Summary: Jesus’ Advent Means Restoration 1) For the fallen tent of David 2) For the fallen descendants of Adam
The porch creaked. The roof leaked. The carpet hadn’t been changed since the last time the (Toronto Maple) Leafs won the Stanley Cup (‘67). For most this house would have been more nightmare than dream, but not for this couple. When they looked at the well-worn house they saw opportunity for they restored houses for a living. They were so good at what they did that, among their friends, their name became synonymous with home restoration, as much as Martha Stewart’s name is synonymous with homemaking.
Do you know people like that who forever bounce around from house to house fixing them up as they go? Jesus is such a person. According to our sermon text, Jesus’ advent, his coming, means restoration. No, he hasn’t come to fix up our houses; he came to restore the fallen tent of David, and to restore the fallen descendants of Adam. Let’s find out what this means for our lives today.
The prophet Amos, who wrote the words of our text, lived around 750 B.C. and ministered to the Northern Kingdom of Israel. Although militarily and materially speaking things were going well for Israel, spiritually speaking matters were horrendous. The rich took advantage of the poor. Justice was perverted in the courts. And God’s people went through the motions of worship. That sounds a lot like Alberta today, don’t you think? Here, the rich keep getting richer at the expense of the poor, criminals get off with a slap on the wrist, and we, God’s people, often just go through the motions of worship. Sure, we sing the hymns but instead of concentrating on the words, we wonder why a different hymn wasn’t chosen? When we pause to privately confess our sins we find it easier to think of the sins committed against us instead of the sins we have committed against others. We are no better than the people of Amos’ day and deserve to hear what God said to them: “Surely the eyes of the Sovereign LORD are on the sinful kingdom. I will destroy it from the face of the earth” (Amos 9:8 (quickview) a).
Although most of the book of Amos is about how God was angry with his people, the prophet didn’t just announce judgment. In the final verses of his book Amos conveyed a promise that stands out like a brilliant sunset in the last moments of a stormy day (Paul Eickmann). Amos wrote: “In that day I will restore David’s fallen tent. I will repair its broken places, restore its ruins, and build it as it used to be, 12 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” (Amos 9:11 (quickview) , 12).
Although God had every right to destroy Israel, he promised to restore it. He said that he was going to rebuild the fallen tent of King David and make it the grand house it once had been. How would God do this? Many Israelites, including for a time Jesus’ own disciples, thought that God would send them a powerful king descended from David who would lead them to victory over all their enemies. We know that’s not what God had in mind because he sent Jesus. To be sure, Jesus is descended from David and is the most powerful king there is, but he did not come to defeat the political enemies of Israel; he came to defeat the spiritual enemies of mankind.