Introduction: 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.

  1. Striking the Altar

    1. For a little background, let’s read 1 Kings 12:26-28. What
      was Jeroboam worried about when he said (vv.26-27) the
      kingdom will likely revert to the house of David? (You
      remember King David expanded the territory held by God’s
      people. David’s son, King Solomon, took over the kingdom
      after King David. After King Solomon died there was
      essentially a tax revolt by his subjects. Ten of the
      northern tribes (Israel) decided to go off on their own
      under King Jeroboam, while the two southern tribes (Judah)
      remained under Solomon’s son, King Rehoboam. Jeroboam was
      afraid that concerns about taxation might ultimately be
      less important than concerns about religion. Since the
      temple in Jerusalem was in the territory of Judah (the two
      tribes) Jeroboam was worried that “his” ten tribes might
      ultimately rejoin the two under Rehoboam.)

    2. Read 1 Kings 12:28-29,31-32. What solution did Jeroboam
      find to his problem? (He set up a false system of worship.
      He appointed all sorts of people as priests and even
      personally performed sacrifices.)

    3. With that background, let’s start our study of Amos 9.
      Read Amos 9:1. Who is now standing by the altar? (God is
      standing by the altar. We can imagine Jeroboam sacrificing
      at his counterfeit altar when God comes and stands by him
      and orders the destruction of the this system.)

    4. Is there a comparable false system of worship today? Do
      you know anyone who worships an animal made of gold? Is
      there a worship system that is like worshiping these
      golden calves? ( 1 Kings 12:28 tells us that Jeroboam made
      the golden calves. Any system of worship that depends on
      the works of man, or worships the works of man, is
      comparable to what was done here. Notice that Jeroboam
      appointed his own priests, and personally offered
      sacrifices. All of this was contrary to God’s word.
      Therefore, any system where the people do not pay
      attention to God’s word in their worship would also be a
      comparable system.)

  1. Nowhere to Hide

    1. Read Amos 9:2-4. If we had religious persecution in our
      country and you needed to hide, where would you go?

      1. If you were trying to escape from God where would you

      2. Where does God say won’t work in these verses? (God
        says there is no place to hide.)

      3. There is a very interesting contrast that God makes
        in these verses. Notice He speaks (on the high side)
        of going to the heavens or the top of Mt. Carmel, and
        (on the low side) of going to the grave or the bottom
        of the sea.

        1. What do you think God means when He speaks about
          the heavens and the grave?

        2. What does he mean when He speaks of Mt. Carmel
          and the sea? (I think God is talking about
          “spiritual” highs or lows and physical highs or
          lows. The spiritual highs or lows involve work
          (v.2 – digging or climbing). God says that being
          “good” or “bad” under the false system of
          worship will not protect you from me. Running
          for physical shelter will also not protect you.)

    2. Does this “nowhere to hide” statement make you nervous? On
      the world scene right now we have terrorists who are
      hiding in mountains in Afghanistan. Are you hoping that
      they will be able to successfully hide? (Whatever happens
      here on earth, God’s judgment should cause us to cheer. He
      is bringing an end to sin, suffering and death – and those
      who promote it.)

      1. How can we be sure we are not going to be one of
        those who feels the need to hide when judgment comes?
        (Read Jesus’ words in Mark 1:15. Jesus calls on us to
        repent and to believe the “good news” of His death to
        take away our sins.)

    3. Have you had feelings that God is ignoring you? That He is
      not aware of your requests for help? What does the
      “nowhere to hide” statement suggest to you? (It suggests
      that God knows of our problems. That if He knows how to
      find the unrighteous, He certainly knows how to find those
      who want to follow Him.)

  2. Lord Almighty

    1. Read Amos 9:5-6. Just how powerful is our God? (This text
      has some amazing word pictures. God can touch the earth
      and melt it!)

      1. What are you reminded of in the second part of verse
        6? (This is a reference to God’s power in destroying
        the world with the Flood. God says “I did it before
        and I can do it again.”)

  3. Dream World

    1. Read Amos 9:7-10. God asks His people if they are better
      than other people? What do you think is the answer?

      1. Didn’t God specifically love and protect Israel above
        other nations?

      2. Read Deuteronomy 7:12-14. Is God’s love conditional?
        Compare Matthew 5:44-45. (God loves everyone.
        However, He holds out a special blessing for those
        who respond to Him.)

      3. Does this mean that God specifically loved Israel
        more than other nations? (The people had disobeyed
        God and therefore had forfeited any claim to be
        better loved by God than their neighbors.)

      4. Do you think that “God’s people” understood their
        current status? (No. They were living in a “spiritual
        dream world.” This is the worst of all spiritual
        conditions: so proud about your religious beliefs
        that you fail to recognize you have fallen out of
        God’s will.)

    2. Notice again Amos 9:7 again. Do other peoples have an
      “exodus story” just like the Jews? (This is the most novel
      part of our study. I have always looked at the Jews as
      being God’s “peculiar” people ( Exodus 19:5 KJV) over all
      the nations on the earth. Verse 7 suggests however, that
      God gave special favors to other nations as well. The key
      is the thought expressed in Titus 2:14 that God searches
      for a people with whom to have a special relationship
      because they are eager to do good and to reflect the
      holiness of God.)

  4. The Hope

    1. Read Amos 9:11-12. What do we find at the end of God’s
      declaration of judgment and destruction? (He will restore
      the fortunes of those who “bear [God’s] name.” We will go
      into this in more detail next week.)

    2. Friend, is that you? Are you, like the people facing
      judgment, kidding yourself about being in a right
      relationship with God? Are you, too, living in a dream
      world? If so, the time is now to repent and turn to God
      so that you will be one who “bears God’s name.”

  5. Next Week: Restoration