And I will destroy it from the face of the earth;
Nevertheless, I will not totally destroy the house of Jacob,’
Declares the Lord.
‘For behold, I am commanding,
And I will shake the house of Israel among all nations
As grain is shaken in a sieve,
But not a kernel will fall to the ground.’”
—Amos 9:8-9 (NASB)
For those of us that have not grown up on a farm or in an agrarian culture, this can be a puzzling image. But imagine corn shaken about so that while the dust and chaff fall through the holes in the seive, the solid grains remain. The wicked are removed, the righteous preserved. It’s a process brought on churches, organizations, or movements that have need to be returned to their original spiritual purity. There’s probably a strong lesson here about the need to remove wickedness rather than tolerate it, hoping it will be overcome by righteousness. That does not appear to be a biblical principle applicable to God’s people.