Bethlehem • Devotion #3: They Fell Silent

Anytime I hear or read about “The Day of the Lord,” I instantly get flashbacks of my time in college working my way towards my Bachelor in Biblical Studies. I internally shriek at being reminded of the number of papers I had to do on this subject. This devotion may or may not have just caused me to eat a whole bag of popcorn and ten Oreos out of remembrance of this subject. The central theme of the entire book of Amos revolves around when “The day the Lord” comes back. Now for all you eschatology junkies out there, this devotion will leave you a bit wanting for more, but feel free to have some great conversations in your Growth Community. However, for those less informed with “The Day of the Lord,” it is the day that Jesus is coming back for His Church. 

In Amos chapter 9, God’s Word tells us about the destruction of Israel. Israel, at this time, was becoming increasingly disobedient, faithless, sinful, lustful, and idolatrous. Our Heavenly Creator does not tend to take this kind of sin lightly, so He declares that destruction was coming Israel’s way. God uses the Assyrian army to sack and destroy Israel. I am coming to find there is a constant theme in the Bible that when God is in the midst, when there is death, there is also life that follows after destruction. Amos 9:11-12 says that after God’s swift judgment there will be a “‘day I will raise up the booth of David that is fallen and repair its breaches, and raise up its ruins and rebuild it as in the days of old, that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations who are called by my name,’ declares the Lord who does this.”

Amazingly God fulfills this prophecy in two ways. The first was through divine circumstance as Ezra and Nehemiah are tasked by pagan kings to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the city and eventually the temple. At the time of Amos, the temple that Solomon constructed for the Lord was destroyed by the Babylonian army. The booth that Amos talks about in verse 11 is the tabernacle of David. The first thing Ezra and Nehemiah built when they returned to Jerusalem was a place to worship God, and this is where the tabernacle resided.   

The way Amos’ prophecy comes true is when James speaks with the rest of the leads of the Church at the Jerusalem Council. A major subject this council talked about was the issue Gentiles brought to the notion of what salvation looked like. James says that salvation from God has come to Gentiles as well as Jews. Acts 15:12-17 says, “And all the assembly fell silent, and they listened to Barnabas and Paul as they related what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles. After they finished speaking, James replied, ‘Brothers, listen to me. Simeon has related how God first visited the Gentiles, to take from them a people for his name. And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written, ‘‘After this I will return, and I will rebuild the tent of David that has fallen; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will restore it, that the remnant of mankind may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who are called by my name, says the Lord, who makes these things.’’”

The prophecy of David’s booth being rebuilt was ultimately fulfilled because, upon the death of Jesus, the veil in the temple that separated people from the presence of God was torn. The tabernacle was always the place where God’s presence dwelt. Because of Jesus, the presence of God was now the wealth inside of man. It was no longer a place.   

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