Seek God and live!
In Genesis 1, the Bible starts with a picture of real life as God intends it to be. A life enjoying God's world, in unspoiled friendship with Him. Can you and I find this sort of life? How?
Read Amos 4 v 1-3
Looking at patterns
There are lots of words and phrases here that repeat themselves or are similar to each other. It's helpful to look at the matching pairs.
- - What word and idea in verses 1-3 repeats itself in verses 16-17?
- - What is the central idea of verses 4-6 that is repeated in verses 14-15?
- - What does verse 7 say characterizes Israel's life (v 7)? How similar is this to the sentiment of verses 10-13?
The central verses of this section of Amos appear to be verses 8-9, which is a sort of jymn about God, portraying Him as the Creator (v 8) and Judge (v 9). He is the one who really matters.
Of course, if God is really the Creator and Judge, and sin is present in His world (v 7, 10-13), then justice will certainly be carried out (v 1-3, 16-17).
- - What must Israel stop doing (v 5)?
- - What must Israel do instead (v 4, 6)?
Re-read verses 14-15
Verses 14-15 are parallel to verses 4-6. They show us that seeking God in our hearts also means reflecting God's priorities in our lives.
- - What attitudes do "God-seekers" have?
- - How is this different to Israel's practices (v 11-12)?
- - How are Jesus' words similar to God's words in Amos 5?
- - How does Amos 5 help us to see what Jesus means we must not do, and what we must do, if we truly want to live as God's people?
- - What would Amos 5 v 11-12 look like in your society? Are there ways you can get caught up in these things?
Ask God to give you a heart which seeks to know, love, and obey Him. Ask Him to give you a heart which shares His priorities--which loves your neighbor, and seeks to protect the vulnerable.
Talk to Him about any ways this passage has particularly challenged you personally.
This devotional is taken from Explore—a daily Bible-reading devotional from The Good Book Company which enables you to engage with Scripture and which will encourage, equip and inspire you to live for Christ. Explore features contributions from pastors such as Dr Timothy Keller, Mike McKinley and Tim Chester.
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