Greetings! Below you will find questions which reference the sermon preached on Sunday, November 2nd, 2014 at The Park. This week we studied Chapter 5 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).
- Remember a time as kids when your parents made you apologize for something (like to a whining sibling, even when they started it!). How genuine was it? Think of some forced office birthday parties. How do they compare to the genuine love felt when your friends or spouse went all out for a birthday party for you? Compare those situations with how God feels when we serve him out of obligation.
- Discuss the difference between giving out of abundance vs giving out of need (sacrificial giving). Why does God ask us to sacrificially give? Is God short on money? Does he need attention or something? How does sacrificial giving urge us into a change of heart?
- Israel and Judah thought they were living out God’s commands and doing well by doing all the right things. Why did God reject their offerings? Is the church today in danger of looking good while overlooking the poor and downtrodden? Discuss your experiences with giving organizations (charities, missions trips). How can the church push for more widespread participation in programs like this?
- Discuss the concept of the Kingdom vs the anti-Kingdom (Israel vs Egypt). How had Israel become oppressive and spiritually empty? Was God pleased? Yet was his anger absolute and permanent? Was he going to completely annihilate Israel? Discuss mercy despite failure.