The following lesson was adapted for a small group of children ranging in ages from 6-11. The lesson is an overview of the Book of Amos. The students discover that although Amos’ message was very bad news to God’s people because of their wickedness they would be punished. If they were to seek the Lord and live they would be forgiven, which is very good news!
Bible Passage: Amos 1-9
Bible Story Title: Amos: Seek the Lord and Live
Target Age Group: Ages 6-11 (K-5th Grade U.S.A.)
Target Time Frame: 60 Minutes
Original Teaching Context: Sunday School
Supply List: Bibles, copies of attribute word search, pens, pencils, fig newtons for snack,
Learning Goal: Students will learn that God will punish sin and forgives all who turn to Jesus to be forgiven.
Learning Activity #1: Attributes word search
Learning Activity #2: For a snack bring fig newtons to help students understand what figs are. (Check with parents for allergies)
Test: Review Questions
Memory Verse: Isaiah 55:6-7 “Seek the LORD while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that He may have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.”
Bible Lesson: Amos: Seek the Lord and Live
When we worked on our attributes worksheet we found attributes or character traits of God. Help me end this sentence God is….with attributes you remember from the activity. God is (patient, gracious, holy, just, loving, compassionate, faithful, kind)
When we pray it’s important to praise God for His attributes. Let’s take a moment and each of us bow our heads and praise God for an attribute. (Example: I praise You because you are patient with me.)
(Begin with prayer asking God to teach us from His Word.)
Today our Bible lesson is found in the book of Amos. Sometimes there are passages of Scripture that are difficult to understand. When I studied Amos to prepare to teach I did not understand it very well. Each day as I prayed and prepared to teach, God’s Holy Spirit began to help me understand what He is teaching in this Book. I thought about how if we are playing a video game and want to get to the next level we keep trying until we can move on. As we study God’s Word we need to keep reading and studying until we understand what God is trying to teach us. Just like we don’t like to give up on our games, let’s be faithful to study His Word until we have a better understanding.
Amos was a man from a town called Tekoa (Show map). He lived in the land of Judah about 12 miles from Jerusalem. Amos was a shepherd who cared for sheep (Amos 1:1). He was also a farmer who took care of fig trees (Amos 7:14).
Throughout the Bible we learn about how God takes ordinary people and uses them for His work. Amos may not have felt like he had an exciting life that mattered much to anyone. He faithfully cared for his sheep and fig trees. Amos lived during the time when God’s people were not living according to God’s laws. The people in both the northern kingdom and southern kingdom were doing wicked things.
The Bible doesn’t tell us much about Amos except where he lived and his job. Amos must have trusted God and tried to obey His Word even if most people around him were not. Maybe each day in the quietness of his work caring for sheep and fig trees he prayed and worshiped God.
One day in his very ordinary life God spoke to Amos and told him to take a message to the people living in the northern kingdom, Israel. The message Amos was to take to God’s people wasn’t an easy message to take. God had been patient, compassionate and kind while His people chose to turn away from Him. God sent Amos with a message of His coming punishment for sin.
God is holy. That means He is perfect in all His ways. Because God is holy He cannot allow sin to continue. He will punish sin. God must punish sin but forgives those who put their faith in Jesus. Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
God told Amos He was going to punish the cities near Israel for their wickedness. The people living in these cities did not know or worship the one true God. They didn’t have His laws or promises. Their sins would still be punished.
God’s people living in the northern and southern kingdom did have God’s laws and yet they lived wickedly and disobeyed His commands. They were going to be punished for their sins.
God had chosen Israel to be His people. He was their Father and loved them very much. As a father will correct his children (Heb. 12:9-10), God sent famines, droughts, plagues and destruction in the land to correct His people.
The difficulty of having no food, rain, sickness and destruction did not cause God’s people to repent and return to God (Amos 4).
God has told His people the very bad news about their sin. He was going to punish them for sin. However, God is so kind that He always offers hope and good news! Amos told the people to seek the Lord and live! (Amos 5:4, 6,14) God’s people did not have to suffer the punishment for their sins. They could repent and look to God and have their sins forgiven.
God gave Amos visions that were warnings for Israel. God gave him a vision of locusts. The locusts would devour everything in the land. Amos cried out to the Lord and asked Him to forgive and asked how God’s people could survive after such devastation? God heard Amos and reversed this punishment He was going to send (“The Lord relented and revoked the sentence: It shall not take place said the Lord, and He was eased and comforted concerning it.” Amos 7:3 Amplified)
When God gave Amos a vision of fire that would burn up the land, Amos once again asked the Lord how His people could survive with such a devastation of fire. God again reversed His punishment and did not send a fire to devour the land.
God gave Amos a vision of a plumb line (“a cord with a lead bob attached to one end, used to determine perpendicularity.” dictionary.com) that showed that God’s people did not measure up to His laws and commandments.
To remember that Amos had a difficult job to do let’s turn to Amos 7:10-13. Amos obeyed God and shared His message with the king of Israel and the priest Amaziah told him to go away.
The final vision God gave to Amos was of a basket of ripened fruit that meant that God’s people were ripe and ready to receive God’s punishment for their sin.
God kept His promise to punish Israel and they were attacked and destroyed by Assyria. (2 Kings 17:6-20) God must punish sin and He punished His people for their wickedness. In God’s great kindness and compassion He also promised to restore His land and His people (Amos 9:14-15).
Each one of us has access to God’s Word. We can read our Bibles and learn who God is, what He is going to do and how we can live to please Him.
God must punish all sin. This Bible lesson was not something that was only about the wicked people living in Israel. We are sinners living in a world filled with sinful people doing wicked things. The bad news is that sin must be punished but today we have very Good news! Jesus God’s Son came to earth and died on the cross in my place and your place. God put the sins of every person upon His perfect, sinless Son. He died, was buried and rose again on the third day. All who believe in the Lord Jesus are rescued from their deserved punishment for sin. Today let’s learn from our lesson in Amos to ‘seek the Lord and live!’
Close in prayer.
- Where did Amos live? (Tekoa)
- What was Amos’ job? (Shepherd and fig farmer)
- Who was Amos taking God’s message to? (The northern kingdom, Israel)
- (True or False) God’s message was to encourage His people because they were faithful and obedient. (False they were wicked and He was going to punish them)
- What could stop God’s punishment for sin? (If the people turned from their sin and looked to Him for forgiveness)
- The bad new is that God must punish sin. The Good News is (fill in the blank)