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Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Amos 9 : 1-15

““On that day I will raise up The tabernacle of David, which has fallen down,….. That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and all the Gentiles who are called by My name,” says the Lord who does this thing. –Amos 9:11&12

Amos’ message came to God’s people at a time of their complacency, when the people enjoyed a time of affluence such that their devotion to God was just superficial. They had their altars of worship but had allowed the cultures and pagan worship to intermingle, as a result of which God’s commands and real worship were discarded. There was a great divide between the rich and the poor and injustice was the norm of the land. To those who wrongly thought calamity would not strike them, God sent His judgment (Amos 9:10).

In the midst of despair and the judgment pronounced by God, there are strands of hope. Amos 3:7 tells us: “Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets.” It was after several warnings to the people about their ways, though messages and events in nature whereby the Lord was seeking to get their attention to amend their ways, that the final judgment came. The message of repentance was given to them: ‘For thus says the LORD to the house of Israel: “Seek Me and live;”’ (Amos 5:4) Though doom is spelt out in the first part of our reading today, there is a ray of hope – of restoration when God would rebuild the tent of David and a remnant for the Lord from even the Gentiles would be preserved.

The key verse looks forward to the promise of Christ who would come from the line of David and also the Gentiles who would come to believe in the Lord and together they would be the chosen people of God. This prophecy was quoted by Apostle James in Acts 15:15-17:  “And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written: ‘After this I will return And will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down; I will rebuild its ruins, And I will set it up; So that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, Even all the Gentiles who are called by My name, Says the LORD who does all these things.’ This was a turning point for the first church to understand God’s salvation plan included the Gentiles too. 

To be called/known by His name means we are adopted into God’s family; we are His possession; as His children we bear His “likeness”- His character (McLaren Commentary). That’s a great privilege but also a greater responsibility. When we bear His name, we are His representatives in the world. 1 Peter 2: 9-10 says, “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God….”  We are His light in this dark world to lead others to the Light of the world!

Bearing His name, we are set apart from the world that constantly tries to fit us into its mould! Our lives are to be different from the rest of the world around us, in living it pleasing to God!

Romans 12:2 [NLT]: “Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

As His own people, if we have been living superficial lives without having our lives being fully given to Him, its time to seek Him and live; not bear His harsh discipline and be displaced in life. He will rebuild our broken lives and work His purpose in us! May we bear His name and bring Him honour through our lives!

To Act On: “Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

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