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23 Amos(5・The last inning

As remaining people of the Lord

Amos 9:7-15
Acts 15:13-18
T Faith of high quality to believe the Lord

 It is the last inning of prophet Amos. I tried to read over messages which have told until now once again. Amos was called for words of God, and, while shuddering with weight of the judgment, he strongly had the wish that Israel would be not fallen. I love such him very much. He was sent to the Northern Kingdom and understood well that Israel should be made a prey of Assyria empire aggression, but was groping for whether there is still hope in such Israel. While telling words of God, Amos stood before God like Moses, and interceded hard. The thought of such Amos; it overflows and reaches from his last message. Verse 7-15 consists of two parts, but we want to hear it from the both messages.

 At first, it is from Verse 7-10; and there is it, "Are you not as the sons of Ethiopia to Me, O sons of Israel?" (7). Cush, this is an old saying in Egypt, and it is a symbol of people against God. Amos said "Have I not brought up Israel from the land of Egypt, and the Philistines from Caphtor and the Arameans from Kir?" (7), but Israel have had a pride as the continuation of "people of selection of God", because they have been taken out from Egypt by God. However, it was not only Israel that was taken out. They forgot that Philistine and Aramean, both have been moved in a hand of God. They did only formal Yahweh worship all the time; however, in the actual situation, they drew gods of the neighboring Cannan races which they looked down on and performed immorality and oppressed poor people while assuming that they were only the chosen people of God and other races were foreigners entirely. The morals of high quality and the standard of the judgment which is equality-related fairness to overwhelm a race other than Israel were born from faith believing God; but if it is lost in the principle, their continuation reason will be lost and they will be no different from racial other than the outskirts at all. And will not it be to apply to us of the present age?

U Be sifted of God

 There is the reason why God is going to judge them Israel there. "'Behold, the eyes of the Lord God are on the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from the face of the earth; nevertheless, I will not totally destroy the house of Jacob,' declares the Lord." (8) This kingdom and a following "house of Jacob" do not specify the Northern Kingdom and south kingdom, but point at all Israel. Perhaps Amos has moved to some town of south Judah kingdom at this time. He was said, "Go to the land of Judah," in Chapter 7 from priest Amaziah of Bethel, and he would withdraw from the Northern Kingdom. And there, he began to tell a message not only to the Northern Kingdom but to all Israel.

 Amos expected that the people who were going to stand before God definitely were there, even if they were a little, among the all Israel. Therefore now, his last message to the people who must hear the judgment of God became a message of hope mainly on "Nevertheless, I will not totally destroy the house of Jacob.". It is Verse 9-10. "For behold, I am commanding, and I will shake the house of Jacob among all nations as grain is shaken in a sieve, but not a kernel will fall to the ground. All the sinners of My people will die by the sword, those who say, 'The calamity will not overtake or confront us.'" A sieve; it says the state that the wheat which threshed sifts, in a threshing ground, and grain and straw and a pebble are sorted out. So that, Israel, the people who was approved justice by God, are sifted by the judgment of God, and will be left. Amos is telling the hope of remaining people avoiding the judgment of God with "Perhaps the Lord of hosts may be gracious to the remnant of Joseph" (5:15), while doing the last warning that they will be cut off like a stone and straw, if they are convinced that "An evil does not come" and similar as willful greed and live. The faith of (remaining persons), it became a central message of prophets before long; and it was applied to Christians in the times of the New Testament who believe Jesus.

V As remaining people of the Lord

 Verse 11-15; it is the last message of Amos, but it begins "In that day I will raise up the fallen booth of David, and wall up its ruins, and rebuild it as in the days of old;" (11). This "the fallen booth of David" is regarded as a shrine of Jerusalem, but, both shrines, restored the second shrine of the times of Ezra and restored and spread by Herod, did not amount to a shrine of the ex-Solomons. "In the days of old", it is thought that it points at David dynasty itself rather than a shrine of the Solomon. The revival of David dynasty was earnest wish of this two thousand several hundred years of Israel which lost it. The Jew is thinking that neither the shrine nor the David dynasty revive until the present age.

 There is it in Verse 12, "That they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations who are called by My name,". There are people thinking this to be the countries which betrayed Israel including Edom to become the follower again, but surely, there are many Jews dreaming of revival of Israel of such a politics. However, this prophet does not tell such a dream here. While talking thus, Amos incised it on his heart that Israeli Cannan rule has produced their arrogance in this way and destroyed a country. There is it; "'Behold, days are coming,' declares the Lord, 'When the plowman will overtake the reaper and the treader of grapes him who sows deed; when the mountains will drip sweet wine, and all the hills will be dissolved.'" (13). It is Israeli peace and scenery of prosperity, and it is time of the end / "the Day of the Lord", Amos showed it repeatedly. There is it, too; "'Also I will restore the captivity of My people Israel, and they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them, they will also plant vineyards and drink their wine, and make gardens and eat their fruit. I will also plant them on their land, and they will not again be rooted out from their land which I have given them,' says the Lord your God." (14-15). It focuses on the end rather than Israeli rule, and I feel that it has told peace of basic coexistence and co-prosperity, prosperity and hope.

 However, there is a person who heard it while applying his last message to more concrete situation. He is Jacob who is a brother of Jesus / the first supervision of Jerusalem church. When foreigner Christians were born, at the first church conference to make a subject of defense of the law to where, he said. "Simon has related how God first concerned Himself about taking from among the Gentiles a people for His name. And with this the words of the Prophets agree, just as it is written," And he quoted words of Amos. "After these things I will return, and I will rebuild the tabernacle of David which has fallen and I will rebuild its reins, and I will restore it, in order that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who are called by My name," (Acts 15:16-17) I do not know whether Amos was conscious, but, Jesus is the time of God, the time of peace and hope of the end, too. And we must convey the message that peace and hope are still more to this modern society going to ruin towards the end, as "remaining people of the Lord" who received the salvation of Jesus. Prophet Amos, he was called to convey the stern judgment of God, but he stared at gentleness / love of God. I pray that I want to be a person staring at love and gentleness of God while learning it from prophet Amos.