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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?
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).