You are fighting with siblings, mocking each other, playing pranks that cross the line, while you get close to annihilating each other as kids growing up in any given household. Who steps in and lays down the law? Who cares enough to stop the madness so you won’t kill each other? Who proclaims the message to cease the destruction and chaos with consequences that will happen if you do not? It is probably the parents, teachers, or grandparents—the ones in authority over you who love and care for us most. It grieves parents when their kids do not get along and want to hurt each other.
When kids question the resulting discipline, they ask why? What do parents say? “Because I said so.” That meant the discussion is over. The whiny and weak excuses for disobedience are no longer heard. It’s a judgement call.
It’s also breaks the heart of our Father God when we fight with our brothers and sisters. God stands ready with blessings of growing in His character with heaping amounts of His love to all who call on Him for help and correction with guidance with direction. Refusing to stop our destructive habits will soon destroy us and those around us. So, God will step in to correct the situation because there is always someone praying for help who sees, believes, and is affected by the evil. When God does step in with discipline, administered with love, mercy and grace, we should not question when God says, “Because I said so.” God’s decree.
Amos 9, The Message
Israel Thrown into a Sieve
1-4 I saw my Master standing beside the altar at the shrine. He said:
“Hit the tops of the shrine’s pillars,
make the floor shake.
The roof’s about to fall on the heads of the people,
and whoever’s still alive, I’ll kill.
No one will get away,
no runaways will make it.
If they dig their way down into the underworld,
I’ll find them and bring them up.
If they climb to the stars,
I’ll find them and bring them down.
If they hide out at the top of Mount Carmel,
I’ll find them and bring them back.
If they dive to the bottom of the ocean,
I’ll send Dragon to swallow them up.
If they’re captured alive by their enemies,
I’ll send Sword to kill them.
I’ve made up my mind
to hurt them, not help them.”
5-6 My Master, God-of-the-Angel-Armies,
touches the earth, a mere touch, and it trembles.
The whole world goes into mourning.
Earth swells like the Nile at flood stage;
then the water subsides, like the great Nile of Egypt.
God builds his palace—towers soaring high in the skies,
foundations set on the rock-firm earth.
He calls ocean waters and they come,
then he ladles them out on the earth.
God, your God, does all this.
* * *
7-8 “Do you Israelites think you’re any better than the far-off Cushites?” God’s Decree.
“Am I not involved with all nations? Didn’t I bring Israel up from Egypt, the Philistines from Caphtor, the Arameans from Qir? But you can be sure that I, God, the Master, have my eye on the Kingdom of Sin. I’m going to wipe it off the face of the earth. Still, I won’t totally destroy the family of Jacob.” God’s Decree.
9-10 “I’m still giving the orders around here. I’m throwing Israel into a sieve among all the nations and shaking them good, shaking out all the sin, all the sinners. No real grain will be lost, but all the sinners will be sifted out and thrown away, the people who say, ‘Nothing bad will ever happen in our lifetime. It won’t even come close.’
Blessings Like Wine Pouring off the Mountains
11-12 “But also on that Judgment Day I will restore David’s house that has fallen to pieces. I’ll repair the holes in the roof, replace the broken windows, fix it up like new. David’s people will be strong again and seize what’s left of enemy Edom, plus everyone else under my sovereign judgment.” God’s Decree. He will do this.
13-15 “Yes indeed, it won’t be long now.” God’s Decree.
“Things are going to happen so fast your head will swim, one thing fast on the heels of the other. You won’t be able to keep up. Everything will be happening at once—and everywhere you look, blessings! Blessings like wine pouring off the mountains and hills. I’ll make everything right again for my people Israel:
“They’ll rebuild their ruined cities.
They’ll plant vineyards and drink good wine.
They’ll work their gardens and eat fresh vegetables.
And I’ll plant them, plant them on their own land.
They’ll never again be uprooted from the land I’ve given them.”
God, your God, says so.
WHAT DO WE LEARN—HOW DO WE RESPOND?
This final chapter of the book shares four affirmations from the heart of the Lord—three of which deal with judgment and the fourth with mercy.
- They couldn’t hide from God on the highest mountain or in the depths of the sea (see Psalm 139:7–12). We cannot hide from God.
- Amos reminded the people of the greatness of the God they thought they were worshiping.
- He is the God of creation, who can melt the earth with a touch and make the land rise and fall like the swelling of the River of Egypt. He controls the heavens, the earth, and the seas, and no one can stay His hand.
- God is always the God of mercy, who will keep His covenant with Abraham and his descendants and not destroy the nation. The nations would be sifted, and the sinners punished, but not one of His true worshipers would be lost. God always watches over the believing remnant so that they might fulfill His will on the earth.
One day, God will restore, repair, and rebuild the dynasty of David and establish the kingdom He promised. When Jesus Christ comes again, the breach between Israel and Judah will be healed, and there will be one nation submitted to one king. God will bless the land and the people, and His people shall live in peace and security. It will be a time of peace and prosperity to the glory of the Lord.
Because Jesus carried all the sins of the world to the cross and crucified them there, we who believe that He did and repent of our sins in His Name are saved. We are redeemed. All that was broken is refreshed and restored to a new life with Him.
God will restore what is broken when we turn from evil and call on Him for help. There is no one so broken that God cannot restore. There is nothing that God cannot do.
Because God said so! God’s decree.
Thank you for saving my soul, repairing what was broken, while restoring the joy and peace of your salvation at work in me daily. Thank you teaching me. Thank you for guidance, correction, comfort, affirmation, encouragement and reminders of your love, mercy and grace because of your Holy Spirit living in me. I’m not where I want to be but I’m closer to you than before. Thank you for your love, patience, mercy and grace for me.
In Jesus Name, Amen