(15 verses, 2:56 to read)
What I am about to READ
- In this final preaching of Amos he flattens the people with the Law and lifts them up with the Gospel.
- This chapter has three major divisions:
- 1-4: You can run but you cannot hide from the Lord’s anger.
- 5-10: The Lord who made heaven will un-make Jerusalem.
- 11-15: The great Gospel crescendo of Amos, the Lord will establish the church.
- Verses 1-4 are like an anti-Psalm 139. In Psalm 139 the Lord gives us the comfort that He will be with us no matter where we go. In these verses in Amos the Lord also promises that we can’t escape His presence, but this is bad news. He will track us down to punish and destroy us.
- In verses 5-10 the Lord’s power is preached against the people. The Lord created everything, and He has the power to destroy it. This is like the old joke the father used, “I brought you into the world, I can take you out of it.” The Lord puts before the people the examples of Ethiopia, Egypt, Philistia, and Syria as examples of His power to destroy.
- The last five verses of Amos are full of comfort. In fact, it is abrupt changes in preaching (as between verse 10 and 11) that shows us the distinction between Law and Gospel. The Lord threatened to destroy the people, and now He is promising to build them up.
- The “tabernacle of David” is preached in verse 11. This is a reference to the promise that the Messiah will be “David’s Son”, 2 Samuel 7, one of the most important and significant promises of the Messiah.
- Notice verse 12, where the Gentiles are included in this rebuild kingdom, and are called by the Lord’s name. This is a promise of the gift of baptism in the New Testament church.
- The book of Amos finishes with a beautiful picture, the plowman overtaking the reaper. There will be such abundance in the kingdom of the Messiah that the one harvesting will be on the heals of the one planting the seeds! Such is the abundance of the Lord’s mercy in the church. There is grace upon grace.
- I have long be suspicious that Martin Luther learned the distinction between Law and Gospel in his study of the minor prophets. We hear in their preaching God’s threats and His promises, and the result is repentance. We fear God because of our sin, and we rejoice in God knowing that our sins are forgiven. In repentance we join all those who heard rightly the preaching of Amos, and we are brought into the promised kingdom of His Son!
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Pr. Bryan Wolfmueller
Hope Lutheran Church, Aurora, CO