Amos 7:1-8:3

  1. What is the significance of each of Amos’ four visions. (7:1-9; 8:1-3)?
    What truth is demonstrated by the difference between the first two and the last two?
  2. 7:10-17. How does this section reveal the fearless courage of the prophet and the danger to which his obedience to God’s call exposed him?
    What can we learn from this concerning the demands of God’s service?

Notes

  1. 7:4, ‘The great deep’: probably a reference to the ancient belief in underground depths which supplied water for streams, springs, etc. Cf.Gen. 7:11.
  2. 7:10. Bethel was the chief sanctuary of the northern kingdom.

Amos 5 & 6

  1. 5:1-17. God uses various methods to draw men back to himself. Chapter 4 mentioned natural calamities; this chapter, a plea for right living.
    What sins are rebuked in these verse, and what is the one of escape?
  2. 5:18-27.What is necessary to make our worship acceptable to God?
    How did Israel fail? Is our worship in danger of falling under the same judgment?
  3. Chapter 6. Why were the Israelites insensitive to the approaching judgment?
    What warning does this contain for us?

Notes

  1. 5:25, 26. These verses are obscure, but seem to mean that the idolatrous tendency in Amos’ day.
  2. 6:2. Probably a reference to cities which have recently fallen. Israel is no more secure than they were.
  3. 6:10. This reference to burning the dead indicates a time of emergency.

Amos 3 & 4

  1. 3:3-8. These verses, by a statement of the law of cause and effect, underline the fact that the unexpected prophecy of 3:1, 2 is indeed from God.
    What does this prophecy teach regarding the responsibility of the people of God?
  2. 3:9-15. what is the significance of the invitation of the philistines and Egyptians to come and see the evil done in Samaria?
  3. What does chapters 4 teach on the following issues:
    (a) the evil of luxury,
    (b) religious formalism, and
    (c) God’s attempts to bring Israel to her senses?
    Notice the solemn conclusion of verse 12.

Notes

  1. 4:1. A reference to the wealthy women of Samaria. The cattle of Bashan were noted for their quality.
  2. 4:5, 6. Theses verses are ironical in tone.

Amos 1 & 2

  1. What are the particular sins of the nation (1:3 -2:3) that call for God’s Judgement?
    What can be learnt from this about the things God hates?
  2. Judah and Israel are judged because they have failed to live up to God’s Law – a different standard of Judgement from that applied to the nations.
    In what ways does 2:4-16 show the social, economic, and religious guilt of God’s people?
    How do we fall short on the same issues?

Note

  1. 1:3. Heavy machines for threshing grain had been used as instruments of torture on the people of Gilead.
  2. 2:1. Desecration of the dead was considered specially wicked.
  3. 2:8. Cf. Exod. 22:26. The judges demanded unjust fine s, accepting payment in clothing and wine, then made use of these at their sacrificial feasts.

Hosea 13 & 14

  1. In what four ways is the coming judgement described in chapter 13 ( verses 3, 7-8, 15, 16)?
    What four reasons are given for this judgment (verses 1-2, 4-6, 9, and 16)?
    What can we learn from this about the nature of sin?
  2. Chapter 14 describes the final triumph of God’s love.
    What, according to this chapter, does repentance involve (14:1-3, 8), and what is the divine response?

Hosea 11 & 12

In chapter 1 another aspect of God’s dealings with Israel breaks into view-his persistent love. Judgment there must be (11:5-8), but God will not make a final end of his sinning people.

  1. How was God’s love manifested in Israel’s beginnings? See 11:1-4; cf. Deut. 7:6-8.
    How was this still manifested, in spite of all his people’s backsliding?
    See 11:8-11.
  2. In chapter 11 God has spoken of his attitude to Israel; now in 11:12-12:2, he speaks of Israel’s attitude to himself.
    Then the prophet reminds the people of the very different history of their ancestor Jacob (12:3, 4).
    What is the attitude to himself that God desires (12:6; cf. 6:6; 10:12)?
    What, however, was Israel’s response to all God’s pleadings (12:7-14)?

Hosea 9 & 10

These chapters are prophecies of coming judgment, and show how the people’s sin will bring upon them:
(a) exile (9:1-8);
(b) a diminished population (9:9-17); and
(c) the destruction of both the sanctuaries and the throne, and reducing of the nation to servitude (10:1-15).

  1. 9:1-8. This passage was perhaps spoken at a religious festival, when people were making merry after the manner of the heathen at their festivals (9:1). How does Hosea describe the changes that exile will bring?
  2. 9:9-17. God himself speaks. He sees list prevalent in the nation, as in the most shameful days of Israel’s history. To what results would it lead?
  3. What different kinds of sin are spoken of in chapter 10? What counsel does the prophet give as to the one way of escape from the coming judgment?

Notes

  1. 10:1. ‘Stones’: a common feature of a Canaanite shrine, initiated by the Israelites in their worship.
  2. 10:5, 6. Cf. 1 Kgs.12:28, 29.
  3. 10:10. ‘Their double iniquity’: perhaps meaning the sins of the throne and of worship.
  4. 10:11. The position of Israel is to be changed from that of a heifer treading the threshing floor and easting freely (Deut. 25:4) to the heavy labour of the yoke.
  5. 10:14. ‘As Shalman devastated Beth Arbel’: the reference is uncertain. Shalman is probably the same as Shalmaneser, 2 kgs. 17:3.