Why then did God promise to restore the fallen tent of David if he was really speaking about what he would do spiritually for all people? God spoke this way because it was not only through David’s descendant Jesus that restoration would come, it would be through David’s people, the Jews, that the message of restoration would be proclaimed to all. This was clear at the Council of Jerusalem in Acts 15. There, two Jewish men, Paul and Barnabas, explained how God had used them to proclaim his forgiveness to non-Jews. At first there was some concern about this. The Council wasn’t sure whether the message of forgiveness was meant for all people. Thankfully the leader of the Council, the Apostle James the half-brother of Jesus, stood up and quoted our text from Amos to show that it was God’s plan that Gentiles be included in God’s kingdom (Acts 15:15-18). In fact David’s fallen tent would be restored in this way for Jesus’ rule through the gospel would extend far beyond the number of people Kind David ever ruled over.
It’s nice that God restored the fallen tent of David as he promised to do, but how does that make our lives better today? Isn’t reading this text from Amos a bit like watching a home-improvement show? It’s interesting and you learn a few things but it’s not your house their working on so there’s nothing to get too excited about, right? Actually our text has everything to do with the quality of our lives today, for God not only promised to restore the fallen tent of David, he promised to restore the fallen descendants of Adam. Listen. “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. 14 I will bring back my exiled people Israel; 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. 15 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” (Amos 9:13-15).
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that the verses I just read have nothing to do with fallen descendants of Adam and everything to do with David’s descendants, the Israelites. Yes, some of what Amos said was fulfilled when God brought the Israelites back from captivity in Babylon, but the other things Amos prophesied apply to all fallen descendants of Adam. You see, prophets like Amos had the habit of talking about New Testament spiritual realities using Old Testament pictures. So when Amos said that in the future the grape harvest would be so abundant that when the grapes were pressed the juice would overflow the collecting vats and run down the mountains, he was illustrating how in Christ spiritual blessings overflow. Isn’t that true of forgiveness? It doesn’t matter how many sins we’ve committed or how big those sins may seem to us, they have all been forgiven in Christ. His cleansing blood is so plentiful and powerful that it cannot be contained. It pours out of his heart like the grape juice in Amos’ prophecy poured down the mountain!