Introduction: 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!

  1. Complacent in Zion

    1. Read Amos 6:1,4-6. Are these people respected? (Yes, they
      are “notable” and people come to them for advice.)

      1. How is their food situation? (They are well fed and
        they drink wine by the bowl.)

      2. How is their financial situation? (They have
        expensive furniture and they use the finest lotions.
        They sound like they have money.)

      3. How are their family relationships? (They seem to be
        playing music together – spending time with each

      4. So, what is the problem? (Amos says they are (v.1)
        “complacent” and they “do not grieve over the ruin of

    2. A number of years ago I read an article attacking
      “celebration” worship. The thesis of the article was that
      we should not be celebrating, we should be sad and serious
      about our sins. I dismissed the article as obvious
      nonsense because it failed to cite a single Bible text.
      Could the verses we just read have been cited in this

      1. Should we be sad and grieving over sin?

      2. The real focus of the complaint in these verses seems
        to involve this term “the ruin of Joseph.” It is
        obviously important, what do you think this means?
        (Read 1 Chronicles 5:1. The sons of Joseph are spoken
        of as being given the birthright. Thereafter, the
        Bible sometimes refers to God’s people as “Joseph.”
        These people are complacent about the fact that their
        nation is being ruined.)

      3. What obligation does that suggest for us today?
        ( Romans 5:1-2 tells to rejoice in the hope that Jesus
        has given to us. We are not called upon to be sad. In
        fact, if you look up the word “rejoice,” in a
        concordance, you will be amazed at how often it
        appears in the Bible. On the other hand, we are to
        take seriously the sin problem in our life, our
        family, our church and our society. Comfort and
        success in our life can desensitize us to the sin

  2. Learning Lessons

    1. We skipped over Amos 6:2-3. Let’s read these verses. When
      you see someone you know get in trouble, do you worry
      about that happening to you?

      1. This week a friend of mine died of a heart attack.
        I’ve known him for about 20 years and I spoke with
        him at church hours before he died. He was in his
        40’s and a bit younger than I am. Do you think I
        thought of all of the reasons why I might have died
        instead of him? (No. Aside from having to admit he
        was younger than I am, I tried to think of all of the
        reasons why this should NOT happen to me.)

      2. Do you do that – try to think bad things will not
        happen to you? Have you ever considered the ages at
        which your parents died and compared their situation
        to yours? (Sons often think of the age when their
        fathers died, and then compare their life. My father
        was several years older than I am when he had a
        massive heart attack. I tell myself that I am
        thinner, eat a better diet, exercise more, etc. than
        Dad did. Why? Because I want to convince myself of
        all the reasons why the same thing should not happen
        to me at his age.)

      3. What is God’s point in Amos 6:2-3? Why does putting
        things off bring terror? (Remember back to when we
        started studying Amos. In chapter 1 Amos was talking
        about the sins of all of the neighboring countries
        and how God was going to punish them? God now says in
        verse 2 “Look what happened to these neighbors. Do
        you think you are better than they are?”)

        1. Did the people think what happened to their
          neighbors could not happen to them? (Yes. As a
          result, God says in verse 3, terror is heading
          your way. God gives His people a reality check.
          Instead of telling ourselves all the reasons why
          our sins are not as bad as those of others, we
          need to learn a lesson from what sin does in the
          lives of those around us.)

    2. Consider the picture Amos paints. The people are living
      well. They are complacent. When they look over at the
      disaster hitting other people they say, “Hey, glad that’s
      not us!

  3. What God Hates

    1. Read Amos 6:7-8. “Abhor” and “detest” are pretty strong
      words. Brown-Driver-Brigg’s definition for the word
      translated “abhor” is “loath.” Is there anything about you
      that God should loath and detest? What is it that God
      loathed about His people? (Their pride and their

      1. I’m short on fortresses these days. What do you think
        God means? (Strong’s tells us that the word
        translated “fortresses” means “to be elevated” and
        applies it to a castle, palace, or citadel.)

      2. What attitude do you think God is describing? (The
        picture I see here is someone who thinks he does not
        need God. He gives himself credit for his success. He
        thinks he is “elevated” above others so that he
        depends upon himself.)

        1. Does God hate fancy homes? Didn’t we start out
          saying we wanted wealth and comfort for
          ourselves and our children? Is that a problem?
          (Maybe. It depends on our motives and our
          attitudes. This gets back to the “adornment”
          issue ( 1 Peter 3:3-4). If we wear fancy rings,
          expensive jewelry and cloths, drive fancy cars
          and build great homes to show off that we are
          better than others, then we have a problem.)

        2. Is the sin in the money spent on these things or
          in the attitude they reveal?

        3. I am a “car guy.” I love cars. But, for years I
          drove old vehicles that I thought God led me to
          “find” for bargain prices. (For example, a $200
          Honda Accord, a $1,000 Isuzu truck.)I thought
          God was working on my pride by having me drive
          these vehicles. At the same time, I was worried
          that people would conclude I was not a very good
          lawyer because I drove these old cars. Even
          today I drive old cars – and have not paid more
          than $10,000 for any car during the last 14
          years. Today, however, my cars are very expense
          looking. (A Mercedes “S class” and a Corvette.)
          If the sin is in the appearance, rather than in
          the money, am I still nursing an attitude God
          detests? How about you in your adornment,
          clothes, cars, home?

        4. Does “the church” do enough to combat the evils
          of pride and self-reliance? Or, do we reward
          “self-made” men and women by giving them high
          church offices?

  4. A Lack of Common Sense

    1. Read Amos 6:9-10. Amos pulls back the curtain to show the
      people the coming destruction. Verse 9 suggests a lot of
      people in one house. This is in contrast to the rich
      lifestyle pictured in verses 4-6. The fact that someone
      comes to burn them suggests that they may have died of
      plague. The “good news” is that some live. However, those
      who live “must not” mention God’s name. Why is that? (J.A.
      Motyer’s commentary on Amos says that they have walked so
      long out of God’s will they had no liberty to speak his
      name. The lesson suggests it could be because they no
      longer believed in God. Perhaps they blamed God. Another
      suggestion from the lesson is that the unhealthy side of
      guilt kept them from turning to God.)

      1. Consider the sequence of actions in verse 10. The
        person left alive is asked if anyone is with him.
        What is the logical answer to that? (If I were
        answering, it would be “Praise God, I was spared. God
        is with me!” I think the fact that he “must not”
        mention God shows a continuing lack of a proper
        relationship with God.)

    2. Read Amos 6:11. Do you fancy house people feel better now?
      (Both the great and small houses get smashed. This shows
      that it is the people’s attitude towards God, rather than
      the size of their house, that creates the problem.)

    3. Read Amos 6:12-13. Do horses run on rocky crags? Do you
      plow on rocks? Why is God asking these questions? (God is
      saying what a lot of parents say to their children, “What
      IS wrong with you?” Have you lost your mind? Where is your
      common sense?)

      1. In what area have the people lost their common sense?
        (First, they were trusting themselves and not God.
        The retaking of the city of Lo Debar (compare 2 Kings
        10:32-33 with 2 Kings 13:25) was based on God’s
        assistance (see the story in 2 Kings 13:14-19), but
        the people claimed it came through their own power.)

    4. Friend, how about you? God calls on us to use our common
      sense to turn to Him for life. We must not trust ourselves
      or our wealth. Our goal in life is a right relationship
      with God, rather than wealth and comfort.

  5. Next Week: Vision One – Locusts and Prayer