A Bright Future

Amos 9:11-15

Anyone familiar with Bible as whole would certainly agree that some portions of it easier to grasp than others. Some are even downright difficult – either to understand their meaning and/or proper application. So we don’t get into a hermeneutical swamp, interpreting texts in haphazard way, is vitally important to have sound starting principles of interpretation with respect to the Bible. Here a couple to help get started:

“The “analogy of Scripture” …emphasizes more explicitly that Scripture is consistent with itself and thus does not contain contradictions. Because of this consistency, obscure passages are to be interpreted by other clear and parallel passages in the Scriptures.” H. Wayne Johnson

“It is of the greatest importance to understand at the outset that Scripture has but a single sense, and is therefore susceptible to a scientific and logical investigation. This fundamental principle must be placed emphatically in the foreground, in opposition to the tendency, revealed in history and persisting in some quarters even up to the present time, to accept a manifold sense,- a tendency that makes any science of Hermeneutics impossible, and opens wide the door for all kinds of arbitrary interpretations.” Louis Berkhof

Now bear in mind, may be innumerable applications of a particular text, although only one correct interpretation. That correct interpretation corresponds with what God Holy Spirit intended to communicate. Is especially helpful when the same Holy Spirit who inspired the writing of a prophecy later in Scripture inspires the writing of its interpretation. Is true for part of present text. More on that in few minutes.

One commentator has said:

“The funeral dirge is turned into a song of mercy. The prophet is rewarded for faithful service and is comforted with the thought, that after the destruction of ungodly elements, Divine grace shall rear, enlarge and prosper a kingdom which shall never be destroyed.” James Wolfendale

Incredible promises made personally by God himself! What he intends to do at some point in future, making plain he had not nor would he abandon his people indefinitely. Also important to keep in mind: God’s promises all have more than this world / this age in view.

A. I will raise up v.11

the tabernacle/booth of David

not referring to “tabernacle” David erected for Ark of Covenant for its return to Jerusalem – 2 Sam. 6:17

is referring to “house” God promised to build for David – read2 Sam. 7:11-16

at time of Amos, David’s houise in total disarray – needed more than redecorating, renovating… needed total rebuild – prophet reminding people God’s promise still in force

on a better foundation

David built his house on loyalty to God, quality largely lost in generations that followed him; would need to be redone from ground up in order to endure

abundantly clear from history that any man-engineered dynasty eventually crumbles – enduring dynasty requires God establishing foundation and building on it

with better walls

breaches need to be repaired… for protection of inhabitants from assaults of the enemy, #1 being Satan and his agents

like foundation, walls need to be raised up in such a way as to last forever – God doesn’t build things with limited lifetime

and restored materials

materials had been damaged, knocked out of place, rendered useless – God excels at restoring things to better than new

materials are of far better quality, greater usefulness – since he promised house and kingdom established forever, can’t use same old things to build it with

B. I will rebuild v.12

on “international” scale

will include near neighbors – Edomites, descended from Israel’s brother Esau – and all surrounding nations: πάντα τα έθνη

newly rebuilt booth of David much larger than old booth – stretches far beyond Israel’s geographic and cultural/religious borders

that is inclusive

those from “all the nations” who belong to God – not just ethnic or religious Jews who stand under protection of David’s booth

includes people from every tribe, tongue, people and nation redeemed to God by blood of Christ and made kingdom of kings and priests to glory of God

and ongoing – see Acts 15:14-18

we know this to be true… because Bible interprets itself – read apostle James’ conclusion given at Jerusalem Council

for beginning years of God’s people, largely limited to one people group – not replaced by another people group but added to: raise up rebuild, repair but no hint of replace

absolutely essential component of foundation in restored booth – “The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone.” Psa. 118:22

is eternal self-existent YHWH doing this

no room for boasting – is God through Christ who does the building: no mortal man can ever fashion anything eternal

regardless of what man might build that looks like Christ’s kingdom, is only the one he builds that counts, endures

C. I will bring back v.14

my people from captivity

God’s people from Adam to last saint without exception in captivity, powerless to extricate themselves… if even desired to

God does two things – gives people new desires, incl. desire for him, and releases from captivity in sin so can act on desires

in fulfillment of my word through Isaiah – see Isa. 61:1-2a; Luke 4:17-20

God promised, Jesus claimed fulfillment – “proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison” – occurs each time sinner made alive

God will continue releasing captives until “the day of vengeance of our God” comes – continuously building booth until complete

and make them productive

chain gang gets some work accomplished, never as much as free people with a mind/heart to work – cf. Neh. 6:15, 52 days

build and live, plant and drink, grow and eat – can / does happen to some extent now… but only in limited ways

D. I will plant v.15

on their own land

not on foreign soil, on their own land promised to them – no, not at far end of Mediterranean, promises are way too big for that

land that God has given to them for which Canaan only a down-payment – has real, eternal Paradise in view, new universe

never again uprooted

God guarantees will never be pulled up from that land – that obviously has not happened yet where we can see it

iow, an eternal planting

time and place where future not in doubt – security and productivity guaranteed by God, no possibility of interference by anyone

E. great blessing v.13

in a land of mind-blowing productivity

land and plants trying to outdo themselves – grow and produce so rapidly not enough time to harvest before time for next planting

ground itself overflowing with goodness, nothing remaining to retard or reduce productivity – all things functioning in top form as designed by Creator-God

like the valley of Eschol – Numbers 13:23, 27

two men carrying one cluster of grapes on pole, land overflowing with richness, luxuriant growth not before seen by Israelites

yet more so

because the Curse is removed – nothing hinders productivity of either God’s people or the place they inhabit – creation cooperates willingly with their labors

this kind of character applies to life in next age in every respect, blessing and productivity not limited to agriculture but extending to all aspects of eternal existence

“The importance of these principles is illustrated in the prophecy of Amos regarding “raising up the tabernacle of David” (Amos 9:11-12). Written prior to the Assyrian invasion of 722 BC, Amos describes a glorious Israel inhabiting a land of supernatural fruitfulness and ruling over elect Gentiles from around the world. Reading this prophecy without any further clues might lead one to imagine a future theocratic kingdom of Israel, replete with a temple, priestly service, and a king ruling the nations.

However, as the NT church began to grow, James declared to the council meeting in Jerusalem that the flood of Gentiles coming to faith was in fact the fulfillment of Amos’s prophecy (Acts 15:12-17). David’s raised tabernacle is nothing less that the NT Kingdom of God comprised of believing Jews and Gentiles.” David Daniels

Christ is building his church but not with ultimate conclusion in this age – is building it for time of future complete redemption, eternal existence in new heaven and new earth. God himself has declared what he is doing and he is working on a timetable. We don’t know precisely where we are on timeline; we do know end of this age is coming. Must do our part now to help others prepare for then.

The fact that God is raising up, rebuilding, restoring is what gives confidence to his people. Means that when we faithfully declare truth, results are up to God. We know from his word that he will use faithful children living and speaking what is pleasing to him to bring about his good purpose. May mean getting outside comfort zone… just like Moses. Like him, have assurance that God goes with his people, guides their steps, makes their labors productive in building his kingdom. And he has an unimaginably glorious future in store for all his people.

 

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