May 4 | Bible in a Year: 1 Kings 16-18; Luke 22:47-71
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.
READ AMOS 8:9–12; 9:11–12
I was prepared with eye protection, an ideal viewing location, and homemade moon pie desserts. Along with millions of people in the US, my family watched the rare occurrence of a total solar eclipse—the moon covering the entire disk of the sun.
The eclipse caused an unusual darkness to come over the typically bright summer afternoon. Although for us this eclipse was a fun celebration and a reminder of God’s incredible power over creation (Psalm 135:6-7), throughout history darkness during the day has been seen as abnormal and foreboding (Exodus 10:21; Matthew 27:45), a sign that everything is not as it should be.
This is what darkness signified for Amos, a prophet during the time of the divided monarchy in ancient Israel. Amos warned the Northern Kingdom that destruction would come if they continued to turn away from God. As a sign, God would “make the sun go down at noon and darken the earth in broad daylight” (Amos 8:9).
But God’s ultimate desire and purpose was—and is—to make all things right. Even when the people were taken into exile, God promised to one day bring a remnant back to Jerusalem and “repair its broken walls and restore its ruins” (9:11).
Even when life is at its darkest, like Israel, we can find comfort in knowing God is at work to bring light and hope back—to all people (Acts 15:14-18).
By Lisa M. Samra
REFLECT & PRAY
Jesus, as we read in Revelation 21:23, thank You that You shine brighter than the sun and turn back the darkness. Learn more about the book of Amos.
When was a time you chose to reject or disobey God? How did God provide rescue and bring light into your dark situation?
Amos prophesied during the days when Uzziah ruled Judah and Jeroboam II ruled Israel (about 760-750 BC). Yet Amos claimed to be not a prophet but “one of the shepherds of Tekoa” (Amos 1:1). Tekoa is about five miles south of Bethlehem in Judah. And when commanded by Amaziah the priest of Bethel to stop prophesying, he answered, “I was neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet, but I was a shepherd, and I also took care of sycamore-fig trees. But the LORD took me from tending the flock and said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’” God called Amos to drop everything to warn Israel’s people and leaders of God’s impending judgment (7:14-17). Although the people prospered, they were unjust, immoral, and mistreated the poor (2:6-8; 3:10; 5:11); and the judges were corrupt (5:12). Judgment was imminent (8:11-12), but a remnant would be preserved (9:11-12). Alyson Kieda