This last chapter of Amos brings more news of the destruction to come, especially on those who refuse to accept God’s judgment and proclaim, “Disaster will not overtake or meet us.” Oh yes it will! But the Lord promises a restoration that will come beyond the judgment. We read this in the last verse:
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.
You wonder how a pious Jew reads these words. The Jews get back into the land before Christ comes, and then go into exile again after Jerusalem is destroyed by Rome in AD 70. Then for almost 1900 years there is no Israel, and finally in 1948 they are back in the land. Is that event to which the promise refers? The Jewish believer might think so, but for the dispensational premillennial that is exactly what it refers to. I’m inclined, however, to see this in the tradition of Augustine as an amillennial, and that “the land” is a metaphor for heaven.
The reason is that I have to continually go back to Jesus in Luke 24 telling us that the whole of the OT is about him. How could these words be about the physical land and the nation-state of Israel if ultimately the whole thing is about Jesus. In other words, the old testament is ultimately redemptive history, not the history of a nation. From the very beginning that nation pointed beyond itself. The Lord told Abram that the promise of making him into a “great nation” would bless “all peoples on earth.”
Again as we’ve seen previously in the prophets, the text has dual meaning, both for physical, temporal Israel, and for the eternal, spiritual Church. So the last five verses that tell us that after God’s judgment will come temporal blessing to Israel, that indeed happens, but that is not the purpose of the prophecy. The purpose of the prophecy is us! Whatever this means ultimately for the nation of Israel, it means blessings for those of us in Christ, both now and forever. Verse 11 is a wonder to read in it’s bigger picture context:
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
God has restored, repaired, and rebuilt us, his people, his Church, in Christ!