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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

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


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 [...]

Lord of All Nations (Amos)


“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?” Isaiah 58:6-7 NIV

It is a sad reality that in this world, many [...]

Acts of Humanity

As this week’s lesson talks about acts of inhumanity being sins against God, I would like to write about acts of humanity.

Taking a walk in Texas, I came across a beautiful patch of Texas Blue Bonnet flowers and Indian Paint Brushes. Among the flowers I saw some litter. I thought to myself, as ugly as sin has made this world, God still has His beautiful flowers for all to enjoy among the litter.

Not long after the New York World Trade [...]

Double-Edged Sword


My father was a sculptor. His medium of choice was wood. He was also one of the most patient men in the world. Anybody who asked for a lesson would immediately find themselves situated behind a fresh piece of wood, holding a chisel.

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The very first thing my father would tell everyone is, “Always cut away from yourself.” And everyone would smile, nod and think to themselves, “Well of course, everybody knows that.”

The lesson [...]

04: Lord of All Nations – Thought Starters


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

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[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, [...]

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 [...]