May. 10, 2020
A Window of Opportunity
Primary Text: Amos 4:4-11 May 10, 2020
1) Yet You Have
Not Returned -
* Amos 4:4-11: "Go to Bethel and sin; go to Gilgal and sin yet more. Bring your sacrifices every morning, your tithes every three years. Burn leavened bread as a thank offering and brag about your freewill offerings-- boast about them, you Israelites, for this is what you love to do," declares the Sovereign LORD. "I gave you empty stomachs in every city and lack of bread in every town, yet you have not returned to me," declares the LORD. "I also withheld rain from you…yet you have not returned to me," declares the LORD…. Locusts devoured your fig and olive trees, yet you have not returned to me," declares the LORD. "I sent plagues among you… yet you have not returned to me," declares the LORD. "I overthrew some of you…yet you have not returned to me," declares the LORD.
- DQ 1) What is a false god?
- DQ 2) Why do people worship false gods of any type?
2) No Other Gods -
* Exodus 34:12-14: Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land where you are going, or they will be a snare among you. Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones and cut down their Asherah poles. Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.
* Deuteronomy 6:13-15: Fear the LORD your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name. Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; for the LORD your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land.
* Leviticus 18:21: Do not give any of your children to be sacrificed to Molech, for you must not profane the name of your God. I am the LORD.
* Numbers 25:1-3: While Israel was staying in Shittim, the men began to indulge in sexual immorality with Moabite women, who invited them to the sacrifices to their gods. The people ate and bowed down before these gods. So Israel joined in worshiping the Baal of Peor. And the LORD's anger burned against them.
- DQ 3) Why did God forbid the Israelites from worshipping any other gods?
- DQ 4) What does the Scripture mean when it says God is a jealous God?
3) Royal Rebellion -
* 1 Kings 11:4-6: As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father had been. He followed Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molech the detestable god of the Ammonites. So Solomon did evil in the eyes of the LORD; he did not follow the LORD completely, as David his father had done.
* 2 Kings 21:1-7: Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years…. He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, following the detestable practices of the nations the LORD had driven out before the Israelites. He rebuilt the high places his father Hezekiah had destroyed; he also erected altars to Baal and made an Asherah pole, as Ahab king of Israel had done. He bowed down to all the starry hosts and worshiped them…. In both courts of the temple of the LORD, he built altars to all the starry hosts. He sacrificed his own son in the fire, practiced sorcery and divination, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the LORD, provoking him to anger. He took the carved Asherah pole he had made and put it in the temple, of which the LORD had said to David and to his son Solomon, "In this temple and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put my Name forever."
- DQ 5) Why were the sins of Solomon and Manasseh particularly grievous to God?
4) False American Deities -
- DQ 6) What are the respective characteristics of the false gods Baal, Asherah, and Molech? Why are they very dangerous?
5) Return to Me -
* Zechariah 1:3: This is what the LORD Almighty says: 'Return to me,' declares the LORD Almighty, 'and I will return to you,' says the LORD Almighty.
* Joel 2:11-18: The day of the LORD is great; it is dreadful. Who can endure it? 'Even now,' declares the LORD, 'return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.' Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.
DQ 7) How is your heart wayward from God?
DQ 8) What do you need to do to return to Him?