Amos pass through it. Like a farmer sifting

Amos was a prophet to the northern tribes of Israel. There
was a time of prosperity and boom in Israel during Amos’ life. Their economy
was strong, and their military was victorious. But despite growing stronger in
force and size, their faith got weaker and weaker. This is the reason why in
Amos 9:7, God is upset with the Israelites about their constant complacency and
lack of desire to stay faithful to Him. Even though He was the one who brought
them out of Egypt, rescued them, took care of their physical and mental needs,
provided them with food and shelter, gave them a cloud by day and a pillar of
fire by night, didn’t let their sandals be torn during their entire time in the
wilderness and helped them cross the red sea. All these things that God did for
them were very conveniently forgotten by the Israelites. The more materialistic
the people of Israel became, the more their they forgot about spirituality and
the relationship they had with God. Every time God’s people sway from Him, He
doesn’t like it. We know from the Bible that God is a jealous God and is very
possessive of us. That is why He would get reasonably upset with the Israelites
because time and again, despite their shortcomings, God loved them and provided
for them. Yet they were ungrateful and turned to other idols and images. Even
though we see God’s anger in verse 8, where He says He will destroy the sinful
nation of Israel from the face of the Earth, He is still bound to the covenant
He made with Jacob and just for their sake, God spared them. In verse 9, God
says He alone gives the command which has the power to shake Israel and all the
nations. Just like when one sifts ingredients through sieve, the purest
materials are the ones that pass through it. Like a farmer sifting grain
in a sieve, God will disperse his people among different nations to separate
the precious and faithful remnant, from the ufaithful.
Using that illustration, God tells us that the shaking that He will cause will
result in the death of all but the ones who are faithful and true to His word.
In the next verse, 10, He says that the sinners will all die because of the
coming judgement which they brought upon themselves. It is the choices of the
Israelites to disobey God which makes Him angry and as a result must punish
them for their sings. Even those who think nothing bad will happen to them will
be struck down. The Lord knows our lives inside out. He can see straight
through us. He saw through the hearts of men and women who tried to excuse
themselves from living a righteous life by fashioning excuses and ideas. They
try to excuse themselves from God’s standards and then think that they are
exempted from punishment and judgement. They developed a very laid back and
relaxed attitude that nothing can harm them. Mainly because they started to see
God as someone who is there but doesn’t really care about a lot of things they do
on Earth. We know that the religion during those days, centered in the city of
Bethel. It taught to be popular rather than seeking God’s righteousness; and
was more concerned about being politically correct than it was about being
true. Verse 11 talks about how God is gracious and despite our failures, He is
the one who restores us into completion. He promises to restore the lineage of
David and repair and rebuild Israel to it’s former glory. Verse 12 mentions the
land that God has in mind for the Israelites. He says that they will posses the
land of Edom. We can see here that it is God who is moving and creating
history. He is the one who is forming nations, raising them and putting them down.
It goes on to show the sovereignty of God’s power of shaping not just history
and the nations, but also shaping our lives. He further goes on to say in verse
13, about His blessing that will upon the land. This will cause the crops and
grains to grow faster. The land will produce more because of the fertility of
the soil and the vineyards which are full of produce, will generate good wine.
God says that after the scattering of His people, one day, He will bring them
all back and rebuild their ruined cities and help them live a good life again
with grain and wine. The Lord further says in verse 15 that He will plant them
in their land firmly. Never to leave again. When we look at all this text
today, we see the fullness of everything God said. The scattering of
Israelites, the destruction that they faced as well as the restoration and
rebuilding of the land.

If the Israelites heard Amos’ words before leaving Egypt
and entering the wilderness, they would have had greater reverence and fear of
God who clearly warned them about the time that will destroy them because of
their own sinfulness. As a result, if they would have obeyed the Lord and
walked according to His steps, they may not even have been in the wilderness
for 40 years. God tests to see the Heart of men and women. It is amazing to see
God’s grace even through the narrative of this text. Even though God is angry and
talks about the death of those who are sinful, He still gives a promise of
restoration. Because of the covenant He made with His people, He will ensure
that their race not only survives but thrives, which we can see continuing even
today. It is interesting to note that all the verses from 7-15 have the
pronoun ‘I’ in them. In all the verses, God is saying “I will” and “I am”. This
points out the supreme authority that God has.

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