Introduction: 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!
- Out of Egypt
- Read Amos 3:1-2. God often mentions to His people
that He rescued them from Egypt. Was this just “old
news” to the people? Or, do you see that God has
some special point in this? If God has a special
point, what is it? (God is saying that He rescued
them and chose them alone to have a special
relationship with Him.)
- Why would the fact that they are specially
chosen mean that God should specially punish
them? (Being chosen by God does not mean that
you only get blessings. You also carry a
responsibility to God. 1 Corinthians 4:2 says
that those who have been given a trust much
prove faithful. Having God’s special blessing
is a trust – and Israel had let God down.)
- Today’s Trust?
- There is a lot of discussion among Christians in
the United States about whether the recent
terrorist attacks on the U.S. are the result of God
withdrawing His protection from the U.S. because of
our sins. Others say the U.S. is not like Israel.
What makes us think that God ever gave us special
- What do you think about this? Has God chosen
the U.S. for special blessings?
- Has God placed a “trust” in the U.S. and we
have let Him down?
- I am sensitive to the fact that this lesson
goes out world-wide. (I’ve gotten in trouble
in the past for not being sensitive enough
about this!) Let me ask readers of all
countries, how do you think the U.S. come to
be the world-power that it is today?
- Is it because it is older than other
- Is it because its people are smarter or
- Is it because it has more natural
resources than others?
- Is it because it has better harbors than
- Is it because it has a bigger population
than others? More land mass? (Isn’t the
answer, “no” to each of these questions?
Other countries can lay claim to the
title in each of these areas. The only
conclusion I draw is that the Lord
decided to bless the U.S.. Not only are
its founding documents overtly Christian,
but its system of laws has long been
based on the Ten Commandments. At the
same time the U.S. has had a generally
excellent record of religious and civil
freedom. See Psalms 75:6-7.)
- What about you personally? Has God blessed you? Do
you have special obligations to God other than just
accepting His blessings? (This is a very tricky
area. If you are going to stand up and say “God
blessed me” then, if Amos has lessons for us today,
you need to be careful to obey God.)
- Read Deuteronomy 4:5-9. Why do these verses suggest
that God blesses a nation or a person? (God says
that a nation which prospers can have a positive
influence on others. The other nations will look
and say, “How can I be like that?”)
- How does the U.S. score on that issue?
(Terribly – at least in part. Our “Hollywood”
and music cultures has long polluted the
- How about you? What is your influence at work?
What is your influence among your neighbors?
- The Aharit
- Read Galatians 6:7-8. Our lesson (Wednesday)
highlights the Hebrew word “aharit” and its meaning
“that which comes after; final consequences; ends.”
Do we get our “final consequences” here in life?
What does the text in Galatians suggest? (It
suggests that we get our “final consequences” at
the judgment. Either we get destruction or we get
- Why, then, did God punish Israel during Amos’
- Read Amos 3:9. Does this suggest an
answer? (God was punishing Israel as an
example to her enemies! Just as Israel’s
blessings were a positive influence upon
other countries when it followed God, so
when it turned away from God its
punishment was to be an influence on
- Is this principle also true among
individuals? (Most of the time our
“reward” (for either good or evil) is at
least partially in this life. But, we
have all seen situations where it seems
clear the “reward” will await the final
- Two weeks ago we studied in some detail Amos 3:4-10. We will not repeat that study except to say
that in these verses God takes illustrations from
every day life to teach that the trouble that is
about to befall Israel is the result of them
turning away from Him. Let’s pick up a point we
didn’t discuss. Let’s look back at Amos 3:9 again.
God summarizes two areas of evil: unrest and
oppression. Is there “unrest” in your church?
- Are you part of the cause of it?
- How serious a problem is “unrest” within the
body of believers?
- Let’s move down and read Amos 3:11-12. How is
- Parents, is this your worst nightmare?
- What lesson for your life and the lives of
your children do you draw from this definition
of being “saved?” (Sin does not generally kill
us in the short term. What sin does is wound
us. It cripples our future. Sometimes it does
this by removing our spiritual “authority” (as
in the case of David and Bathsheba), sometimes
it destroys our reputation, and sometimes it
physically harms us.)
- Why does verse 12 refer to those sitting on
the edge of the bed and on the couch as being
part of the injured? (The Adam Clarke
Commentary on this verse says that a couch in
a corner was a very distinguished place to be.
This judgment is not going to skip over the
rich, honored or distinguished people. Wealth
and honor will not be a buffer to the coming
- Read Amos 3:13-15. In the coming destruction, why
does God specifically mention places of worship?
Why does He mention the altar?
- Is there a message in this for us today?(We
need to be very careful about what we
“worship” in life. The reference to Bethel is
a reference to idol worship. The “horns of the
altar” means that no place is safe for us when
God comes to punish. In 1 Kings 1:50 and 1
Kings 2:28 we read of men who fled to the
“horns of the altar” and held on to be saved
from the fury of the king. This was apparently
considered a place of refuge. The place of
refuge will be gone when God comes to punish.)
- Our Picture of God
- Our lesson (Thursday)has a point we must ask
ourselves: how do we reconcile the God of Amos with
the loving Jesus?
- Do we have two different Gods: the God of
thunder, lightning, earthquake and judgment in
the Old Testament and the God of healing,
help, kindness and suffering in the New
Testament? (They are one God. Jesus shows us
the infinite love that our Father in Heaven
has for us. However, part of love is judgment
on sin. Amos shows us the terrible nature of
sin and that God will ultimately destroy sin
and sinners. He will not however ( Amos 3:7) do
it without first revealing His intentions to
- Friend, how is your life? How is your walk with
God? Are you faithful in your worship? Are you
faithful in your witness to others? If not, God
calls on us to take a long look at His view of our
sins and to turn away from them.
- Next Week: Prepare to Meet Thy God