Greetings! Below you will find questions which reference the sermon preached on Sunday, October 5th, 2014 at The Park. This week we studied Chapter 1 of Amos. Have someone in your group read this section of scripture.
Each week new questions are posted to track along with the sermons. Work hard to facilitate discussion. Listen to the hearts around the room and close with prayer.
Intro to Amos:
Amos was from Tekoa, a small town in Judah about 6 miles south of Bethlehem and 11 miles from Jerusalem. He was not a man of the court like Isaiah, or a member of a priestly family like Jeremiah and Ezekiel. He earned his living from the flock and the sycamore-fig grove. Whether he owned the flocks and groves or only worked as a hired hand is not known. His skill with words and the strikingly broad range of his general knowledge of history and the world preclude his being an ignorant peasant. Though his home was in Judah, he was sent to announce God’s judgment on the northern kingdom (Israel). He probably ministered for the most part at Bethel, Israel’s main religious sanctuary, where the upper echelons of the northern kingdom worshiped.
The book brings his prophecies together in a carefully organized form intended to be read as a unit. It offers few, if any, clues as to the chronological order of his spoken messages—he may have repeated them on many occasions to reach everyone who came to worship. The book is ultimately addressed to all Israel (hence the references to Judah and Jerusalem).
- During the calling of Amos, Uzziah was king of Judah. Jeroboam was the king of Israel. What kind of kings were they (check out wikipedia)? Were they successful kings? How? Were they successful spiritually? How about compared with their fathers?
- How are things for Judah and Israel at this time? Is it a time of strife? Tension? Financially how are the two countries prospering? How long have things been this way? Look to Joash (again…wikipedia). Did Judah and Israel get along during his reign?
- If the American Civil War resulted in two countries–the North and the South–how would it make you feel now? Discuss how a Divided Kingdom wouldn’t sit well with a penitent jew–someone who believed the promises of God in Exodus.
- Discuss the parallels of the United States and the jewish nations in the time of Amos. In what ways do you disagree or agree with the parallels? In what ways is the U.S. similar to the Divided Kingdoms? In what ways is it different? Most importantly, though, what attitudes about the poor are applicable to God-fearing people from any century and any nation?
- Review the ideas of High vs Low Religion. High Religion being the “official” religion people should be following, while Low Religion is the set of beliefs people fall back on when doubt creeps in. With 83% of Americans identifying themselves as Christian (according to a recent ABCNews poll), do you feel the U.S. has a High and Low Religion? Why or why not?