Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
The DEEP

Back to the Roots

of faith.

Amos 9:11–12 (ESV)

            “In that day I will raise up
                        the booth of David that is fallen
            and repair its breaches,
                        and raise up its ruins
                        and rebuild it as in the days of old,
            that they may possess the remnant of Edom
                        and all the nations who are called by my name,”
                        declares the LORD who does this.

At last, right at the end of Amos’s prophesy, God says He’s going to restore everything. At first, it sounds like the LORD is going to rebuild walls and buildings. But no, something else is going on.

Why does it say, “the booth of David?” The Hebrew word (סֻכַּ֥ת “soo-kaht”) literally means temporary shelter for livestock. Remind you of anything?

Right after the Christmas holiday the image of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus in a stable is still fresh. Might that be what this is about?

Maybe, but this also conveys the idea that the grandiose temple and other structures aren’t the keys to faith. They will get back to the simplicity of the feast of booths instituted in Leviticus 23:33–43. They’ll get back to the roots of their faith.

The reference to all the nations who are called by my name is another clue. That means there must be gentile nations who are called by my name. In fact, the NKJV translates this as, “all the Gentiles who are called by My name.” The messianic implication is unavoidable, so the NKJV just spells it out.

These two concepts go hand-in-hand. The Messiah is about the roots of faith, not grandiose structures.


The great challenge of modern Christianity is to get back to the seriousness and purity of the faith of the first century. We need to get back to the roots.

We’ve gone soft. Martyrdom is not part of our civilization. It’s too easy to be a Christian. That yields uncommitted Christians and churches that cater to them. Awesome structures for worship have replaced the awesome level of Christian charity and sacrifice that once turned the world upside down.

But this isn’t the case everywhere. Martyrdom is a reality in some places. Pray for the persecuted church.

But there’s a glorious twist to this. Many of the places where the persecution is the worst are, right now, experiencing great revival. The gospel is going forth, and many people are coming to Christ.

Our prayers for the persecuted church should reflect this. Don’t just pray for the persecution to end.

There are other priorities.


These Monday—Friday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. The Weekend DEEPs are written by Matt Richardson. To subscribe to all the DEEPs click here:

https://www.ailbe.org/resources/community

The weekly study guides, which include the Monday–Friday devotionals plus related questions for discussion or meditation, are available for download here:

https://www.ailbe.org/resources/itemlist/category/91-deep-studies

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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