Israel Has Not Returned To God (Amos 4)

Scripture Text:

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Amos 4

1. What situations make you the most angry? Have you ever been angry enough to call someone an animal name?

2. Which “cow” do you most identify with right now?

  • newborn calf
  • milk cow
  • angry bull
  • rodeo steer
  • prized heifer
  • fatted calf ready for slaughter

3. Bashan was an area known for its “fatted” cattle. Is verse 1 a sexist statement? What would a contemporary slur sound like?

4. What is the attitude of these women?

  • “I wear the pants in this house”
  • “The world exists to serve me”
  • “I deserve a break today”
  • “My needs come first”

5. What will be the fate of the women? Why does Amos use examples such as cow and meat hooks?

6. Verses 4 and 5 speak of going to worship centers and sinning. How is that possible? How would you describe this worship?

  • style without substance
  • ceremony without faith
  • faith without action
  • the right words with the wrong spirit

7. Amos is angry and sarcastic in verses 1 – 5, but what about God? In verses 6 – 11, what emotional quality is attributed to Him? How is His divine wrath expressed in a way different from human anger?

8. We see here five unsuccessful attempts by God to get Israel’s attention. As a stubborn Israelite, which of these divine acts would you have ignored? Which would you have heeded?

9. What might the people have thought when Egypt, Sodom and Gomorrah were brought up?

  • “but we are God’s chosen”
  • “we’re a cut above them”
  • “maybe we should listen to the shepherd”
  • “now we’re afraid”
  • “what does he know anyway?”

10. What does it mean to “prepare to meet your God” (verse 12)? Would this instill fear, joy, apathy or what? Why?

11. For Amos, the way we treat the needy is the area by which we are judged. What is the Christian church doing for the needy?

12. To what extent do you get involved in trying to alleviate poverty and oppression? Why don’t you do more? Selfishness? Ignorance? Politics? Caught up in “church work”? Other?

13. What would it mean for you to prepare to meet your God? Would that instill in you fear or joy?

14. Speaking of meeting God, how would you describe your relationship with Him?

  • we met long ago and have been friends ever since
  • we’ve met, and our friendship is growing daily
  • we just met
  • I am still waiting to be introduced

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