“Strike the capitals until the thresholds shake, and shatter them on the heads of all the people.” The Lord God was ordering the destruction of the place of divine worship. God’s people would be driven out of the special land that He had given to them.
There was no place for Israel to run and hide. The One who ruled over heaven and earth would stand against them as their enemy. His power was formidable as the God who “touches the earth and it melts.” Could they appeal to Him based upon their favored status as an elect people group? He discouraged any such entreaties, calling them a “sinful kingdom.” The Lord had brought them out of Egypt into Canaan, but then He had also taken even the Philistines and the Syrians from a former homeland and given them a new life in a far-off territory. In short, Israel could not presume to point with pride to their status as a chosen people when they were rebelling against the Lord’s commandments.
Despite these uncompromising words of judgment, there was still hope for some among the Jews. “I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob.” Jehovah announced a future resurrection of a coming David. “In that day I will raise up the booth of David that is fallen.” An eternal world of blessing would be brought into existence, not just for Jews, but also for “all the nations who are called by My Name.” At a crucial moment in the very early history of the New Testament church (Acts 15:16-17), James would quote Amos 9:11-12 to prove that the Hebrew prophets had long ago anticipated a coming era when Gentiles would worship the God of Israel without first having to become circumcised Jews.
The death and resurrection of Jesus was the beginning of a new world full of bountiful life for people all over the world. Without Jesus as our Substitute, we would have no possibility of fleeing the Lord’s devastating justice against us. What an enemy we would have in the Lord of Hosts! Yet our loving Father has far better plans for us than unending despair. Because of the righteousness and blood of Jesus, we know that we have the best of all possible defenders as our heavenly Advocate. What a Friend we have in Jesus!
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Lord God, there will finally come a Day of Judgment. Just as the Old Covenant ended, the current age will eventually be completed. No man shall be able to escape from You. Our only hope in that Day will be the great Son of David, the Lord Jesus Christ. Because He lives, You will not make a full end of Your people. Through the resurrection of Christ You have raised up the booth of David. Even the nations who were far off have now begun to worship You through this Messiah. There will be a great future era of prosperity for all the Jews and Gentiles who are called by Your name. Peace and prosperity shall be ours forever in You.