Father, You are a God of promise and I hope in You. Thank You for mercy that triumphs over judgment.
Read: Amos 9:11-15
 “In that day “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,  so that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations that bear my name,” declares the LORD, who will do these things.  “The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when the reaper will be overtaken by the plowman and the planter by the one treading grapes. New wine will drip from the mountains and flow from all the hills,  and I will bring my people Israel back from exile. “They will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them. They will plant vineyards and drink their wine; they will make gardens and eat their fruit.  I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land I have given them,” says the LORD your God.
Reflect: From what did Jesus set you free?
Amos was the first prophet to announce the judgment of exile. Even for those who had ears to hear, and who sought after God, it cannot have been easy listening. Yet within 40 years, the judgment prophesied had come upon Israel (2 Kings 17:3-6).
Even within such a hard Word there are hints of mercy to come. Amos 3:12 has a portion being saved, like the remains recovered from a lion’s kill. Amos 7 talks of the Lord relenting from bringing calamity, and Amos 9:8 decrees that the destruction will not be total. These shafts of light leaven the terrible darkness of the news Amos has to bring.
Those hints of mercy here burst forth in a symphony of promises. There is a divine purpose beyond judgment and exile, and it’s one of restoration and great blessing (11,15). Favor and fruitfulness will be renewed, the land becoming so fertile that both sowing and reaping happen together, with the hills so filled with grapes that they drip new wine (13).
Journal about promises that God has made to you. Thank him that his grace breaks through darkness.
Lord, I trust that You are working toward my very best, and I long to understand Your heart and walk in step with You.