“A Lion has roared! Who will not fear? The Lord God has spoken! Who can but prophesy?” (Amos 3:8, NKJV)
[Thought questions for Lord of All Nations April 24, 2013]
1. Can’t help but prophesy! If you lived in the hillsides of old as Amos did, how would you feel hearing a lion roaring loudly nearby? What did the roar of the lion mean to Amos? Aren’t God’s people the ones who are accountable to the rulings of God, our spiritual lion? People outside the network of Christendom–does God have the right to rule over them when they have refused to accept Him as their ruler? Should our evangelists speak out against pagan and non-Christian influences in society? Why or why not?
2. Justice for the oppressed. Why was Israel worthy of more of the anger of God than the pagan nations nearby? Or was it? Do you believe that riches always lead to spiritual decay? Can a nation be wealthy and still show pity to the poor in its midst? Do you live in a country that makes sure the “fatherless and widows” receive basic financial support? Is that the type of social justice that God requires of us? Do you ever speak up for the needs of troubled people groups in your city, township, state, or province? What would it take to activate us to defend and rescue the poor? Or do we do enough of that already?
3. Privilege has its perils. Did you notice the Hebrew word “yada” from Amos 3:1-2 and its explanation in the lesson guide? Do you think that word has anything to do with common American slang, “yada yada yada”? Sure enough…the expression, which means “nothing” or “I don’t know” comes from Yiddish, a Hebrew dialect, with the meaning “knowing,” or “I do know.” Why do you think we have we taken the original meaning of the word “yada” and turned it around? Are we as end-time Christians ever guilty of being too casual about the blessings and related responsibilities that God gives us? Have they become to us “yada yada yada?”
4. Israel’s Rendezvous with God. Does the poetic, chanting rhythm of the book of Amos add meaning for you? How? Why does God send disasters to His rebellious people? What is His intent when He sends these physical punishments? Why don’t we heed the warnings? Or do we? How do natural or man-made disasters affect our spiritual life? How awesome are these words: “Prepare to meet Your God.” Are you ready to meet your God? Are you prepared to endure the worst possible physical turmoil and still stay true to God? How do you obtain that strength?
5. Let’s hear from Obadiah. How can the families of two brothers carry on a feud among their families for generations? Has there ever been this kind of inter-generational distrust in your family? Why were the Edomites so dead set against the Israelites? Why did God allow them to continue in their animosity for so many centuries? Can any of today’s wrongdoings be traced to horrific sources within the past 2,000 years? What about tribal hostilities? or warring between countries?
6. Why did God choose the Jews? Did the Jewish people regard their status as God’s chosen people as they should have? could have? What about us today? Do we or do we not have any God-given responsibility towards people in our community who are friendless, weary, or ill? Are most of your friends fellow church members? Should they be? How can we do a better job of sharing God’s love with those around us who do not share our religious convictions? Or is that a task for the Holy Spirit to carry out exclusively?