The Hope of Future Restoration
Open Your Bible
Amos 9:1-15, 2 Samuel 7:15-16, Psalm 103:6-10, Hebrews 1:1-12
BY Erin Davis
Some seeds require fire, did you know? Scientists call them “serotinous cones.” That’s a fancy way of saying that some plants, like the lodgepole pine, seal their seeds in a tiny fortress, made impenetrable with sap. In an article by Melissa Petruzzello called “Playing with Wildfire,” she shares how their cones can only open after the heat of a fire melts the resin that protects them.
No fire? No life.
So it often is with the wrath of God. The final chapter of Amos records a terrifying vision. Earthquake. Sword. Captivity. Death.
The Lord, the GOD of Armies—
he touches the earth;
it melts, and all who dwell in it mourn.
Picture the whole earth melting. Imagine the forest fire of grief caused by seeing our sin as the disaster it is. What can withstand the fiery heat of God’s righteous judgment? Only one thing can. Even as God’s anger engulfed the nation of Israel, there was hope—there is always hope.
However, I will not totally destroy the house of Jacob—
This is the LORD’s declaration.
Lodgepole pines have another unique characteristic. Petruzzello shares that they are frequently the only trees growing in infertile soil. Disease or disaster doesn’t deter them. Their fire-tested seed mechanism can bring life, even where the stench of death still lingers.
Isn’t that like God? Telling the story of His intent through the world He has made.
God’s just anger is never futile. It is accomplishing something. Restoration. Repair. Rebuilding (v. 11).
Wherever there is sin, there must be judgment. The holiness of God demands it. Still, the book of Amos doesn’t end with a snapshot of a scorched earth. With the smell of smoke still on his clothes, the prophet stood among the ashes and declared, “Look, the days are coming—this is the LORD’s declaration—when the plowman will overtake the reaper and the one who treads grapes, the sower of seed. The mountains will drip with sweet wine, and all the hills will flow with it” (v. 13).
Sinful rebellion did not end in Amos’s day nor will the consequences. But take heart, sinner. Jesus made a way for your story to parallel the remnant of Amos’s day. Because God is good, hope is always on the horizon. Because He is gracious, the heat of His judgment releases something remarkable: Jesus bore God’s judgment for both the remnant then and believers now. Redemption.