Bible readers today can benefit by noting the reason for the warnings that Amos proclaimed to Israel, Judah, and their near neighbors. Those who reject the law of Jehovah God, defraud and oppress the poor, are greedy and immoral, and practice idolatry cannot have God’s approval. But Jehovah forgives those who turn away from such things and repent, and to them he shows mercy. We are wise if we separate from corrupting associations in this evil world and heed Jehovah’s admonition: “Search for me, and keep living.”—5:4, 6, 14.
At the time of his martyrdom, Stephen cited Amos. He reminded the Jews that it had been Israel’s idolatry with foreign gods, such as Moloch and Rephan, that had brought on the captivity. Did those Jews benefit by hearing Amos’ words repeated? No! Enraged, they stoned Stephen to death and so placed themselves in line for further calamity at the destruction of Jerusalem, 70 C.E.—Amos 5:25-27; Acts 7:42, 43.
It is beneficial to consider the fulfillment of the many prophecies of Amos, not only those that were fulfilled in the punishment of Israel, Judah, and the other nations but also the prophecies of restoration. True to Jehovah’s word through Amos, the captives of Israel returned in 537 B.C.E. to build and inhabit their desolated cities and plant their vineyards and gardens.—Amos 9:14; Ezra 3:1.
However, there was a glorious and upbuilding fulfillment of Amos’ prophecy in the days of the apostles. In discussing the gathering of non-Israelites into the Christian congregation, James, under inspiration, makes clear that this was foretold in the prophecy at Amos 9:11, 12. He indicates that the ‘rebuilding of the booth of David that had fallen down’ finds fulfillment in connection with the Christian congregation, “in order that those who remain of the men may earnestly seek Jehovah, together with people of all the nations, people who are called by my name, says Jehovah.” Here, indeed, was the Scriptural support for the new development, as related by Simon Peter—that God was taking out of the nations “a people for his name.”—Acts 15:13-19.
17 Jesus Christ, the Head of this Christian congregation, is elsewhere identified as the “son of David” who inherits “the throne of David his father” and rules forever. (Luke 1:32, 33; 3:31) Thus the prophecy of Amos points forward to the fulfillment of the covenant with David for a kingdom. Not only do the concluding words of Amos give a marvelous vision of overflowing prosperity at the time of raising up “the booth of David” but they also underline the permanence of God’s Kingdom: “‘And I shall certainly plant them upon their ground, and they will no more be uprooted from their ground that I have given them,’ Jehovah your God has said.” Earth will abound with everlasting blessings as Jehovah fully restores “the booth of David”!—Amos 9:13-15.