I’ve loved some time in Ezekiel! This book is full of God’s plan to cause exterior law to become interior truth in His Own. Why did God give the law if He knew people couldn’t keep it? Perhaps His great mercy was showing us our religious inability -a drought of desire for our Creator. Only new life (not dead law) could draw us to Him! BEHOLD-the glorious verb of announcement -is a word meant to startle us. It precedes power. “BEHOLD, I AM FOR YOU” He knew He would offer a spiritual exchange program. We hand Him our granite ritual-trusting ways & He gives us soft hearts that beat because His divine Blood flows through them! #GreatExchange #BEHOLD #DeathToLife #Ezekiel #HeisFORyou
- Many of us at Grace Bible Church have loved going deep into our Amos bible study! It’s SO exciting to dive into this powerful Old Testament book! Many of us have studied much of the Bible but had never stepped into Amos. Yet, all of us decided we wanted a new challenge! Why study this book? Amos is sandwiched into a section of Scripture called the “Minor Prophets”. Maybe it’s just me, but I think I avoided this book because it seemed so very “minor”. Can there be anything new to learn here?
YES! The 9 chapters of Amos portray a typical society in human history that had become consumed with its own importance and eventual abandonment of God’s preeminence. Throughout this book, God used Amos to call our attention to the PRIDE of Israel, the IDOLATRY of Israel, the SOCIETAL EVILS of Israel, and the impending JUDGEMENT on Israel. Amos is sent from Judah to Israel to point out the people’s sin and to point up to God’s constant mercy. God shows Himself in this book in fascinating ways. How?
- He is a LION who roars in response to His people’s disobedience.
- He is the divine JUDGE who will call to account His people’s idolatry and subsequent oppression of their fellow men.
- He is the CREATOR who sits above the vaulted sky and orchestrates the symphony of time.
- Finally, He is who He always is–the patient spurned FATHER who asks His people to return to Him because He loves them completely!
This book is so very timely for us.
Whether ancient Israel or Rome or America, the SOCIETAL CYCLE OF IDOLATRY AND OPPRESSION always follows a typical pattern: a society blessed with physical prosperity is often disregards God which leads to neglecting other people. We are forever ignoring what Jesus called the greatest commandments, “to LOVE GOD AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER.” His judgment is consistently executed on disobedient civilizations. If we are to learn from the book of Amos, we must ask ourselves some questions: How much of the world’s values do we weave into our Christian faith, not realizing we’ve compromised the exclusivity of God and become idolatrous? How much of our society’s love of luxury has wounded fellow human beings made in His image? Finally, how do we get out of this cycle?
SEEK THE LORD. The most glorious and hopeful section of this book centers in Amos chapter 5 where three different times, God offers Israel a divine escape hatch and opportunity for cultural restoration. He offers FULL PARDON, FULL HEALING, and FULL BLESSING if they will seek Him and Him only. He is the Ever Patient One.
The book of Amos will challenge, convict, and renew our hearts. He will enable us to see our culture more clearly & guide us to responding appropriately to His loving leadership. We will see age-old patterns of human (and God’s) history dropped into these 9 chapters and boldly shared by the prophet Amos. Not bad for a “minor” prophet. 🙂
You ready for the challenge? Download this FREE study at www.grace-bible.org!
Tristie Fisher Abby Anderson Perry Carolyn Jones
Amos | Grace Bible Church
This seven lesson study of the Old Testament book of Amos will help you see the heart of God’s just nature and how His relationship with His people can include judgment for corrupt worship, injustice and oppression of the poor. GRACE-BIBLE.ORG
Here’s the gospel truth: You will never regret spending time in the Bible. At the end of the day, no one says, “UGH! I wish I had not read the Bible today!” God has promised deep fulfillment as we seek Him through His word. We cannot know Him without reading His words to us. We can listen to worship music and spout other people’s spiritual opinions, but it’s ONLY God’s word that brings true life change. We have to handle His word ourselves. James 4:8 promises a response from the King, “Draw near to me and I will draw near to you.” God is so good to offer us wisdom in His Word. As growing believers, we are enabled to respond to His command to know Him through His Word. “All Scripture is God-breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:16
There is only one living document that continually breathes life-God’s word.How many times have we studied a passage we are familiar with and said “What?! I never saw that!” Hebrew 4:12 brings us the reason-this thing is alive and powerful and pierces us to the core! There is something joyously comforting and a little frightening in this. It’s because we are known by the Great One Who Is. That’s enough of a reason to give God’s word time and attention.
Need a few ideas? We all like easy..so get a Bible, get a pen, and get some paper. Write down what you read and learn to ask ,“WHAT DOES THIS SAY?” (Observe), “WHY IS THIS WRITTEN?” (Interpret) and “HOW DOES THIS AFFECT ME?” (Application) Ask God to help you set aside 10 minutes a day to pray, read, and write. Nothing in your life will impact your character and sharpen your vision like listening to the God who speaks to His people. The gift of His word is personal at every stage in life and nourishing for souls who live for the unseen Kingdom. Lean in and listen to the One who knows you best and loves you most.
Tristie Fisher, 2016