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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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
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!
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.
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!”
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!
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.
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.
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