the land of Egypt, and the Philistines from Caphtor, and the Syrians from Kir?
VERSE 8. Behold, the eyes of the Lord GOD are on the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from off the surface of the earth; except that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob,” says the LORD.
VERSE 9. “For, behold, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all the nations, as grain is sifted in a sieve, yet not the least kernel will fall on the earth.
not the least kernel will fall on the earth. They will be shaken. But none will be lost.
VERSE 10. All the sinners of my people will die by the sword, who say, ‘Evil won’t overtake nor meet us.’
THEY WILL BE RESTORED
VERSE 11. In that day I will raise up the tent of David who is fallen, and close up its breaches, and I will raise up its ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old;
NAB translation. On that day I will raise up the fallen hut of David; I will wall up its breaches, raise up its ruins, and rebuild it as in the days of old.
the fallen hut of David. The nation was in disarray. Things had fallen into complete disrepair. Life was in shambles.
I will … rebuild it as in the days of old. Restoration arrives. It is finally “that day.” It’s the day that was prophesied for years and years. It’s here and it’s now.
God is doing something new, right now.
God will restore its gaps and raise its ruins. Its wounds will cease. It will be restored to its full glory. It will return to its divine destiny. It will be everything God had ever meant for it to be.
This will be a great restoration. It will be like what God did through Nehemiah for the Holy City of Jerusalem.
VERSE 12. that they may possess the remnant of Edom, and all the nations who are called by my name,” says the LORD who does this.
NAB translation. That they may conquer what is left of Edom and all the nations that shall bear my name, say I, the LORD, who will do this.
That they may conquer. Part of the purpose of restoration is to launch a new ministry. Restoration gives birth to a bold new outreach.
all the nations that shall bear my name. This new outreach will span the nations. It will be terribly important. It will have great value in leading the people back to being faithful to God’s leading. But it will also have great value also in altering the destiny of the world.
I, the LORD, who will do this. It is LORD God who will do these great things. Of course, the people will take their individual steps of faith. They will step out in obedience to God’s call upon them. But the real fruitfulness lies in the supernatural things God will do on their behalf. The LORD God will cause the victory.
VERSE 13. “Behold, the days come,” says the LORD, “that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the one treading grapes him who sows seed; and sweet wine will drip from the mountains, and flow from the hills.
NASB translation. Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “When the plowman will overtake the reaper And the treader of grapes him who sows seed; When the mountains will drip sweet wine And all the hills will be dissolved.
the plowman will overtake the reaper. Plowing is now the most important thing. Harvesting and reaping is no longer important for them. Plowing takes the pride of place.
the treader of grapes him who sows seed. Similarly, the one who sows the seed will be more important than the one who harvests the grapes.
In Christian circles, people would rather reap converts than patiently sow the seed and plow the soil. They value reaping more than plowing.
But that sense of priorities is turned on its ear. Now, the job is to announce the message, whether or not people embrace it. It’s announcing simply for the sake of announcing.
The primacy of the plower and the sower suggests that at the time of the restoration, there is a famine of the word of God. The task at hand has become to simply proclaim the basic message of God. It isn’t so much about reaping fresh converts.
The basic proclamation of God’s word has become the need of the hour. The basic proclamation will accomplish God’s purposes.
This is a ministry of plowing and sowing. Its effectiveness is independent of visible results. It’s not evaluated based on the number of converts. Its not evaluated based on the number of disciples who grow stronger. Rather, what counts is proclaiming the word of God to the nations.
Their lacking the ministry of reaper and vintager is evident. Amos says the juice of grapes will drip down the mountains and run down the hills. There is fruitfulness, and there is a lot of it.
But they are not the ones to capture that fruitfulness. The fact that their fruitfulness is “lost” to them is OK. That’s now the way supposed to be. Not capturing the fruitfulness is now God’s plan for them. They no longer need to worry about capturing the harvest. They just need to plow and sow. In plowing and sowing, their God-given ministry is complete.
VERSE 14. I will bring my people Israel back from captivity, and they will rebuild the ruined cities, and inhabit them; and they will plant vineyards, and drink wine from them. They shall also make gardens, and eat their fruit.
NAB translation. I will bring about the restoration of my people Israel; they shall rebuild and inhabit their ruined cities, plant vineyards and drink the wine, set out gardens and eat the fruits.
I will bring about the restoration of my people Israel. This restoration will be awesome. The things of old, the way things were for years and years and years, will be no more. There will be no more ruin or lack, famine or poverty, suffering or illness.
rebuild and inhabit their ruined cities. They will have a beautiful place to live. They will have abundance.
plant vineyards and drink the wine. They will have the best food and drink. They will be living a life beyond their wildest dreams of days gone by.
In the past, they couldn’t have dreamed of such a beautiful life.
The real trigger for all this is the LORD God’s initiative of the restoration.
Humanly speaking, the trigger for the restoration is their obedience in taking up this new ministry of sowing and plowing. The trigger is to let go of reaping and harvesting, and shift to plowing and sowing.
VERSE 15. I will plant them on their land, and they will no more be plucked up out of their land which I have given them,” says the LORD your God.
NAB translation. I will plant them upon their own ground; never again shall they be plucked from the land I have given them, say I, the LORD, your God.
I will plant them upon their own ground. They will have their own land.
never again shall they be plucked from the land I have given them. They will no longer have to move about like vagabonds. Other people will no longer step in and order them about. Other people will no longer have authority over them. They will answer directly to God.
And God will give them their land and their health, their abundance and their greatest dreams. God will give them more than they could ever have dreamed.
It’s all God’s initiative. And it starts now.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.