By Rev. Jeremiah Cheung
From Amos 9:7-15
9:7 “Are not you Israelites the same to me as the Cushites?” declares the Lord. “Did I not bring Israel up from Egypt, the Philistines from Caphtor and the Arameans from Kir? 8 “Surely the eyes of the Sovereign Lord are on the sinful kingdom. I will destroy it from the face of the earth. Yet I will not totally destroy the descendants of Jacob,” declares the Lord. 9 “For I will give the command, and I will shake the people of Israel among all the nations as grain is shaken in a sieve and not a pebble will reach the ground. 10 All the sinners among my people will die by the sword, all those who say, ‘Disaster will not overtake or meet us.’
11 “In that day “I will restore David’s fallen shelter— I will repair its broken walls and restore its ruins— and will rebuild it as it used to be, 12 so that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations that bear my name,” declares the Lord, who will do these things.
13 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when the reaper will be overtaken by the plowman and the planter by the one treading grapes. New wine will drip from the mountains and flow from all the hills, 14 and I will bring my people Israel back from exile. “They will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them. They will plant vineyards and drink their wine; they will make gardens and eat their fruit. 15 I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land I have given them,” says the Lord your God.
In this passage, we see God’s work on the nation of Israel in three aspects: God’s election, God’s destruction, and God’s construction.
1. God elects
Amos 9:7-8: “Are not you Israelites the same to me as the Cushites?” declares the Lord. “Did I not bring Israel up from Egypt, the Philistines from Caphtor, and the Arameans from Kir? Surely the eyes of the Sovereign Lord are on the sinful kingdom. I will destroy it from the face of the earth. Yet I will not totally destroy the descendants of Jacob,” declares the Lord.
The Lord tells Israel that He is the God of all the nations. Not only did the Lord bring them out of Egypt, but He is also the God who brought the Philistines out of Caphtor and the Arameans out of Kir. Yet God bestows special grace upon Israel. All nations on the earth are sinfully corrupt, but the Lord God did not destroy Jacob’s house, not because Israel was better than the other nations, but because the Lord’s grace is upon them.
2. God demolishes
In vv9-10, God wanted to crush Israel, scatter them among the nations, shake them with a sieve so that not even a single pebble will fall on the ground. He sought to demolish them so he could build them up again. The Lord judged the other nations but did not rebuild them. Only Israel, the nation belonging to God, will be rebuilt after it is destroyed.
The Bible tells us that the Lord disciplines those whom he loves. Is there a father who does not discipline his own children? The Lord loves Israel, and He will not spare them His rod of discipline.
3. God builds
In vv11-15, we see that the Lord will rebuild Israel. v11: “In that day, I will restore David’s fallen shelter— I will repair its broken walls and restore its ruins— and will rebuild it as it used to be.”
The Israel that will be rebuilt will be more prosperous than before. The plowman will overtake the reaper; the planter will be overtaken by the one who treads grapes; the new wine will drip from the mountains and flow from the hills. God’s blessings will flow down one by one; this is grace upon grace. And the exiles will return. They will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them, plant vineyards, drink the wine from them; they will build orchards and eat the fruits from them. The Lord will plant them in the land, never again to be uprooted.
May we, in humility, be demolished and built up by God. Many things in our lives are not pleasing to the Lord, but He does not abandon us. He chooses us, He tears us down, but the purpose is to build us into suitable instruments in his hands for his use.
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毀滅後的重建 | 阿摩司書
9:7 耶和華說, 以色列人哪, 我豈不看你們如古實人麼? 我豈不是領以色列人出埃及地, 領非利士人出迦斐託, 領亞蘭人出吉珥麼? 8 主耶和華的眼目察看這有罪的國, 必將這國從地上滅絕, 卻不將雅各家滅絕淨盡, 這是耶和華說的。9 我必出令, 將以色列家分散在列國中,好像用篩子篩穀, 連一粒也不落在地上。10 我民中的一切罪人說:災禍必追不上我們, 也迎不著我們。他們必死在刀下。
11 到那日,我必建立大衛倒塌的帳幕, 堵住其中的破口, 把那破壞的建立起來, 重新修造, 像古時一樣; 12 使以色列人得以東所餘剩的和所有稱為我名下的國, 此乃行這事的耶和華說的。
13 耶和華說, 日子將到, 耕種的必接續收割的, 踹葡萄的必接續撒種的, 大山要滴下甜酒, 小山都必流奶 14 我必使我民以色列被擄的歸回, 他們必重修荒廢的城邑居住, 栽種葡萄園, 喝其中所出的酒; 修造果木園, 喫其中的果子。15 我要將他們栽於本地, 他們不再從我所賜給他們的地上拔出來,這是耶和華你的神說的。
在這段經文裡, 我們看見神對以色列這個民族, 這個國家三方面的工作: 神揀選, 神拆毀, 神建造。
9:7 耶和華說, 以色列人哪, 我豈不看你們如古實人麼? 我豈不是領以色列人出埃及地, 領非利士人出迦斐託, 領亞蘭人出吉珥麼? 9:8 主耶和華的眼目察看這有罪的國, 必將這國從地上滅絕, 卻不將雅各家滅絕淨盡, 這是耶和華說的。神在告訴以色列, 神是萬國的神, 神不單將他們領出埃及, 也曾領非利士人出迦斐託, 領亞蘭人出吉珥, 但神對以色列卻有特別的恩, 地上都是充滿罪惡的國, 但神卻不將雅各家滅絕淨盡, 不是以色列比別國更好, 是神的恩臨到他們。
從 V9-10 神要拆毀以色列, 要將他們分散在列國中,好像用篩子篩穀, 連一粒也不落在地上。拆毀為要建造起來, 其他的國家神審判他們, 但卻沒有建造他們, 只有以色列這個屬神的國, 神要拆毀她, 因為神要建造她; 聖經告訴我們, 神所愛的, 祂必管教。有誰作父的不管教自己的兒女呢？神愛以色列, 神管教的杖也不離開以免列。
V11-15神要重建以色列。9:11 到那日,我必建立大衛倒塌的帳幕, 堵住其中的破口, 把那破壞的建立起來, 重新修造, 像古時一樣。被重建後的以色列比以前更豐盛, 耕種的必接續收割的, 踹葡萄的必接續撒種的, 大山要滴下甜酒, 小山都必流奶; 神的恩一個一個的下來, 這是恩上加恩; 而且被擄的要歸回, 他們必重修荒廢的城邑居住, 栽種葡萄園, 喝其中所出的酒; 修造果木園, 喫其中的果子; 神要將他們栽在本地, 不再被拔出。
願我們存謙卑的心被神拆毀, 被神建造; 我們生命有很多不蒙神悅納的地方, 但神不放棄我們, 祂揀選我們, 祂拆毀我們, 但目的卻是要建造我們成為神手中合宜的器皿。