For each lesson, below are the assignments to do ahead of time. The links will provide you materials to watch and read in preparation for the next class.
4. Amos – The Party is Over
Watch: Overview: Amos (Bible Project Video)
Watch: 1-2 Kings (Bible Project) – Background to Divided Kingdom
Read: Amos (Bible Text)
Setting: “Jeroboam II ruled over Israel. Under Uzziah, or as he is called Azariah (2 Kings 14:21; 15 (chapter)), Israel-Judah had regained the power and splendor which it had enjoyed in the days of Solomon, 1016-977, after having been at the mercy of the enemies for about 150 years, 977-825. … Now came for the two kingdoms an almost unprecedented era of prosperity. … With increasing wealth more conveniences and luxuries were demanded. No longer a house built of unhewn stone seemed satisfactory; the latest style was to build homes o cedar wood and hewn stone squared and laid up in a manner more pleasing to the eye than the homes built from rough quarry stones. The homes became palaces. Amos constantly speaks of armonim, high building rivaling in size and beauty and grandeur of construction the palaces of the kings. … Side by side with this immense wealth and pomp was poverty, need, want, pauperism, poverty so great that the people were sold into slavery because they could not pay a ransom sufficiently large to buy a pair of sandals (Amos 8:6), being absolutely penniless.” (Laetsch, “The Minor Prophets,” 12)
Reflect: What does the word “apathy” mean? How does a state of apathy impact the religious life of God’s people? If a person has apathy toward God, what would you expect their life to begin looking like? What would be the opposite of apathy? How does Amos deal with this situation in Israel and is there any hope to be found?