Amos 3: Sin & Wealth
A well-known insurance company uses cartoons to advertise their product. One cartoon pictures a piano falling from an upper-story window toward an unsuspecting man below. As it speeds toward its destination, a friend politely asks, "By the way, what's the name of your insurance company?"
"Acme insurance, of course," the man replies. "Why do you ask?"
Disaster often comes unexpectedly. The people of Israel were wealthy, self-centered and complacent. Little did they realize that the full weight of God's judgment was about to fall on them.
Warming Up to God
How do you respond to the portrayal of God as judge?
Discovering the Word
- The Israelites were confident that Yahweh was their God and they were his chosen people. But how had they misunderstood that call (vv. 1-2)?
- In verses 3-6 Amos asks several rhetorical questions. How would you summarize what he is trying to say in these verses?
- What do verses 9-10 say about Israel's morality and lifestyle in comparison with the pagan nations?
- How would the Lord's judgment against Israel fit their crimes (vv. 10-11, 15)?
- According to the law, people in danger could find refuge by grasping the horns of the altar (see 1Ki 1:50). How and why would this change (vv. 13-14)?
- Try to view this chapter from the perspective of those who were oppressed by the wealthy. How would you feel as you heard Amos's prophecy?
Applying the Word
- What does this chapter teach us about God's character?
- This passage tells us that privilege brings responsibility. How is that true for you?
Responding in Prayer
Ask the Lord to give you the strength of character needed to be responsible as a person of God.