Further Study: Lord of All Nations
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Read the following quotations and discuss how they help us to understand the messages from Amos 1-4 and Obadiah in a clearer way.

“From the beginnings of Israelite religion the belief that God had chosen this particular people to carry out His mission has been both a cornerstone of Hebrew faith and a refuge in moments of distress. And yet, the prophets felt that to many of their contemporaries this cornerstone was a stumbling block; this refuge, an escape. They had to remind [...]

Thursday: The Pride That Leads to Fall
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Read the book of Obadiah.

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What important moral and spiritual truths can we take away from this book?

Obadiah is the shortest book in the Old Testament, and it reports on the prophetic vision of God’s judgment upon the land of Edom. The message of the book focuses on three issues: Edom’s arrogance (vss. 1-4), Edom’s coming humiliation (vss. 5-9), and Edom’s violence against Judah (vss. 10-14).

The Edomites were the descendants of Jacob’s brother Esau. The hostility [...]

Wednesday: Israel’s Rendezvous With God
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“Prepare to meet thy God, O Israel” (Amos 4:12).

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Chapter 4 of Amos begins with the description of Israel’s sins, and it ends with the announcement of the day of reckoning. God makes His people especially accountable for the ways in which they live and treat others.

Amos has listed a series of natural disasters, any one of which should have been enough to turn the nation to God. The list is composed of seven disasters, the [...]

Tuesday: The Peril of Privilege
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Amos’ prophetic message was not intended to be restricted to the historical situation in Israel

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but to expand the scope of the message beyond Israel and Judah. In the Old Testament, Israel had a unique but not exclusive claim on God.

Read Amos 3:1-2. The Hebrew verb yada, “to know,” which is used in verse 2, bears a special sense of intimacy. In Jeremiah 1:5, for example, God says that He “knew” the prophet and set him apart even before [...]

Monday: Justice for the Oppressed
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God’s universal judgment is one of the central teachings found in Amos.

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In the beginning of his book, the prophet announces God’s judgment on several of Israel’s neighbors because of their crimes against humanity. Then, however, Amos boldly declares that God also will judge Israel. The anger of the Lord was directed not only at the nations but also at the people He had chosen. The people of Judah had rejected the Word of the [...]

Sunday: Crimes Against Humanity
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Read Amos 1 and 2. Why does the Lord warn that punishment is coming?

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The first two chapters in Amos’ book contain seven prophecies against neighboring nations, followed by a prophecy against Israel. The foreign nations are not judged because they are Israel’s enemies but because of their violations of universal human principles. Two things stand out in Amos’ condemnation: the absence of loyalty and the absence of pity.

For instance, Tyre was a leading merchant city [...]

Sabbath: Lord of All Nations
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Read for This Week’s Study: Amos 1-2, Isaiah 58, Luke 12:47-48, 1 Kings 8:37-40, Amos 4:12-13, Obadiah.

Memory Text: “A Lion has roared! Who will not fear? The Lord God has spoken! Who can but prophesy?” (Amos 3:8, NKJV).

Key Thought: Acts of inhumanity are sins against God and will be judged accordingly. lion in Scripture often represents the king of the animal world. His appearance evokes irresistible strength and majesty as well as ferocity and destructive power. Even when not actively hunting, the lion can be heard, its roar audible for [...]

Further Study: A Holy and Just God
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The prophet’s name, Joel, was common in Bible times, and it means “The Lord is God.” This name is appropriate to the overall theme of the book: only God is completely holy and just, and His work is sovereign on earth. The history of His people, as well as that of the nations, is in His hands. The same holds true for the life of every human being.

“The tremendous issues of eternity demand of us something besides an imaginary religion, [...]

Inside Story: Light in the Jungle, part 1
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The teenager stepped off the bus and looked around. He had never been in a city before.

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But he had no time to gaze at the tall buildings and busy streets, for he was on a mission. But where should he go? He prayed, “God, direct me to the people who keep Your Sabbath.” Then he started walking.

He found himself in front of a theater and watched as people entered. He felt led to follow [...]

Thursday: The Refuge in Times of Trouble
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Biblical prophets compare the coming judgment from God to the roaring of a lion,

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a sound that makes everyone tremble (Joel 3:16, Amos 1:2, 3:8). In the Bible, Zion designates the location of God’s earthly throne in Jerusalem. From this place God will punish the enemy, but at the same time He will vindicate His people who patiently await His victory. They will share in His triumph when He renews creation.

To some people the Scripture’s portrayals of [...]