October, November, December 2001
Want to learn more about Amos? Use these Bible Studies for personal devotion, group Bible studies, or teaching a church class. Below are links to the lessons in this 13-part series.
Lesson 1: The Non-Prophet Prophet (Amos 1)
This week we begin a new study which turns our attention to the Old Testament book of Amos. Amos is known as one of the "minor" prophets of the Old Testament. His book is only nine chapters long.
If this makes you think Amos is unimportant, consider that the decision to study this book at this time was made long ago. Yet, as I read through Amos this week, I was struck by the "hard" lessons it contains for us today. Amos 9:1 is eerily familiar. It says, "Strike the tops of the Temple columns so hard that the foundation will shake. Smash the columns so the roof will crash down on the people below.... No one will escape!" (NLT) Are recent events a call to us in America to repent? We will see. Right now, let's dive into our introduction to this important little book!
Lesson 2: Sins of the Neighbors (Amos 1&2)
Assume you got into a dispute with one of your co-workers. How do you feel when the boss takes your side and yells at that person - someone who deserves it? What if the boss does a really good job of yelling? Do you sit there with a smirk on your face thinking, "Glad that's not me," "They had that coming to them!" This week we find God threatening "the other guy." Let's jump in.
Lesson 3: Hear This Word (Amos 3, Galatians 6)
When I was a kid I would point out to my Dad that other kids got to do things I didn't get to do. (Like wear tight jeans - I had to wear the baggy ones. Guess times have changed!) My Dad would answer me by saying, "They aren't Don Cameron's sons." Was that was an adequate answer from my father? Yes. Because I was my Father's son I had "special obligations" to him that others did not have. Does God place special responsibilities upon His people that are not placed on the rest of the world? Let's jump into our continued study of Amos and find out!
Lesson 4: Prepare to Meet Thy God (Amos 4)
How many of you have seen or heard of the stereotype of a fat, unshaven American male sitting in front of the television watching football and calling out to his wife, "Bring me another beer from the refrigerator!" Ladies, somehow you have let things get away from you. Amos writes about fat women sitting around yelling at their husbands, "Bring us some drinks!" Yes, that's in the Bible. Let's dive into our lesson and learn more!
Lesson 5: "Seek the Lord" (Amos 5)
Recently, I've seen a number of programs about the "plastic surgery" performed on a number of people. I've seen people who had the fat sucked out of their middle, fat cut out of their eyelids, fat pumped into other places and the skin tightened on their face. Why do people pay a lot of money for this? Because they prefer the look of youth over age. Perhaps we do not like to look old because it reminds us that we are closer to death. Amos gives us a formula for life that does not involve moving our fat anywhere, so let's give it a closer look.
Lesson 6: Pass Over or Pass Through? (Amos 5)
A recent study of the youth of the Church showed that a disappointingly low percentage had confidence in their salvation. Our lesson from Amos this week will not help bolster those numbers. Hebrews 4:16 instructs us to "approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we might receive mercy and find grace." Amos gives us the counterbalance to this - that we need to examine our relationship with God before we confidently approach Him. This reminds me of a study of the math skills of American youth. They thought they were great in math, but they scored at nearly the bottom of the "industrialized" nations. Perhaps we are fooling ourselves about our relationship with God. Let's jump into Amos' bath of cold water realism!
Lesson 7: "At Ease in Zion" (Amos 6)
What do you want for your future? The future of your children? You want respect, health, enough money to live "comfortably" (financial security), your own home and secure and loving family relationships. Anyone have something to add to this list? They had that in Israel and Judah, but Amos is complaining about it. Let's jump into our study and discover whether we should modify our dreams!
Lesson 8: Vision One - Locusts and Prayer (Amos 7)
Years ago I had a member of my Bible class ask me, "What is the good of prayer? If God is going to do what is best for us anyway (whether we want it or not), why pray? My answer then had to do with prayer changing us and releasing God's power. However, this week we explore the idea of something quite different - the prayer of Amos changes God's mind! Or, does it? How can changing God's mind be consistent with a God who is all wise and all knowing? Let's dive into our lesson and see what we can learn about this aspect of prayer.
Lesson 9: Vision Two - Judgment by Fire (Amos 7)
Last week we studied Amos' vision of the judgment of his people by locusts and then by fire. I promised you that we would look at the fire vision in more detail this week. We discovered last week that if you had too many locusts, you might think that nature was simply out of control. Fire from heaven is something else. It signals divine judgment. Is that the only reason for God's use of fire? What about the final judgment by fire? Let's "jump from the frying pan into the fire!"
Lesson 10: Vision Three - The Plumb Line (Amos 7)
When I was a kid I remember going to a little tourist place where the rules of gravity did not seem to apply. Balls rolled uphill. Floors looked level but did not feel level. The walls seemed straight, but were not. After studying the matter, I determined it was all an optical illusion - nothing was as it seemed. Are we living in an "optical illusion?" Has Satan so twisted our vision that we have trouble seeing matters in their proper light? Our lesson this week is about testing with God's standard. Let's dive in!
Lesson 11: Vision Four - Summer Fruit (Amos 8)
Sometimes my dreams go bad. I'll be dreaming of being in some pleasant place when all of a sudden things turn dark and someone starts chasing me - or something like that. Has that happened to you? Things in your dreams or in your life do not turn out as you had originally expected? Amos' vision that we are studying today sounds like that on the surface. What seems good turns out bad. Let's jump in and see what we can learn.
Lesson 12: Vision Five - No Escape for the Lost (Amos 9)
This week we turn our study to the final vision given to Amos. This vision is not like the rest. God is not seeking Amos' input, God is not negotiating, God is executing judgment. On one hand you may shiver and say, "I don't want to read about that!" On the other hand, think back to a recent book or movie which entertained you precisely because the "good guy" ultimately got rid of the "bad guys." Is Amos 9 different because you fear you may be one of the "bad guys?" Let's jump into our study.
Lesson 13: Restoration (Amos 9)
This week we come to the end of our study of the book of Amos. How would you guess a book like Amos should end? After all of the warnings, after all of the predictions of gloom and doom, how would you write the last chapter? Let's jump in and see how things turn out!