Inside Story: One More Door
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Anatoly [ah-nah-TOH-lee] was tired.

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He had been working for hours to share pamphlets and Bible study cards in his assigned territory with little success. He wanted to go home, but he had promised God that he would visit every home he could, so he continued to work.

Anatoly, 13, lives in Moldova, a small country west of Russia. His shoulders slumped as he approached the last house on the road. He whispered a prayer and knocked [...]

05 Seek the Lord and Live! – Thought Starters
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“Seek good and not evil, that you may live; and thus may the Lord God of hosts be with you, just as you have said!”(Amos 5:14, NASB).

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[Thought questions for Seek the Lord and Live! May 1, 2013]

1. Making evil appear good and good evil. How was it possible for Israel to stumble in sin and make their relationship with God a mockery? Couldn’t they remember the mighty works God had done on their behalf? [...]

Thursday: Judah’s Ruins Restored
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The prophet turns from the dark picture of the people’s sinfulness

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and the resulting judgments to the glorious promises of the future restoration (Amos 9:11-15). The day of the Lord, previously described as the day of punishment (Amos 5:18), is now a day of salvation because salvation, not punishment, is God’s last word to His people. However, salvation will come after punishment, not instead of it.

Amid all the gloom and doom, Amos does close his [...]

Wednesday: The Worst Type of Famine
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“‘The days are coming,’ declares the Sovereign Lord,

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‘when I will send a famine through the land—not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord. Men will stagger from sea to sea and wander from north to east, searching for the word of the Lord, but they will not find it’” (Amos 8:11-12, NIV). How are we to understand the meaning of these verses?

In Amos [...]

05: Seek the Lord and Live – Teaching Plan
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Key Thought: Amos shows us that there are only two choices; life and death, and the stark difference between the two.

[Teaching plan for Seek the Lord and Live April 29, 2013]

1. Have a volunteer read Amos 5:14,15

A. Ask class members to share a short thought on what the main idea of this text is.
B. How can we discern the difference between what is good and what is evil? How could we define the two concepts?
C. Personal Application: What [...]

Hollow
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“I hate, I despise your feast days, and I do not savor your sacred assemblies. Though you offer Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them, Nor will I regard your fattened peace offerings. Take away from Me the noise of your songs, for I will not hear the melody of your stringed instruments.” Amos 5:21-23

Prophets have a hard job. God tells them what to say, and then they have [...]

Tuesday: Called to Be a Prophet
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Amos’ home was Tekoa, in Judah, but God sent him to prophesy in Israel.

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He had gone to the northern kingdom and preached with such power that the land was not “able to bear all his words” (Amos 7:10, NKJV). Certainly many Israelites looked at Amos with suspicion and rejected him as God’s messenger. In spite of that rejection, he faithfully performed his prophetic ministry.

Read Amos 7:10-17. What familiar pattern is seen here? What other examples [...]

Monday: Religion as Usual
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Read Amos 5:23-24, Hosea 6:6, Matthew 9:13, Psalm 51:17.

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What are these texts saying? More important, how can the principle here be applied directly to our own spiritual life today, as Seventh-day Adventists? That is, in what ways might we be guilty of doing exactly what is warned about here? (Remember, too, that it is very easy to be self-deceived in this area).

More than most other books of the Bible, Amos focuses on injustice, cruelty, and inhumanity. It also [...]

Sunday: Hate Evil, Love Good
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Things had become very bad in Israel;

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the corruption, the oppression, the sin. The point was reached where the very survival of the nation was at stake. For this reason, Amos composed a lament to mourn the coming death of Israel (Amos 5:1-15). Often in the prophetic books, no distinction is made between the word of the prophet and the word of the Lord. Thus, Amos’ lament is also God’s lament over Israel.

The purpose of [...]

Sabbath: Seek the Lord and Live!
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Read for This Week’s Study: Amos 5:1-15, Heb. 5:14, Isa. 5:20, Amos 7:10-17, 9:11-15, Acts 15:13-18.

Memory Text: “Seek good and not evil, that you may live; and thus may the Lord God of hosts be with you, just as you have said!” (Amos 5:14, NASB).

Key Thought: Amos reminds us that only in seeking the Lord is there life.

“Had Israel been true to God, He could have accomplished His purpose through their honor and exaltation. If they had walked in the ways of obedience, He would have made them ‘high [...]

Inside Story: Light in the Jungle, part 2
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Juan had found Christ and discovered the Sabbath while reading the Bible in his jungle home in southeastern Ecuador.

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God led him on a quest to a city several days’ journey away, where he met Adventists and asked to be baptized. But when the pastor asked him to stay in the city, Juan refused.

“I must return home and tell my family and fellow villagers,” he said. The pastor gave him bus fare to return home.

“We [...]

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 [...]