Amos – Chapter 9 – Conclusions in Review
I hope you have had the rewarding experience of having a conclusion you’ve reached concerning the Word of God challenged and consequently changed. You haven’t changed your conclusion because some skilled arguer has persuaded you to conclude something different. You’ve changed your conclusion because you have studied the text closer, and examined new evidence. You’ve applied sound study methods, prayed and asked for the Holy Spirit to illuminate and reveal the truth and the light came on causing your understanding to become clearer. Maybe you don’t see having a wrong understanding of the scriptures corrected as a positive thing. Is it unsettling to you to change your biblical conclusions? Do you worry, “what else might I be wrong about”? It is my sincere prayer that you don’t stubbornly hold to your conclusions simply for pride’s sake. Hold your conclusions loosely. Stay pliable before the Lord and His Holy Word. Humble yourself before Him. Stay teachable.
At this point, you may think I’m about to try to talk you into believing something different than what you currently do. Maybe you suspect I have a strong opinion about something I’d like to impose on your understanding of the Word of God? Actually, I’ve encountered something in the passage we are about to examine which I have always misunderstood. We’ll get to it in a moment.
This correction in my thinking here in the book of Amos reminds me that in the past five or six years I have been on a wild adventure of having just about everything I thought I knew about the Bible challenged. Almost all of my tightly held conclusions have been shaken to the core and found wanting. As I re-examined scriptures I thought I knew well I’ve reached new conclusions. As a result, in many ways, I have fallen in love with the Word of God anew. To what can I attribute this rewriting and reworking of my biblical perspectives? The answer is consistent sound biblical teaching and excellent instruction in inductive Bible study methods. I don’t want to chase a rabbit here. Volumes have been written about having a solid and consistent approach to studying God’s Holy book. Let me just say when I talk about inductive Bible study, I’m talking about the ever-important steps of OIA, Observation, Interpretation, and Application. I have referred to these steps all throughout the devotional posts I’ve written. Remember God wrote His book with the intention that His readers would understand His message.
Now to our text. Consider the following two verses in Amos chapter nine.
11 “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;
12 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.
What’s my new revelation? I have always believed that the phrase “the tabernacle of David”, to be referring to the place of sacrifice and worship. The tent that God instructed Moses to construct and the Levites to serve in. This reference is not to the place where God’s presence dwelt, it is simply talking about the house of David, or more simply put David’s house! Some of you (assuming I have more than one reader) may be saying, “Well yeah! No big revelation there”. Well, it is a major revelation when you’ve been misunderstanding the reference most of your Christian life and you suddenly come into a right understanding.
As simple as this adjustment may first appear, it is critical to our understanding of the text. Read the two verses together again, because there is more. The reference to “the tabernacle of David” is actually a literary device called a “synechode”. Synechode is defined as, “a figure of speech in which a part is made to represent the whole”. Ask yourself, “what interest would God have in repairing David’s physical house”?
The “tabernacle of David” is the part referring to the whole of David’s dynasty! I’m so excited I can hardly stand it! This is actually a prophecy of Jesus the Christ taking His place on the throne of David.
Now verse twelve makes perfect sense. Why is God restoring David’s dynasty? So that they may “possess the remnant of Edom [mankind]”. The verse goes on to say, “And all the Gentiles who are called by My name…”
This leads me to another correction in my stinkin’ thinkin’. I’ve always understood the phrase, “who are called by My name”, to be understood as “who are called Christians” because Jesus is called the Christ. Nope. The Hebrew verb translated here as called actually means, “to cry out, to call”.
What a reassuring word straight from the book. Yahweh cries out to, He calls the nations. Have you responded to His call?
God is truly worthy of all praise and worship. I’m glad we have an eternity to worship Him, but even then our worship falls far short of what He truly deserves!
All Scripture Quotations from The New King James Version. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982. Print.