“‘In that day I will raise up the booth of David that is fallen and repair its breaches, and raise up its ruins and rebuild it as in the days of old, that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations who are called by my name,’ declares the LORD who does this” (vv. 11–12).
Despite the fact that Amos’ book is filled with oracles of judgment and doom against the nation of Israel (2:4–16; 4; 5:25–27; 7:1–9; 8), he does not close his work on a note of desperation. Yes, the impenitent covenant community would suffer for its flagrant violations of God’s law, but as the Lord has done throughout the history of salvation, He would use this destruction as the means of saving His faithful remnant (see Gen. 6:8–8:22). On the other side of judgment, there would be a restoration far greater in the blessings for Israel than His punishment of Israel under divine wrath. Amos 9:11–15 records this final vision of restoration, pointing to a day when the covenant people, having been exiled into pagan lands to serve pagan peoples, would see their fortunes reversed. Though even David would suffer the fall of his own house—the southern kingdom of Judah and its capital, Jerusalem, would not escape judgment alongside Israel—his booth would rise again (v. 11). At that time, things for the covenant people would be like “the days of old”—the good old days when there was one nation and not a division of the kingdom into Israel and Judah. But things would be far better than that. God’s people would “possess the remnant of Edom” (v. 12). They would sit over the kingdom that pursued them with unparalleled cruelty (1:11–12). But they would also sit over all the nations called by the name of the Lord, Edom included (9:12). The Gentiles would serve Israel and Israel’s Lord, the one true Creator of all. We must not miss the great truth that this restoration would be due only to God’s grace. The Lord chose the Israelites in the first place not because of their righteousness, but simply because He decided to set His love on Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their offspring (Deut. 4:37; 9:4). God preserved a remnant by that same grace, so the grand restoration would be His work alone as well. God promised unparalleled abundance in this restoration. The land’s fertility would be so great that the harvesters would be unable to finish their work before plowing and sowing began again. Even normally uncultivatable mountain steppes would bring forth grapes for wine (Amos 9:13–14). The people of the Lord would be secure in their land forever (v. 15). These were great promises indeed to a people who suffered constant invasions and exhausted themselves just to coax enough food from the land to sustain life.
Coram DeoLiving before the face of God
All the aforementioned blessings were originally promised to Israel for obedience to God’s law (Deut. 28:1–14). That they would enjoy these blessings in the restoration points to a day when the people would obey the Lord fully. Ultimately, Amos foresaw a time when God would write His law on the hearts of His people, the same blessing the other prophets reveal more explicitly (Jer. 31:31–34). God has begun this work in His new covenant people, and we long for the day when it will be consummated.