Today’s Reading: Amos 5:1-7:9; 8-9
Our portion from Amos today ends on a very positive note. I love it! Though punished under the wrath of God, Israel will once again be restored to their land. Key to Israel’s dwelling in the land is its relationship to the Lord. So, when it says that Israel returns to the Promised Land, it’s saying that Israel returns to their relationship with the Lord. Keep that in mind.
Some people, who try to interpret prophecy by looking at events in the world today, say that this return to the land is happening even now (see here for example). Can this and other prophecies about Israel be truly fulfilled (or in the process of fulfillment) today?
While it is true that millions of Jews have immigrated to the State of Israel since 1948, it’s not necessarily a fulfillment of prophecy. The Biblical text is key to understanding why this prophecy is yet to be fulfilled.
First, notice that it is the LORD who will bring them back. He Himself will do it, and the people will know that it is His work. In our times, Jews are returning to the land on their own initiative (sometimes assisted by Christians), and they’re returning in unbelief.
Second, Amos was speaking to the northern kingdom of Israel. So, when it says in 9:11-15 that Israel will be restored, it’s referring to the all 12 tribes (the 10 northern ones specifically). Currently, the State of Israel is only two tribes—Judah and Levi.
Trying to fit contemporary events into the outline of prophecy in the Old Testament can get us into sticky messes we’d rather avoid. Regardless of whether or not they have already come to pass, all that is written in the prophets WILL happen, so believe it!