A Final Vision

I saw the Lord standing beside the altar, and he said: “Strike the capitals until the thresholds shake, and shatter them on the heads of all the people; and those who are left of them I will kill with the sword; not one of them shall flee away; not one of them shall escape. “If they dig into Sheol, from there shall my hand take them; if they climb up to heaven, from there I will bring them down. If they hide themselves on the top of Carmel, from there I will search them out and take them; and if they hide from my sight at the bottom of the sea, there I will command the serpent, and it shall bite them. And if they go into captivity before their enemies, there I will command the sword, and it shall kill them; and I will fix my eyes upon them for evil and not for good.” The Lord GOD of hosts, he who touches the earth and it melts, and all who dwell in it mourn, and all of it rises like the Nile, and sinks again, like the Nile of Egypt; who builds his upper chambers in the heavens and founds his vault upon the earth; who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out upon the surface of the earth—the LORD is his name. “Are you not like the Cushites to me, O people of Israel?” declares the LORD. “Did I not bring up Israel from the land of Egypt, and the Philistines from Caphtor and the Syrians from Kir? Behold, the eyes of the Lord GOD are upon the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from the surface of the ground, except that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob,” declares the LORD. “For behold, I will command, and shake the house of Israel among all the nations as one shakes with a sieve, but no pebble shall fall to the earth. All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword, who say, ‘Disaster shall not overtake or meet us.’
Amos 9:1–10
A Final Vision
What are we to make of God when we hear of His wrath? The world would convince us that a good and loving God would never do such things to His people. God comes to Amos for a fifth and final vision making two main points. First, because Israel had abandoned the covenant and turned to false gods and idolatry, spurning their fellow man, they gave up their claim to a privileged status before our good and gracious God. Israel would be destroyed, and God would allow it. Only a tiny remnant would be left. Reminding us today that if we insist on living life on our own terms, arrogantly rejecting God’s will for our lives, we too will face judgment. This is the Law. It is hard to hear, and it is painful to be under when we sin. The world says, “See, your God does not love you. Look at the way He treats you.” To which God’s second point to Amos, and us, is made. There is a means of rescue provided by the Lord, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” There is still God’s Word of hope. God is just and shows love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commandments, and a faithful remnant would be spared. The messianic line would continue, and through Christ Jesus God’s people are saved. In His steadfast love and according to His abundant mercy He blots out our sins. The blood of the Lamb and the waters of holy Baptism wash us thoroughly and cleanse us from our sin.
Posted in
Tagged with