March 13, 2010

God's Restoration Project

Amos 9:8-15

“I will restore David’s fallen shelter—I will repair its broken walls and restore its ruins.”
Amos 9:11


Type the word “restore” into an Internet search engine, and links to many different websites will appear. You can find information on how to restore a classic car, an old piece of furniture, or an antique piano. Every restoration project involves more than making something look nice on the outside. A restored ship has to be seaworthy, and a restored house must become a home.

Like several other prophets, Amos speaks out against religious practices that are not accompanied by justice and mercy. “I despise your religious festivals,” God said through Amos. “Let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never failing stream!” (Amos 5:21, 24).

When God restores his people, they fulfill God’s original purpose for them. But there’s something unique about God’s restoration project. Most often, when something is restored, it is returned to its original condition. When God restores his people, he doesn’t just bring them back; he also carries them forward.

In Amos 9, God’s portrait of a restored kingdom includes gardens and cities. The Bible begins with Eden and ends with the New Jerusalem and the tree of life. At the center of Scripture is the cross of Jesus. The restoration rests in the One who is both “the Root and the Offspring of David” (Revelation 22:16). Former beauty and future glory come together in him.

Lord, your Word has so many beautiful descriptions of the kingdom of heaven. Thank you for sending Jesus into the world and for restoring your creation in him. Amen.

About the author — Peter Hoytema

Peter Hoytema has been a pastor for nearly 30 years and has served congregations in Ontario and New Jersey. He is currently the pastor of a congregation in Strathroy, Ontario. He is a graduate of Calvin Theological Seminary and San Francisco Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Grace, are the parents of four adult children.

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