Today's devotion from Amos 7-9. As Amos' message comes to a close, God promises a day of restoration. In this day of blessing, the plowman will overtake the reaper. This means that the harvest will be so plentiful that the crops will have to be sown again before the harvesters are finished from the previous season. Sweet wine will flow for the people. God will bless them beyond measure.
But, wait a second, wasn't that part of the problem? Weren't the people experiencing a boom in material wealth that only roused their hunger and greed further? Hasn't God repeatedly pointed out their opulent lives as evidenced by fancy homes? Haven't the people been judged because of the human cost of lavish living? Why, then, would God promise them further wealth in the day of restoration?
It is the same reason we seek His restoring work in third world countries and in the advanced societies of our modern world. It is because good can never exceed the best in the economy of God's work. What I mean to say is that the people had only experienced a taste of what real blessing is.
They may have had fine food, clothes, and shelter, but it was the distorted and mangled versions of those things due to sin. When God restores, it is not just about quantity, but quality. In restoration, He offers provisions untainted by the effects of the fall. Where their harvests might have been large, they were still cursed. They provided for their families by the sweat of their brows and the oppression of others. Whereas God will bring creation back into its rightful place, as though untouched by sin.
When we pray for material blessing, we are often inviting cursed things into our lives. Things that could potentially harm in a multitude of ways. What God is promising is a day when all that He provides will be as it should be. With this in mind, I hope we will remember to pray for that day of restoration more than we pray for things broken in the Fall.