God Makes Change Possible (Hosea 14:1-9, Amos 9:11-15, Micah 4:1-5, Obadiah 21)
The same God who demands change also promises to make change possible. “A harvest is appointed when I would restore the fortunes of my people, when I would heal Israel” (Hosea 6:11–7:1). The Twelve Prophets carry a fundamental optimism that God is active in the world to change it for the better. Despite the apparent triumph of the wicked, God is ultimately in charge, and “the kingdom shall be the Lord’s” (Obadiah 21). Despite the calamity the people are bringing upon themselves, God is at work to restore the goodness of life and work that he intended from the beginning. “He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love” (Joel 2:13). The closing oracles of Joel, Hosea and Amos (Hos. 14; Amos 9:11-15) illustrate this in explicitly economic terms.
The threshing floors shall be full of grain, the vats shall overflow with wine and oil….You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you. And my people shall never again be put to shame. (Joel 2:24, 26)
[Israel] shall again live beneath my shadow, they shall flourish as a garden; they shall blossom like the vine, their fragrance shall be like the wine of Lebanon. (Hosea 14:7)
I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel, and they shall rebuild the ruined cities and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and drink their wine, and they shall make gardens and eat their fruit. (Amos 9:14)
God’s word to his people in times of economic and social hardship is that God’s intent is to restore peace, justice, and prosperity, if the people will live by the precepts of his covenant. The means he will use is the work of his people.