Israel’s Restoration (Amos 9:11 – 15)

Scripture Text:

(click to open in a new window)

Amos 9:11 – 15

1. When it comes to gardening, do you have a green thumb or a brown one? How so?

2. When it comes to repairing broken relationships or growing new ones, are a green thumb or a brown?

3. To what does “in that day” and “David’s fallen tent” (verse 11) refer?

4. What promises does the Lord make (verses 11 – 15)?

5. What have the people endured to receive these promises (see Amos 4:6 – 11)?

6. How do the last words of Amos compare with his other words? Are these words in or out of character for Amos?

7. Do you think verse 15 has come true? If so, when?

8. When have you felt as though you were back in the promised land after a long exile?

9. Which area of your life needs a fresh touch of God’s spirit today?

10. In silent review and prayer, ask God to use Amos to reveal any sin that needs to be addressed in your life.

.

Israel To Be Destroyed (Amos 9:1 – 10)

Scripture Text:

(click to open in a new window)

Amos 9:1 – 10

1. Who do you admire for: (a) telling it like it is? (b) taking criticism and making positive improvements?

2. Do you prefer to face up to a problem and get it over with or do you tend to put it off as long as possible?

3. What is meant by Amos seeing the Lord “standing by the altar” and the temple sanctuary coming down on their heads (verse 1)?

4. How does this vision compare to the ones that precede it? Are things getting better? Staying the same? Getting worse?

5. How does this vision expand, confirm or contradict what you know of God?

6. Is the Exodus of no more significance than the migration of another peoples the world over? Or what does verse 7 imply?

7. What is the main message in verses 1 – 4?

  • it is useless to run from God
  • you can’t hide from God
  • sin marks you for life
  • God is out to get you
  • other: _________

8. If you were an original recipient of this prophecy, how would you feel?

  • haunted
  • hunted
  • trapped
  • terrified

9. Why would God not destroy all of Judah (verse 8)? How would Israelites know if they were one of the few not to be overtaken by disaster? What must life have been like for these shaken people?

10. Who would dare say, “disaster will not overtake or meet us” (verse 10)?

  • optimist club president
  • irrational sentimentalist
  • spiritually blind person
  • other: _________

11. How do you attempt to hide from God?

  • ignore certain pressing issues
  • skip church
  • keep on moving and don’t slow down
  • stop praying and reading the Bible
  • other: ___________

12. How do you accept critical news?

  • shoot the messenger
  • pull the covers over your head
  • grin and bear it
  • act on it
  • praise the Lord anyway

.

A Basket of Ripe Fruit (Amos 8)

Scripture Text:

(click to open in a new window)

Amos 8

1. What is some bad news you have had to deliver: accident? death? failing grades? job loss? jury vote? How did you prepare yourself to deliver the news?

2. Have you received bad news lately? How did you deal with it after you heard it?

3. If a famine swept the land, what food would you miss most?

4. This is Amos’ fourth vision (see Amos 7:1 – 9 for the others). How is this vision like and unlike the last one?

5. Consider the look, smell and taste of fruit that is overripe. What does this say about the condition Israel was in?

6. Is this coming judgment seen as inevitable, postponable or avoidable? How so? Can God relent, as in the first two visions?

7. What sins is Amos condemning in verses 4 – 6? Where else have you heard Amos sound this familiar theme? What could that rebellion mean?

8. Is this “God who won’t forget” (verse 7) consistent or inconsistent, with what you know of God?

9. The coming doom is described as an earthquake, eclipse, famine and drought. Of these, which would be most frightening to you? Why?

10. What lesson learned in fasting is learned the hard way in famine?

11. What would a “famine of hearing the words of the Lord” (verse 11) entail? In such a time, what would be missing? What would run rampant?

12. Comparing your church to a tree, what do you see? Explain.

  • baby seedling
  • full blossoms
  •  green fruit
  • good fruit
  • overripe fruit

13. When it comes to hearing the Word of God in your church, are you in a time of feast or famine? Why?

14. If there a strange silence of the Bible in churches, how would you account for that? What makes us deaf to God? If we were closer to the poor and oppressed, might that help us better hear God?

15. From this passage, how do you view the temptations affecting church and state leaders? How can you support those in leadership who fall, that might thirst again for God and find Him?

Additional Observation:

Of all the devastations that will fall upon Israel if they do not repent, one stands out above all others: the nation will experience the silence of God. A few more prophets succeeded Amos, but after Malachi no prophet appeared in Israel for 400 years (until John the Baptist came to announce Jesus).

.