The Day of Amos
Amos (whose name means “Burden Bearer) was a prophet who lived and prophesied in a time much like ours, a time of relative peace and prosperity, but also a time of declining morals. He addressed both the Northern and Southern Kingdoms (Israel and Judah) calling for changed hearts, lives and morality and proclaiming a coming judgment if his words were not heeded. However in the midst of all of the words of judgment he offers words of comfort and reassurance in the final chapter of his writings (chapter 9):
“On that day I will raise up
The tabernacle of David, which has fallen down,
And repair its damages; I will raise up its ruins,
And rebuild it as in the days of old;
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.
The Christian Standard Bible (CSB) puts it this way:
In that day
I will restore the fallen shelter of David:
I will repair its gaps, restore its ruins,
and rebuild it as in the days of old,
so that they may possess the remnant of Edom
and all the nations that bear my name—
this is the declaration of the Lord; he will do this.
There are probably shades and layers of this Scripture that God has used in the lives of believers for their hope and comfort over the centuries that have passed since it was written, but there can be no doubt that it ultimately refers to David’s Kingdom and thus the Nation of Israel.
Jonathan Cahn writes: In the modern world that tabernacle was raised up on May 14, 1948, the day of Israel’s birth, a day of prophecy. The nation that had closed its eyes in ancient times in a war of flaming arrows and siege works now opened them in a day of atomic weapons and super powers. (The Oracle, p128)
On May 14, 1948 the House of David (the Nation of Israel) was raised up. The nation that had died in ancient times was resurrected in modern times. The scripture would be fulfilled: The nation would be rebuilt “as in the days of old”. The language would be restored, the cities that had been destroyed would be rebuilt on the very spot where they had fallen. The people, the land, the army, the culture, the government, the nation itself all would be restored.
Amos continued his prophecy:
and I will bring my people Israel back from exile. “They will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them.
They will plant vineyards and drink their wine;
they will make gardens and eat their fruit. (Amos 9:14 NIV)
Even though the regathering of the Jewish people had started in the days before the nation’s rebirth, it’s greatest fulfillment happened afterward as Jewish people in far greater numbers than ever before began returning to Israel. They literally fulfilled Amos 9:14 as ruined cities were rebuilt, agriculture (including vineyards) flourished as the formerly barren wasted land bloomed blossomed and produced.
When Ben-Gurion read the Declaration of Israel’s Rebirth it contains the words “Sabbath Eve, indicating when it was officially read – May 14, 1948, a Friday afternoon as the Sabbath approached. The assigned Scripture for that particular Sabbath from the “haftarah scroll”, the Scroll of the Prophets, in God’s Providence happened to contain Amos 9:11-15 the verses speaking of the restoration of Israel in detail. Of special importance was verse 15 which says:
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.
The faithfulness of God’s Promise was seen in what happened next.
The Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs give this synopsis:
“The State of Israel came into being on the evening of Friday, 14 May 1948. On the night of 14-15 May, the regular forces of Jordan, Egypt, Syria and Lebanon invaded Palestine.”
The United States Department of State, Office of the Historian website offers this:
On the eve of May 14, the Arabs launched an air attack on Tel Aviv, which the Israelis resisted. This action was followed by the invasion of the former Palestinian mandate by Arab armies from Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Egypt. Saudi Arabia sent a formation that fought under the Egyptian command. British trained forces from Transjordan eventually intervened in the conflict, but only in areas that had been designated as part of the Arab state under the United Nations Partition Plan and the corpus separatum of Jerusalem. After tense early fighting, Israeli forces, now under joint command, were able to gain the offensive.
Though the United Nations brokered two cease-fires during the conflict, fighting continued into 1949. Israel and the Arab states did not reach any formal armistice agreements until February. Under separate agreements between Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt, Lebanon, Transjordan, and Syria, these bordering nations agreed to formal armistice lines. Israel gained some territory formerly granted to Palestinian Arabs under the United Nations resolution in 1947. Egypt and Jordan retained control over the Gaza Strip and the West Bank respectively. These armistice lines held until 1967.
1967 of course was another example of God’s protective grace extended to the nation of Israel and another example of God fulfilling the promise of Amos 9:15 when Israel not only emerged victorious, but also expanded her territory in the so called 6 day war.
Again referring to The Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs we find this synopsis:
“The year 1967 began with confident predictions that it would not bring war. Nasser, it was argued in Israel, had learned the lesson of 1956 and would not start a war unless he was ready. In any case, his relations with Jordan were notoriously bad and a coalition between Nasser and King Hussein was out of the question.
In quick succession, events gave the lie to these predictions. A clash in the air, in which Syria – Russia’s closest ally in the Middle East – lost 13 planes, provided the opening signal. As a result of Soviet prodding, Nasser mobilized and sent 100,000 troops to Sinai. He demanded that the Secretary General of the United Nations withdraw UNEF forthwith, and – probably to his own surprise – succeeded immediately and the “firemen” departed. Then Nasser announced the closing of the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping (May 23) – a clear cut casus belli. He ended by taunting Yitzhak Rabin, Israel’s Chief of Staff: “Let him come, I’m waiting.”
Meanwhile he succeeded in bringing about close coordination with the Syrian army. King Hussein, in an abrupt about-face, flew to Egypt and signed an agreement placing his forces under overall Egyptian command. It was to cost him half his kingdom.
Israel, its reserves fully mobilized, its nerves taut to the snapping point, waited for three long weeks. The situation seemed the reverse of 1956; Israel was alone, against a powerful Arab coalition. The Big Powers, vague promises notwithstanding, did nothing to reopen the Straits and Israel decided to go it alone.
On 5 June 1967 a cluster of planes flying from Egypt to Israel was seen on King Hussein’s radar screen. Convinced by the Egyptians that the planes were theirs, he promptly gave the order to attack – in Jerusalem! In fact the planes were Israel’s, returning from their devastating attack against the Egyptian air force, which surprisingly had been taken by surprise; after taunting Rabin, Egypt was not ready when he came.
Within the brief span of six days, the IDF overran the whole Sinai peninsula, up to the Suez Canal; took the entire West Bank of the River Jordan; and in the last days, without the benefit of surprise, captured a great part of the Golan Heights, including the dominant Mount Hermon – from then on “the eyes and ears of Israel”. The culminating event was the capture of the Old City of Jerusalem and the re-encounter with the place most revered by Jews, the Western (Wailing) Wall. The blowing of the shofar at the Western Wall reverberated throughout the world.”
The faithfulness of God has been seen and continues to be seen as the words of Amos 9 are played out in front of the world:
“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,
12 so that they may possess the remnant of Edom
and all the nations that bear my name,”
declares the Lord, who will do these things.
14 and I will bring my people Israel back from exile.
“They will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them.
They will plant vineyards and drink their wine;
they will make gardens and eat their fruit.
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.