Greetings! Below you will find questions which reference the sermon preached on Sunday, October 12th, 2014 at The Park. This week we studied Chapter 1 & 2 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).
- God, through Amos, brings charges before Israel. Namely that they are guilty of the following: Extreme Violence, Disregard for Human Life, Broken Commitments, Unforgiving Hearts, Brutality, Disrespect for Life, Idolatry, and Depravity. Is our list all that different today? Outside of Christ, would we look that different?
- In Revelation 2:4-5 is says, “But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the [a]deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent.” Does this correlate to your heart today? Is there an area of repentance to me made in your life?
- What does it look like for God to remove a lampstand? Have you had seasons in your life where you felt as though all of your influence was gone? What was this a result of?
- How does your theology fit with a God who punishes or enacts judgement upon people and nations? Is this difficult to accept? What other scripture supports your view if you seem to be in conflict with what you find in Amos thus far?
- What is the right response to God when it’s clear that our faith has been or currently is merely a show?
- Think of a time when you were unexpectedly called out for wrong behavior by your parents, boss, spouse, or friends. Share with the group why you felt things were going well up until that point. Then describe how you reacted and then responded.
- Discuss how the people of Israel and Judah might have felt after being included in Amos’ condemnations of pagan nations and then (unexpectedly) them also. Why might they have felt above being corrected? How were things going well for the two parts of the Divided Kingdom?
- However, do you think Amos’ condemnations were really a surprise? Discuss how idol worship was tolerated in Judah and Israel in the generations leading up to the time of Amos. Do you think the people really thought they were pleasing God? Why or why not? Are there similar situations with church in San Antonio now? How so? Or why not?
- Do you think national pride might have kept people from seeing how far Israel and Judah had fallen? Do you think people might have been so secure in their identity as Jews, that they thought they were above reproach, despite their behavior? Do you think some of our citizens feel the same about the U.S.? If a prophet called for the destruction of this country in God’s name, how might you react?