“The End Will Come” Sunday School Lesson, Amos 8:1-6, 9-10, June 28, 2015

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June 28, 2015

“The End Will Come!”

Amos 8:1-6, 9-10

PDF Lesson Print Out is now Located at the Bottom of the Lesson. Please Scroll Down, Click and Enjoy!  Blessings.

(Please Note: All lesson verses and titles are based on International Sunday School Lesson/Uniform Series ©2010 by the Lesson Committee, but all content/commentary written within is original to wordforlifesays.com unless properly quoted/cited)

Introduction:

God, in His word, had been very specific on how He expected people to treat one another.  These lessons have been especially thorough in pointing out the mistreatment and injustice of the rich toward the poor.  God’s command of not oppressing one another had gone unheeded, (Leviticus 24:17), and the people were doing opposite of what God expected from His people.

In Leviticus God said if one became poor and had to sell his land there must be given a space for redemption of the land.  If he or a family member is not able to redeem the land then in the year of Jubilee the land shall be returned to his possession (25:25-28).  At the same time if one became poor and sold himself he is not to be treated as a slave, but rather a hired servant and is to be released with possessions and family in the year of Jubilee (25:39-41).

God commanded, “Thou shalt not rule over him with rigour; but shalt fear thy God,” (Leviticus 25:43; see also verse 46).  Their care toward one another was to be governed by a respectful fear of the Lord which the people had drawn away from.

Another charge from previous lessons in our study of Amos toward the people had to do with despising the law of God, Amos 2:4.  God also warned in Leviticus, “But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments; And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant . . . I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when non pursueth you . . . I will break the pride of your power . . . I will bring a sword upon you . . . ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy . . . And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary unto me; Then I will walk contrary unto you also in a fury . . . I will bring the land into desolation . . . I will scatter you among the heathen,” (26:14-15, 17, 19, 25, 27-28, 32-33).

In today’s lesson the time for God to act has come.  The people left Him no other choice.

Warnings have been issued.  Prophets have done their job in relaying God’s message of impending punishment if the people continue on their current course of sin and selfishness.  Now, God states, “The end is come,” meaning HE WILL follow through on everything that was prophesied.  No stone left unturned and the prosperous people would now know how it is to live on the other side of the tracks.  They would now know times of true disparity.

Amos 8:1-3 “Thus hath the Lord God shewed unto me: and behold a basket of summer fruit. And he said, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A basket of summer fruit. Then said the LORD unto me, The end is come upon my people of Israel; I will not again pass by them any more. And the songs of the temple shall be howlings in that day, saith the LORD GOD: there shall be many dead bodies in every place; they shall cast them forth with silence.”

God is a God of second and more chances.  But, sooner or later, the time will come to count up the cost for decisions and choices made, for good or for bad.  Unfortunately, for Amos’ audience the outcome was for the bad because they chose not to heed the warnings; they chose not to repent; therefore, they chose to walk in this path of judgment.

In the chapter prior to this, God revealed to Amos several visions: one of locusts and one of fire.  In both of those visions Amos interceded on behalf of the people and God relented and declared, “It shall not be,” (Amos 8:3, 6).  What this shows us is that even at this very late stage in the game, so to speak, God was still ready to dole out forgiveness to His people if they sought it.

Wow!  How awesome is that!  Even after the despising of His law and treating people wrong, the cheating, the idol worshiping, the lying and so much more, God was still ready to forgive.

How many times was it going to take to get through these people’s head that God loved them, He wanted the best for them and all they had to do was repent and start doing right?

“How Many Times?” was the title of my first poem published on this site and it goes like this:

“How many times have I missed the mark?

How many times have I chosen the dark?

How many times have I despised what’s right?

How many times have I lived for the night?

 

How many times has my life taken an ugly turn?

How many of your graces did I willingly spurn?

How many times have You tried to wrench me from the devil’s lies?

How many times, Your efforts have I despised?

 

How many times do you love me still?

How many times do You draw me to do Your will?

How many times has Your Spirit poured out,

To quench the thirst of this soul in drought?

 

How many times, in my life Your victories have won,

To reach in and save me by the blood of Your dear Son?

How many times have you drawn me to stay

By Your side because You’re the only way?

 

How many times have you redeemed me from my sinful plight,

To allow me relish in Your Son’s holy light?

How many times can I say I love You?

Numbering them one by one just won’t do!

 

How many times is a question I ask,

Because keeping this soul is an awesome task.

How many times . . . oh, I’m so grateful You do,

Never to give up on a love between me and You.” (Word For Life Says. . .)

 

God wanted to forgive but the people were the ones who chose to remain unrepentant with harden hearts and refused God.

Therefore, God had another vision for Amos.  This time in the vision there was a “plumb line,” (Amos 7:7).  A plumb line was used much like a level in making sure whatever was built was going up straight and in line.  It was a weight that hangs from a string that would judge buildings correctness.

This plumb line that God showed Amos was not going to be used to measure buildings; rather people and the people came up crooked.  They were not in line with God’s commands.  And, of course, the people didn’t want to hear it.  Amaziah the priest came out against Amos and said, “Prophesy not again any more at Bethel: for it is the king’s chapel, and it is the king’s court,” (Amos 7:13).

God then declared a personal punishment for him saying, “Thy wife shall be an harlot in the city, and thy sons and thy daughters shall fall by the sword, and thy land shall be divided by line; and thou shalt die in a polluted land: and Israel shall surely go into captivity forth of his land,” (Amos 7:17, emphasis mine).  The end will come!

With that declaration God showed Amos another vision of “a basket of summer fruit.”  This vision solidifies God’s resolve to send the people into captivity.  It’s time to reap the fruit of the seeds that have been sown.  To those who run to do evil and are greedy for gain, and to those who rebuke the counsel of the Lord, Proverbs 1 declares, “Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices,” (vs. 31).

As the “summer fruit” is ripened and in the basket at the end of the summer harvest, so is God’s punishment ready for His people.   Justice will not be put off any longer.  The people have refused time and again to turn to God and to start doing the right things but they relished in the wrong.  It is the “fruit” they have reaped and now it is the fruit they will eat.

God explains to Amos, “The end is come upon my people Israel; I will not again pass by them any more.”

No more chances!  This is something that no one should ever want to hear God say.  There is an old hymn that beckons, “Don’t Let It Be Said, Too Late,” (Ida L. Reed).  The people have turned their backs on God time and time again and God said that it is.  “I will not again pass by them any more.”  God was no longer going to overlook their wrongs.  They acted unjustly and now it was time for Him to set the imbalances straight.

God is most patient and longsuffering, but there is also a cut off time.  It was time to harvest the planted fruit.

They will learn what true sadness and desolation is all about for their time of singing “songs of the temple” shall be over.  That means they will find no more joy there; the temple will no longer be a place of peace and solace for God’s people.  They have corrupted worship so that God was even going to replace melodies with “howlings.”

Lamentations and sorrows, weeping and regret will be felt in its deepest sense once God’s punishment is enacted.  Remember in Amos 5 God said, “Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols,” (vs. 23).

Forgiveness was a close as heeding the prophet’s warnings, but now they would know shame and despair with an “I wish I could take it back” moaning.  Now, their future was bleak and would be riddled with bondage.  If only they had listened.

Now, their lives would be grief-stricken as they witness “dead bodies in every place.”  Death would now overrun where prosperity once was.  Such as any nation that turns its back on God.  Sin comes with a price to be paid.  Here we truly see the “wages of sin is death,” (Romans 6:23).  Proverbs 11:19 tells us, “As righteousness tendeth to life: so he that pursueth evil pursueth it to his own death.”

There would be no escape from this judgment.  They would see the results in “every place.”  No wonder Moses would rather “suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season,” (Hebrews 11:25), because sin DOES NOT pay.  The atrocities they committed against one another were for temporary gain that they paid for with permanent results.

Amos 8:4-6 “Hear this, O ye that swallow up the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail, Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the Sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit? That we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes; yea, and sell the refuse of wheat?”

“Hear this!”  Pay attention you who refuse to turn from your wickedness and continue on your path of unrighteousness.  You who refuse to repent, this message is for you!  Amos let them know their deeds have not gone unnoticed nor will they go unpunished.

When something is described as being “swallowed up” it’s exactly how it sounds; being totally devoured.  People were preying on people like vicious animals on the attack.  They were destroying innocent people for the greed of gain.  So much so that God declared they “make the poor of the land to fail.”

Enough was never enough with these people.  They would go to worship but worship was not on their minds.  The only thing on their minds were when is this going to be over so I can get back to the evil practices that I really want to do.

Ouch! Just because they were in worship physically doesn’t mean they were in worship spiritually.  Hello!

God’s charge against them is that even during worship they couldn’t stop thinking about their greed, saying, “When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the Sabbath, that we may set forth wheat.”  Their appetite for gain was greater than their desire to please God.

They were never satisfied.  Greed and the cares of this world can choke out the Spirit of God that is trying to work in His people.  Jesus said in Matthews, “He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful,” (13:22).

Their hearts were not moved by the suffering of their fellow man for the “deceitfulness of riches” had grown out of control to the point of operating in the most dishonest of ways.  They “set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit? That we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes; yea, and sell the refuse of wheat?”

Unfair scales and measurements got them even more than their evil practices deserved.  God warned in Leviticus, “Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in meteyard, in weight, or in measure.  Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin, shall ye have: I am the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt,” (19:35-36; see also Duet. 25:13-15).  God’s intention was that everyone be treated fairly, yet these people falsified their business practices and the rich got richer and poor got poorer to the point of being sold as slaves “and the needy for a pair of shoes.” 

In an earlier lesson: “God Punishes Sin” we dealt specifically with this atrocity that has gone on among God’s people during Amos’ time.

The useless sweepings off the floor were mixed in with the wheat.  They were selling the people a bad product.  Their greed really was without restraint.  They were so engrossed in wanting more, more, more that they could care less, less, less about how they were hurting innocent people.

Just a thought, but I wonder what God thinks about some of the business practices we see going on today.  I wonder . . .

But, in His dealings with His people, God WAS NOT going to let this unscrupulous behavior go unpunished.  The end will come and justice will be served.

What this world has to offer will never fully satisfy you.  Jesus taught, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled,” (Matthew 5:6), and righteousness is one of the things God has been seeking from this people, yet it is also one thing they are accused of perverting in previous lessons.

Amos 8:9-10 “And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord GOD, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day: And I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; and I will bring up sackcloth upon all the loins, and baldness upon every head; and I will make it as the mourning of an only son, and the end thereof as a bitter day.”

The day of judgment will come.  Justice will have her final say.  In that day, God said, darkness will come at a time when there’s not supposed to be darkness.  “Noon” is the brightest time of the day and suddenly they experience darkness.

Some have viewed this as an eclipse that happens to literally “darken” the day.  Some have pointed to end time prophecies.  Others view it as a time of extreme grief when the people’s downtrodden state will be filled with a metaphoric darkness.

Either way, life for them as they know it is over.  Their days of happiness are going to be exchanged for the “bitter.”  “Feasts” are normally for times of jubilation and rejoicing; yet, God will turn it into “mourning.”  The celebrating will be gone and times of being bound by sorry and sadness will come.

“Songs” they sang to express joy now would be a tune of wailing and weeping.  All the enjoyment they had before is gone.  Tears are now their companions as they don “sackcloth” due to their grievous state, (compare Hosea 2:11 and Lamentations 5:15).

The days ahead will be “as the mourning of an only son.”  Imagine the deep sorrow of a parent losing a child, better yet an only child.  This is why it’s described as “a bitter day.”  They doled out the bitter (Amos 6:12), and the “bitter” is now what they reaped.  Pain; deep emotional and physical pain would be felt that would characterize the judgment they now faced.

In chapter 6 Amos opened with the “Woe to them that are at ease in Zion,” (vs. 1).  Now, that “ease” would be replaced by the hardest of times.

Conclusion:

Though this ends our study for Amos, it was not the end of their story.  Amos 9:11-15 speaks of a time of restoration for God’s people.  God is not without mercy.  “I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel, and they shall build the waste cities and inhabit them . . . and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them” Amos 9:14-15.  But for now, God was going to deal with their sin.

This story lets us know that there will come a time that God will deal with all unrepentant sin.  There will come an “end” time that everyone will have to answer for.  The good news is, as God was not without mercy with Israel, He is not without mercy today.  “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,” 1 John 1:9.

What will that day hold for us?  The end will come!  Will we face judgment or be rewarded for a life well lived.  Don’t let it be said, too late.  You have this moment, but tomorrow IS NOT promised.

Blessings~

(Click here for PDF: The End Will Come Sunday School Lesson, or simply click print button below. Enjoy!)

Below are activities to support this week’s lesson.  Enjoy!

Word Search: The End Will Come Word Search  Answers: The End Will Come Word Search Answers

Crossword: The End Will Come Crossword  Answers: The End Will Come Crossword Answers

Word Scramble: The End Will Come Word Scramble  Answers: The End Will Come Word Scramble Answers

Draw the Scene: The End Will Come Draw the Scene (Use this PDF for accurate printing) Another option, instead of the printables in the clock craft below, students can just cut this one out and glue to paper plate or construction paper.  Enjoy!

The End Will Come Draw the Scene-001

The End Will Come Clock Craft: The End Will Come Clock Craft (Use this PDF for accurate printing) In keeping with theme from Draw the Scene, students can easily assemble and decorate one of these clocks out of paper plates as a gentle reminder of today’s lesson.  Cardstock works best.  Enjoy!

The End Will Come Clock Craft-001PhotoGrid_1435169195217

How Many Words?: The End Will Come How Many Words (Use this PDF for accurate printing)

The End Will Come How Many Words-001

Older Activities from previous lessons that are still relevant to today’s lesson.  Enjoy!

“Amos 5:6 Coloring Page/Older Students”

“Amos Coloring Page and Information for Older Students”

“Amos Coloring Sheet”

“Amos was a Shepherd Prophet Coloring Page for Younger Students”

“Amos Coloring Page for Young Students”

“Teaching Kids the Bible: Amos” (Ideas for presenting information about Amos. Enjoy!)

“Prophet Coloring Page”

“Prophets” (Old Testament prophets in review for reading age children to understand.  Enjoy!)

“Knock Knock Game about Pleasing God”

“Live Your Life for God” (Games and Activities)

“Becoming All New” Coloring Page from Childrensbiblelessonsplace.com

“Sin Revealed” Activity from Kids Sunday School Place

“Sin Spoils” Activity from Kids Sunday School Place

“Object Lesson for Sin and Forgiveness” from Yahoo! Voices

“Children’s Activities About Sin” from Ehow.com

“A Heart for Jesus Activity” from Kids Sunday School Place

“Jesus Cleanses Us From Our Sticky Sins Activity” from Christianity Cove

“Covered By Christ Activity and Coloring” from Ministry to Children

“Forgive Us Our Sins” Coloring Page from Ministry to Children

“If We Confess Our Sins” Coloring Page from Coloring Page Spot

“Girl and Boy Prayer Coloring Pages” from Ministry to Children (These prayer coloring sheets are great because they have empty speech balloons.  In those balloons children can right their own confession/prayer.  Enjoy!)

“1 John 1:9 Butterfly Coloring Page” from Childrenschapel.org

“Children’s Bible Object Lesson on Sin” from Creative Bible Study

 

 

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6 thoughts on ““The End Will Come” Sunday School Lesson, Amos 8:1-6, 9-10, June 28, 2015

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