June 3 - Seek the Lord and Live (Amos)
Prepare for Sunday morning worship using the guide below.
Miguel Echevarria will be stepping in for Nik Lingle in Talking Points this Sunday at 10:00am in the youth room. This class briefly addresses a variety of current issues in our society, applying a Christian worldview to each of these topics. This week we will discuss refugees and immigration.
Amos 9: 1-6, 11-15
1 I saw the Lord standing beside the altar, and he said:
“Strike the capitals until the thresholds shake,
and shatter them on the heads of all the people;
and those who are left of them I will kill with the sword;
not one of them shall flee away;
not one of them shall escape.
2 “If they dig into Sheol,
from there shall my hand take them;
if they climb up to heaven,
from there I will bring them down.
3 If they hide themselves on the top of Carmel,
from there I will search them out and take them;
and if they hide from my sight at the bottom of the sea,
there I will command the serpent, and it shall bite them.
4 And if they go into captivity before their enemies,
there I will command the sword, and it shall kill them;
and I will fix my eyes upon them
for evil and not for good.”
5 The Lord God of hosts,
he who touches the earth and it melts,
and all who dwell in it mourn,
and all of it rises like the Nile,
and sinks again, like the Nile of Egypt;
6 who builds his upper chambers in the heavens
and founds his vault upon the earth;
who calls for the waters of the sea
and pours them out upon the surface of the earth—
the Lord is his name.
11 “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,
12 that they may possess the remnant of Edom
and all the nations who are called by my name,”
declares the Lord who does this.
13 “Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord,
“when the plowman shall overtake the reaper
and the treader of grapes him who sows the seed;
the mountains shall drip sweet wine,
and all the hills shall flow with it.
14 I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel,
and they shall rebuild the ruined cities and inhabit them;
they shall plant vineyards and drink their wine,
and they shall make gardens and eat their fruit.
15 I will plant them on their land,
and they shall never again be uprooted
out of the land that I have given them,”
says the Lord your God.
Let me introduce to you the prophet Amos. In the opening verses we learn Amos was from Tekoa, a small town in southern Judah, near Bethlehem. Unlike Isaiah who was raised in the courts of power and Ezekiel, a priest, Amos was neither religious leader nor trained scholar but was a shepherd and a sycamore tree farmer. The time in which Amos ministered was prosperous and a time of great expansion. Jeroboam II, the king of the Northern kingdom, was a successful military king. Without outside pressure the nation grew politically and militarily. This was a time of great national prosperity. Into this time, Amos brings a message of coming judgment on their lives, economically, politically, militarily and spiritually because of their sins. In the midst of this announcement, Amos calls them to seek the Lord and live. It is through repentance and faith that we find life and, in this life, justice, worship, and righteousness flourish.
Review and Apply
How does the idea of God as judge strike you?
What right does God have to judge creation?
How does God as judge give credibility to his character?
How responsible have you been with your spiritual privileges? Give examples.
In what ways are you guilty of hypocrisy, idolatry, or complacency? Give specific examples.
In what practical ways (generosity, battling injustice, walking in holiness) do you see your worship made visible? Can you ask for prayer for an area of struggle?
How does divine discipline engender repentance? How are the trials of our lives signs of God's mercy?
How are you pursuing 'justice in the gate' (5.14-15)?
Amos' preaching was largely ignored to the demise of his hearers. In what ways do you leverage the preaching at church to prepare you for the day of the Lord?