The Words of Amos – Part 1 Looking Inward Amos 1:1-2:16 February 18th, 2018
I. Amos WHO?
A. Amos is a POOR NOBODY… (1:1; 7:14)
B. …speaking to the WEALTHY and POWERFUL… (2:6-16)
C. …on BEHALF of the “LION”. (1:2; 3:8,12)
For Lent this year we turn to the book of Amos. He’s a minor prophet with a major message; one that helps us to look deep into the corners of our own lives and reflect on places we still refuse to surrender to Jesus. That’s the goal of Lent, to expose those things, and to offer them up to Jesus in repentance for His healing and renewal.
1. Who do you most identify with, Amos the nobody, or his rich audience?
2. What do you think of when you see God portrayed as a lion? How does that impact you?
II. There’s POWER in the right PRESENTATION.
A. The PROBLEM with everyone ELSE. (1:3-2:5)
B. Just when you THOUGHT Amos was FINISHED… (2:6-16)
Amos takes the long road to get to the hearts of his listeners. He highlights the problems in everyone else, something we all have an easy time doing. But just when you think it’s all over, he turns on us, and challenges us to look into our own lives with as much discernment as we seek to use when we look at others. Ouch.
3. How can we stop assessing everyone else and begin to reflect on our own lives this Lent? What can we actually do to make the shift?
4. What would our lives look like if we did make that shift?
III. The hard TRUTH of ISRAEL’S sin. (2:6-16)
A. ECONOMIC OPPRESSION. (2:6-7; 6:4-7)
B. IMMORALITY. (2:7)
C. A DISCONNECT between FAITH and ACTIONS. (2:8; Dt. 15:1-5)
D. FORGETTING how you got HERE. (2:9-11; Dt. 8:10-14; Jn 3:27)
E. REFUSING to LISTEN. (2:12)
Lent is a time for moving from generalities to specifics in our own lives. Israel has lost their way morally. Their trust in God and their memory of His leadership in their lives has gotten clouded by their own self-sufficiency. Time for a wake up call.
5. How big an issue (scale of 1-10) is economic oppression in our society? In your own life?
6. What are some specific ways that your faith impacts your day to day life?
IV. LISTENING to the ROAR today…
A. God is RULER over all the NATIONS. (Ps. 46:10)
B. We can’t ignore ECONOMICS when following JESUS. (2:8; 5:21-24)
C. Our use of FINANCES reveals our HEART. (2:6-8)
D. God CARES about PEOPLE…
So what do we do when Amos gets around to our situation? Are we willing to listen to the voice of the Spirit when it challenges things that we are slow to surrender. God cares for us, that’s the point of this whole process. He wants to take away these things that weigh us down.
7. How does God as the ruler over all make Lent safe? Is Lent a good practice in your own life?
8. For reflection, analyze your financial actions over the past year. What does that reveal about your heart?