Before the Session
Facilitator: In advance of the session
- Review today’s scripture text and the session activities to help better facilitate the discussion.
- Have the Bible Background Video ready to view.
- Encourage your group to listen to the Faithelement podcast ahead of the next session (Share the link via email or social media).
Begin by asking questions like:
- When have you heard of God dynamically calling for a message to be delivered, and by what means was that done?
- At what points have you felt that you personally received a “message” or prophecy from God for someone else?
- When have you been the recipient of such a “message” from someone else, but disregarded it and why?
- How do we know if such messages are genuine?
- What do you typically do when you encounter God in this fashion?
Read Amos 7:7-17, then watch the Bible Background Video
And then ask questions like these:
- What does a plumb line show, and how does it compare to this situation?
- What effect does an off-level wall have on a building and what do you have to do in order to fix it?
- God could have simply said, “Amos, tell my people they have messed up and that I’m going to set them right.” Why are images and visions so much more effective than a simple statement?
- Amos was merely repeating what God had told him to say, so why is it sometimes dangerous to speak on God’s behalf?
- What does Amaziah tell Amos to do, and why?
- Why would a person of God reject a message from God like this?
- When have you heard something from God you didn’t want to hear?
- In what way did you respond to God – or to the source of the message?
- Imagine a farmer, who has no seminary training, stands up in a church today and delivers a message he claims God gave him – a message warning of destruction and judgment. How would he likely be received and why?
- What is God’s judgment on Amaziah through Amos and how do you feel about that?
Continue by asking:
- Amaziah essentially told Amos that these prophets and this sanctuary serve the government, so they don’t want to hear any negative messages from God. How do you feel about this mixture of religion and politics and why?
- At what point might something like this have happened in more recent times?
- When have you heard of a case where someone did something in that they thought was in God’s service, when it was later apparent that they really were not?
- When have you found yourself or someone you know in a similar position?
- What do you think we mean when we say that “The road to hell is paved with good intentions” and why?
- By what means might we keep ourselves from having our own good intentions lead us astray?
- In what ways might we offer a prophetic voice to our world, even though we may wrestle with the possibility that we might not hear God as clearly as we’d hope?
Close with prayer.
Writer: Jon Parks