Amos 9 GOD ORDERS THE PAGAN SHRINE DESTROYED.

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INTRODUCTION TO AMOS CHAPTER 9

Too little─too late.  God is pictured as standing on the altar in the courtyard of the idol temple and he is going to bring it down with a crash.  People will try and hide but he who has the keys of Hell and Death will find them and justice is on the way.  It is as sure as the rising of a mighty flood.  The prophet declares that the “eyes of the LORD is upon the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from off the face of the earth;” The house of David will again rule—the Messiah Jesus has fulfilled this prophecy.

EXPOSITION TO AMOS CHAPTER 9

1 I saw the LORD standing upon the altar: and he said, Smite the lintel of the door, that the posts may shake: and cut them in the head, all of them; and I will slay the last of them with the sword: he that fleeth of them shall not flee away, and he that escapeth of them shall not be delivered.

 God is pictured as standing upon the altar in the court yard giving order to demolish the heathen temple.  The altar which Amos sees God standing on is the altar on which Jeroboam sacrificed, which he set up and it became the center of the calf-worship whose destruction the man of God foretold on the day of its dedication.

1Ki 13:1-4  Now behold, there came a man of God from Judah to Bethel by the word of the LORD, while Jeroboam was standing by the altar to burn incense. 2  And he cried against the altar by the word of the LORD, and said, “O altar, altar, thus says the LORD, ‘Behold, a son shall be born to the house of David, Josiah by name; and on you he shall sacrifice the priests of the high places who burn incense on you, and human bones shall be burned on you.'” 3  Then he gave a sign the same day, saying, “This is the sign which the LORD has spoken, ‘Behold, the altar shall be split apart and the ashes which are on it shall be poured out.'” 4  Now it came about when the king heard the saying of the man of God, which he cried against the altar in Bethel, that Jeroboam stretched out his hand from the altar, saying, “Seize him.” But his hand which he stretched out against him dried up, so that he could not draw it back to himself.

At one blow God hit the top of the shrine pillars and the whole building shook, staggered, fell as though it had been hit with a 9.0 magnitude earthquake. God gave the orders to smite the columns that supported the building which had a “capital” or chapter on the top of the columns that was in the form of a globe shaped like a pomegranate.   The building will collapse on the priests and in addition to all this; God has set his eye upon them for evil and not for good. The lord would scatter them and visit them with calamities and shake them like grain in a sieve.  There was nothing that would protect them.  It would be impossible for them to escape.  After the roof collapsed on them anyone left alive God says he will kill.

2 Though they dig into hell, thence shall mine hand take them; though they climb up to heaven, thence will I bring them down:

No place to run to─no place to hide.  The underworld can’t protect you─Heaven won’t accept you.  God will see to it that none escape.  The prophet takes the most extreme spaces starting with heaven and ending with hell and tells us that the Almighty would find them and punish them.  Hiding somewhere in a cave on Mt. Carmel or committing suicide and going into Sheol would not keep God from tracking them down for punishment.  No one can escape the judgment of God.

3 And though they hide themselves in the top of Carmel, I will search and take them out thence; and though they be hid from my sight in the bottom of the sea, thence will I command the serpent, and he shall bite them:

Mount Carmel was a favorite place to hide among the rocks and caves but God says his search party will find them and bring them to justice.  The other extreme was hiding in the bottom of the sea God says he will send his sea serpent after them.

4 And though they go into captivity before their enemies, thence will I command the sword, and it shall slay them: and I will set mine eyes upon them for evil, and not for good. 

God is going to see to it that justice is rendered.  Suicide bombers are running straight into the wrath of God.  God says he will make sure that they receive evil and not good.  There is no way of escape!  We serve an inescapable God.

 139:2-12   Thou dost know when I sit down and when I rise up; Thou dost understand my thought from afar. 3  Thou dost scrutinize my path and my lying down, And art intimately acquainted with all my ways. 4  Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O LORD, Thou dost know it all. 5  Thou hast enclosed me behind and before, And laid Thy hand upon me. 6  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is too high, I cannot attain to it. 7  Where can I go from Thy Spirit? Or where can I flee from Thy presence? 8  If I ascend to heaven, Thou art there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, Thou art there. 9  If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, 10  Even there Thy hand will lead me, And Thy right hand will lay hold of me. 11  If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, And the light around me will be night,” 12  Even the darkness is not dark to Thee, And the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to Thee.

5 And the Lord GOD of hosts is he that toucheth the land, and it shall melt, and all that dwell therein shall mourn: and it shall rise up wholly like a flood; and shall be drowned, as by the flood of Egypt.

When God decides to bring judgment on a nation there is no bounds or lack of means at his disposal.  It can rain and wash the top soil away and cause a flood like the rising of the Nile which covered the delta and drowned many people.  Amos pictures God using every avenue of punishment at his disposal.

6 It is he that buildeth his stories in the heaven, and hath founded his troop in the earth; he that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name.

God is pictured as building the upper stories in the heavens with the earth as the ground floor and calling for the vapors from the sea to water the earth.  This is the Great God that we serve.

7 Are ye not as children of the Ethiopians unto me, O children of Israel? saith the LORD. Have not I brought up Israel out of the land of Egypt? and the Philistines from Caphtor, and the Syrians from Kir?

Amos rips away the carnal security that these people relied upon, namely that they were the chosen people of God.  To them their election was an unquestionable pledge that God would not allow them to go into captivity as Amos had predicted.  However, what they failed to recognize was that the election benefit was to those who kept the law. While we serve a God that chose Abraham and made the nation of the Jews his chosen people he is involved with all other nations.  Has God cast off the Jew?  The answer to this question is in the following verses of Scripture.  For a complete understanding of the Jew and his future one must study Romans chapters 9-11.

Rom 11:1  I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.

Rom 11:11  I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous.

Rom 11:15  For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?

Rom 11:23  And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in; for God is able to graft them in again.

Rom 11:25  For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

 8 Behold, the eyes of the Lord GOD are upon the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from off the face of the earth; saving that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob, saith the LORD.

Election, therefore, will not save sinful Israel from destruction however; the elect (remnant) will be preserved as can be seen in the verse quoted below.  It must be observed that God made an end of all the nations where he scattered his people as we observed in our study of chapter one.

Jer 30:11  For I am with thee, saith the LORD, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished.

The punishment of reprobates is final and fatal; that of God’s people temporary and corrective. Babylon was utterly destroyed: Israel after chastisement was delivered.

Jer 10:24-25  O LORD, correct me, but with judgment; not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing. Pour out thy fury upon the heathen that know thee not, and upon the families that call not on thy name: for they have eaten up Jacob, and devoured him, and consumed him, and have made his habitation desolate.

Jer 31:36  If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever.

Israel’s national polity has been broken up by the Romans. But their preservation as a distinct people amidst violent persecutions, though scattered among all nations for eighteen centuries, unamalgamated, whereas all other peoples under such circumstances have become incorporated with the nations in which they have been dispersed, is a perpetual standing miracle.

Jer 33:20  Thus saith the LORD; If ye can break my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their season;

Jer 33:21  Then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne; and with the Levites the priests, my ministers.

Jer 31:35-36  Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name: If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever.

Lev 26:42  Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land.

Psa 89:34-37  “My covenant I will not violate, Nor will I alter the utterance of My lips. “Once I have sworn by My holiness; I will not lie to David. “His descendants shall endure forever, And his throne as the sun before Me. “It shall be established forever like the moon, And the witness in the sky is faithful.” Selah.

9 For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth.

I will cause the Israelites to be tossed about through all nations as corn is shaken about in a sieve, in such a way, however, that while the chaff and dust (the wicked) fall through (perish), all the solid grains (the godly elect) remain (are preserved), Rom. 11:26. 

10 All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword, which say, The evil shall not overtake nor prevent us.

Their security was the cause of their destruction.

Eze 20:38  and I shall purge from you the rebels and those who transgress against Me; I shall bring them out of the land where they sojourn, but they will not enter the land of Israel. Thus you will know that I am the LORD .

Zep 3:11-13  In that day shalt thou not be ashamed for all thy doings, wherein thou hast transgressed against me: for then I will take away out of the midst of thee them that rejoice in thy pride, and thou shalt no more be haughty because of my holy mountain.  I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the LORD. The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid.

Zec 13:8-9  And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. “And I will bring the third part through the fire, Refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, And I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are My people,’ And they will say, ‘The LORD is my God.'”

Mal 3:1  Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.

Mal 3:2-5  But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness. Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the LORD, as in the days of old, and as in former years. “Then I will draw near to you for judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers and against the adulterers and against those who swear falsely, and against those who oppress the wage earner in his wages, the widow and the orphan, and those who turn aside the alien, and do not fear Me,” says the LORD of hosts.

Mal 4:1  For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.

Jer 18:18  Then said they, Come, and let us devise devices against Jeremiah; for the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come, and let us smite him with the tongue, and let us not give heed to any of his words.

 11 In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old:

 Let’s let the scriptures speak to us regarding raising up the tabernacle of David.  The apostle James made it clear that Jesus was the fulfillment of what the prophets said regarding the Tabernacle of David in the fifteenth chapter of the book of Acts.

Acts 15:15-17 And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written,  After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.

Isa 9:6-7  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

Isa 11:1  And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:

Jer 23:5-6  Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

Jer 30:9  But they shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them.

Jer 33:14  Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel and to the house of Judah.

Jer 33:15-17  In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness. For thus saith the LORD; David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel;

Jer 33:20-26  Thus saith the LORD; If ye can break my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their season; Then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne; and with the Levites the priests, my ministers. As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured: so will I multiply the seed of David my servant, and the Levites that minister unto me. Moreover the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, saying, Considerest thou not what this people have spoken, saying, The two families which the LORD hath chosen, he hath even cast them off? thus they have despised my people, that they should be no more a nation before them. Thus saith the LORD; If my covenant be not with day and night, and if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth; 26  Then will I cast away the seed of Jacob, and David my servant, so that I will not take any of his seed to be rulers over the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: for I will cause their captivity to return, and have mercy on them.

Eze 34:23-24  And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. And I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the LORD have spoken it.

Eze 37:24-25  And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them. And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children’s children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever.

Hos 3:5  Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days.

Mic 5:2  But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

Luk 1:31-33  And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.  He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

Act 2:30-36  Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Until I make thy foes thy footstool. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

12 That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the LORD that doeth this.

 Oba 1:18-21  And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble, and they shall kindle in them, and devour them; and there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau; for the LORD hath spoken it. And they of the south shall possess the mount of Esau; and they of the plain the Philistines: and they shall possess the fields of Ephraim, and the fields of Samaria: and Benjamin shall possess Gilead. And the captivity of this host of the children of Israel shall possess that of the Canaanites, even unto Zarephath; and the captivity of Jerusalem, which is in Sepharad, shall possess the cities of the south. And saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the LORD’S.

13 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt.

 There will be such an abundance of crops that by the time you have gathered it all in it will be time to plant again.  The grapes, which were planted on the hill sides, would yield a bountiful harvest.

14 And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them.

 God is once again blessing them, the book of Nehemiah and Ezra record the return of Israel from captivity and the rebuilding programs. 

Rebuilding cities.

Planting vineyards and good wine.

Tending their gardens.

Planting their farms.

15 And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God.

The prophet envisions them firmly planted in their home land.

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Amos 1 GOD SENDS AMOS TO DAMASCUS, GAZA, ASHDOD, ETC.

According to the first verse, Amos prophesied during the reigns of Uzziah over Judah (792-740 B.C.) and Jeroboam II over the Israel (793-753). After the reign of Solomon the Kingdom of Israel was split into two kingdoms. The Northern 10 tribes were called Israel (nick-named Ephraim) and the Southern two tribes were called Judah. In the North the religious shrines had become centers of vice and by Amos’s day the people had become pagan at heart. The Dan and Bethel shrines were about calf worship and Idolatry. Into this situation God chose as his spokesman a simple shepherd and itinerant orchard worker who was an enthusiastic Jehovah worshiper. He was from the working class of people but he understood human nature. This Tekoan shepherd launches out in his prophecy like a boiling pot he takes on such issues as social injustice and economic issues. His messages touched people, politics and purses. This commentary will explore the messages of Amos about the various Nations.
HIGHLIGHTS OF AMOS
Amos was like a roaring lion. This true man of God takes on the establishment. Ritualism had supplanted religion. They sneered at the thought of a rugged country man pouring out his messages like muriatic acid on a concrete floor. His messages were plain and simple he likens their escape to a shepherd yanking back a leg or an ear from a lion’s mouth, or to a person escaping with only a table leg or a corner of a blanket. His messages were bad news. He portrays God as being sick and fed up with their brand of religion.

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Amos 2 MOAB PASSED INTO OBLIVION

This inhuman act was prompted by the spirit of vengeance. The most outstanding men shall be removed. Centuries have looked down on Moab and not a descendant living and fifty or more of her cities lie in total ruins. The scene passes from Moab to Judah and Amos predicts the burning of her palaces and then turns to Judah’s unthankfulness.

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Amos 3 GOD PAYS ISRAEL A VISIT.

Israel and Judah are urged to hear the word of the Lord. God tells them that he is not threatening them without a cause. That lions don’t roar without a prey. Trumpets don’t sound with a cause. That two cannot walk together unless they are in agreement. The prophet tells them that God does not do anything without revealing his intentions beforehand. He tells the prophet to publish in the palaces from Ashdod to Egypt what he had planned to do about their violence. He lets them know that in the day he pays them a visit that they will be lucky to escape with a table leg or a blanket. God says “I shall visit the transgressions of Israel upon him I will also visit the altars of Bethel;…I will smite the winter house and the summer house…” This visit will not be pleasant. Read the exposition for further details.

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Amos 4 SAMARITAN WOMEN LED AWAY WITH NOSE HOOKS.

The women of Samaria had led their husbands around and now he tells them that they will be led away to captivity with fishhooks in their nose. God had withholden the rain, smitten them with blasting and mildew, gardens had failed trees and crops were ravished by the locust, their young men had perished. Deuteronomy 28 was being fulfilled before their very eyes and yet they could not see. The prophet urges them to prepare to meet their God. He’s coming down hard on them with the devastations mentioned in the text. Yes, it will not be a god that they carry around with them or wear around their neck. It will be the God who is the mountain shaper and the wind maker─he’s the one who brings everything out of nothing. This visit won’t be friendly and they will have no one to help them.

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Amos 5 GOD WAS SEEKING AN OCEAN OF JUSTICE

The prophet does not rejoice over the fact that God is going to destroy the nations around Israel and punish Israel with an exile into slavery. The nation will be greatly reduced by ninety percent because they had turned judgment into wormwood. They are urged to seek the maker of the Atoms and the Angels and not the golden calves of Bethel. Amos has a word for the rulers who are bribed and the fraudulent dealers. Again, he speaks of a remnant and of wailing and lamentations when he passes thru with his judgment. He hates their sacrificial feasts where there is no piety. He wants an ocean of justice and a river of fairness. But, because of their stubbornness he will cause them to go beyond Damascus to a real hell hole to spend their days and none of that generation will return.

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Amos 6 LIVING IN THE LAP OF LUXERY

They were still living in denial and laying on beds of ivory and living it up with excessive drinking and made no connection with the people. They “just hadn’t gotten it.” It’s getting worse─ten men in one house and all are dead and a relative comes for the burial. The last verse of the chapter says it all and here it is summarized: I will rise up a nation against you (Syria) and they will make hash of you from the extreme north to the extreme south.

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Amos 7 AMOS IS THROWED OUT OF THE COUNTRY

The seventh chapter consists of two parts. First A vision of grasshoppers or young locusts, which devour the grass, but are removed at Amos’ entreaty; second by Fire drying up creeks and springs, and withering part of the land, but removed at Amos’ entreaty; and third by a plumb-line to mark the buildings for destruction. Secondly by Amaziah demanding that Amos go back to Judah with his preaching. In Consequence of the foregoing prophecies, Amos tells the priest Amaziah that his wife will become the town whore and that his children will all be killed and that he will face deportation and receives a life sentence in a heathen prison.

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Amos 8 POT-LUCKS TURNED INTO FUNERAL DIRGES

A bowl of summer fruit─the season is over─the end has come upon my people Israel. The dancing and singing will be silenced. The land is going to tremble─worse than after a flood. Their pot-lucks are turned into funerals and their country music into sob songs. They are pictured living in a foreign land with the pagans ruling over them and a few can remember the old time prophets and they long to hear the word “just one more time.” “I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread or water, but of hearing the words of the LORD.”

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Amos 9 GOD ORDERS THE PAGAN SHRINE DESTROYED.

Too little─too late. God is pictured as standing on the altar in the courtyard of the idol temple and he is going to bring it down with a crash. People will try and hide but he who has the keys of Hell and Death will find them and justice is on the way. It is as sure as the rising of a mighty flood. The prophet declares that the “eyes of the LORD is upon the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from off the face of the earth;” The house of David will again rule—the Messiah Jesus has fulfilled this prophecy.

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