Archive for May 20th, 2017

It is unfair to the books of the prophets to boil them down to a formula, but many of their premises are very similar. The openings of the books are a little more varied, often being either a call to repentance or a statement of where and when a particular prophet received his message. What follows is a series of judgements of varying lengths, ending in a promise of redemption.

Amos is not unusual in this respect. It starts with exposition regarding Amos’ vision, then proceeds into judgements upon Israel and Judah, and ends with a promise of restoration for Israel. The last verse in particular, verse 21, is very encouraging; it promises that God will pardon the sins of His people, and that He will make His home in Jerusalem with them.

This is a theme that is omnipresent throughout the Bible. Indeed, the very structure of God’s Word in its entirety is exactly that: it starts with an account of creation, followed by accounts of the times his creation got it wrong, and then Revelation gives a promise of restoration and redemption when He returns. This is a promise that we can hold on to – that although there may be weeping through the night, joy comes with the morning (Psalm 30:5b).

We know a little of their practical sufferings through books such as Daniel – of being forced to worship other gods and even being kept as slaves, so we can imagine the joy they must have felt as a result of hearing the promise that their situation would not last forever.

We can take a similar joy from this. Life is hard sometimes, and it’s easy to feel that our sufferings will never leave us; however, the books of the prophets teach us that this is not the case, that suffering will pass in time, and that we will be stronger because of it, just like Amos’ promise that God would reside in Jerusalem with His people again.

Additionally, although we ourselves aren’t in slavery, or under religious persecution, this is not true for the entire world. In places such as North Korea, people are tortured and killed for a professing a faith; although it is difficult for us to personally do something about this, we can do one thing – pray, and speak out the promise of God that restoration will come.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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King Jesus, we thank You that Your promises stand true. Keep us upright in our own suffering, and we pray for Your Kingdom to come to earth. We declare Your name sovereign over the darkest parts of our world.

May 2017
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