“Behold, the days are coming”, declares the LORD GOD, “when I will send a famine on the land, not a famine for bread or a thirst for water, the rather for hearing in the words of the LORD.” (8:11)
Things are about to get bleak, and to make matter worse, the LORD will have nothing to say to them. This will later be referred to as the 400 years of silence: The time between the minor prophets, Ezra and Nehemiah—and the first word of the LORD coming to Zechariah, foretelling the birth of John the Baptist.
9:1-10 are terrifying and it begins to feel like God really is washing His hands of Israel. But then,
“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.” (9:8)
“In that day I will raise up the fallen booth David.” (9:11)
The LORD “who does this” (9:12) is not finished. Not yet. The night is darkest just before the dawn!
On Monday, which also happens to be Christmas Day, we will pick up in that very place: Luke 1-2.
God Himself comes to dwell among us, to set us free, and show us His most excellent way. He won’t be what anyone expects. He will have compassion on the sick, poor, sexually broken, and lost; speaking harshly only to the religious elite, who would seek to close the doors of the kingdom in peoples faces.
As we reflect on the message of Amos, the call for justice and righteousness, and the end of a complicated year, let us hold fast to the hope which was then, is now, and forever will be: the coming of Christ, Emmanuel, God with us.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother, and in His name all oppression shall cease. A thrill of hope! The weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks a new and glorious morning!