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Let Justice Roll

September 21, 2014 Series: The Old Testament

Passage: Amos 1:1-2, Amos 5:21-24, Amos 6:1-9, Amos 9:9-11

Friendship:

In Psalm 23 the LORD is called our Shepherd. Brainstorm as a group what a shepherd really does. Then what would that tell you about Amos and his role?

DESIGNED TO LOVE OTHERS

Read Amos 1:1-2 & 5:24. As God is loving and just – and He created us to be in His likeness – what are the implications for how we care for other people? A shepherd leads, feeds, and defends his sheep. So why is that oftentimes difficult when trying to “shepherd” someone else?

Read Micah 6:8 and Titus 2:11-12. An ancient triad of virtue included self, neighbor, & God. How has our culture and time warped these three values? How does it affect your view of compassion or advocacy when you see it in your Maker and in His design for you?

BLIND & SELF-INDULGENT

Read Amos 5:21-23 & 6:1-6. How are we no better than our neighbors? In our fallen condition (in sin), how can we indulge ourselves while ignoring trouble and suffering that’s all around us?
One danger is in how we can numb ourselves spiritually, 5:21-23. How can going through the motions of “church” (by externalism) actually do more harm than good? And how can gorging materially (pursuing luxury in the midst of ruin), 6:1-6 be grotesque?

How have you lived indulging yourself while ignoring trouble and suffering all around you? Confess your lovelessness to Jesus, asking Him to forgive you and heal your heart that you would be just and compassionate.

A CLEANSING FLOOD

Read Amos 9:9-10. This prophecy of sifting is God’s promise to judge Israel, the northern tribes who were obliterated in 722 B.C. How is the Cross also a form of sifting us? Read Luke 22:31-32. What difference does it make if you’re being sifted and Jesus is on your side?

Read Amos 1:1 again. As Amos was called out of Judah (Bethlehem) to His northern cousins, how is that like the Father’s call to Jesus for Him to leave heaven to come shepherd us? Read Amos 5:24 again & John 7:37-39. God’s prophecy of justice rolling like waters, like an ever-flowing stream equals a river. So what did Jesus promise us about His Spirit in John 7?

Flood waters & rivers can change the landscape (e.g. the Grand Canyon). Jesus not only washes but replaces our selfishness with His true love. How do you need to repent? What would you trust Jesus to change?

Prayer:

  1. Worship the LORD for His just and righteous character. Praise Him, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit that He is purely loving and that His design of us in His likeness is good.
  2. How have you lived indulging yourself while ignoring trouble and suffering all around you? Confess your lovelessness to Jesus, asking Him to forgive you and heal your heart that you would be just and compassionate.
  3. Give thanks to Jesus for disadvantaging Himself in order to atone for our sin. Thank Him for the gift of His Spirit “like an ever-flowing stream” (Amos 5:24) that can reshape the landscape of your heart.
  4. Who do you know that struggles with self-indulgence? Pray for them, asking the Lord to awaken them to all that Jesus has done to redeem sinners like us, and soften their heart to turn from their selfishness.
  5. Read John 7:37-39. Ask the Holy Spirit to flow with life re-shaping power in your life, especially where you’re prone to be preoccupied with your own advantage and to be hard-hearted toward others in need.

More in The Old Testament

November 23, 2014

The LORD: Generous & Unchanging

November 16, 2014

Accused, Redeemed Ambassadors

November 9, 2014

Seek First