Into the Lesson
Prepare and post three bold and garish signs that say “BEWARE!” one of the signs should be at the entrance to your learning space. When students voice some interest or concern, explain that the lesson writer outlines today’s study with three bewares. Encourage the adults to figure out the three dangers for which they are to be on the alert. (You will be returning to these words of warning in the Into Life section of today’s study). Have also a “NO MINORS ALLOWED!” sign near your room’s entrance. After the beware introduction, point the class’s attention to the other sign to introduce the Minor Prophets, books from which most of this quarter’s texts are drawn. Be certain the learners know in what way these Old Testament books are “minor” and what ways they are not. The lesson writer has an explanatory note in the Lesson Background.
Into the Word
List the following phrases and ideas on separate sheets of paper, perhaps as cartoon dialogue balloons:
Hate the message? Kill the messenger!
You cannot have your cake and eat it too!
Under the table, and out the door.
A time to speak.
What are you looking for?
It’s a love-hate relationship.
Some wanted things are not desirable.
It couldn’t get any worse, could it?
Dark? How dark was it?
A holding-the-nose stench.
Is a gift truly given if it is not accepted?
Some music is nothing more than noise.
No muddy water here
These phrases are designed to summarize a truth of each verse of today’s text, from verse 10
(“Hate the message … “) to verse 24 (No muddy waters”), respectively.
You may choose to display all the above statements at once (in random order), or you may shuffle them and display them one at a time. Say, “Look at Amos 5:10-24 and decide to which verse each of these ideas best relates.” If students see a relationship to a verse other than the one intended, ask for an explanation.
To help your students see the sins that brought God’s words of wrath and condemnation, identify these items as drawn from the lesson writer’s outline: the social sins of Israel (vv.10-15), bad doctrine regarding the Day of the Lord (vv. 16-20), and spiritual sins (vv. 21-24).Ask the class, “What are these sins?”
For social sins, expect such responses as rejection of truth, hatred, oppression of the poor, self-centeredness, sensuality, prejudice, and cowardly silence. For bad doctrine regarding the Day of the Lord, expect responses such as: expecting God to overlook sins because the Israelites were “His people”, or believing that everything was going to be all right when the Lord comes, even though their sins were blatant and persistent. For spiritual sins, expect such responses as: ritualism, substituting for true worship, hypocritical songs, and unrighteousness.
From an office supply store, buy sheets of stick-on lettering for the letter B. Give each student one or more of the letters; tell them that it is their B-wear!
As you stick one to your own lapel, suggest they “wear their Bs” to heighten their sensitivity to “Beware!” of the three elements highlighted in today’s study: social sins, doctrine about the Day of the Lord, and spiritual sins. A short discussion of how these dangers are seen in personal lives and society will enhance the value of the letters as they are worn.
Read the Golden Text in unison with the class. After the recitation, ask, “How well are we doing in letting that happen in our community?” Following the responses, ask, “What can we do as a class and individually to enhance the free flow of justice?” Make the list and then ask, “What steps can we take to make these happen?” Create an action plan from this list.