LESSON 1 (Jonah, Amos, Hosea, Micah, and Isaiah Ch. 1-5)
FLC SMALL GROUP
GATHER (5 min)
Thank everyone for coming. Introduce any new people that may be joining for the first time. Talk about what you did for the Fourth of July.
CHECK-IN (10 min)
Go around the room and invite participants share a high and/or low this week in their family.
READ SCRIPTURE (10 min)
Ask four different volunteers to read aloud the following four different scriptures:
Have Volunteer 1 read the following: Amos 5:18-24
Pr. Steve’s thoughts: Amos was a prophet who spoke to the Northern Kingdom. The northern kingdom was the more prosperous of the two. Amos spoke strong words for social justice.
18 Woe to you who long for the day of the Lord! Why do you long for the day of the Lord?
That day will be darkness, not light. 19 It will be as though a man fled from a lion
only to meet a bear, as though he entered his house and rested his hand on the wall
only to have a snake bite him. 20 Will not the day of the Lord be darkness, not light--
pitch-dark, without a ray of brightness? 21 “I hate, I despise your religious festivals;
your assemblies are a stench to me. 22 Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Though you bring choice fellowship offerings, I will have no regard for them. 23 Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps. 24 But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!
Have Volunteer 2 read the following: Hosea: 11:1-11
Pr. Steve’s Thoughts: Hosea was a prophet to the southern kingdom of Judah. Hosea spoke to the syncretism and unfaithful worship of the people. The passage includes both an indictment against worship, a description of the judgment to come, and the promise of God to restore.
11 “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. 2 But the more they were called, the more they went away from me. They sacrificed to the Baals and they burned incense to images. 3 It was I who taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by the arms; but they did not realize it was I who healed them. 4 I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love. To them I was like one who lifts a little child to the cheek, and I bent down to feed them. 5 “Will they not return to Egypt and will not Assyria rule over them because they refuse to repent? 6 A sword will flash in their cities; it will devour their false prophets and put an end to their plans. 7 My people are determined to turn from me. Even though they call me God Most High, I will by no means exalt them. 8 “How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, Israel? How can I treat you like Admah? How can I make you like Zeboyim? My heart is changed within me; all my compassion is aroused. 9 I will not carry out my fierce anger, nor will I devastate Ephraim again. For I am God, and not a man— the Holy One among you. I will not come against their cities. 10 They will follow the Lord; he will roar like a lion. When he roars, his children will come trembling from the west. 11 They will come from Egypt, trembling like arrows, from Assyria, fluttering like doves. I will settle them in their homes,” declares the Lord.
Have Volunteer 3 Read the following: Micah 6: 6-8
Pr. Steve’s Thoughts: Micah was a prophet to the southern kingdom of Judah. He takes up the mantle of Amos in his appeal to justice and mercy. Micah speaks against the presumption of worship practices, that the excess of sacrifice could somehow be a guarantee of God’s favor and give license to treat others unjustly.
6 With what shall I come before the Lord and bow down before the exalted God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? 7 Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of olive oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? 8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
Have Volunteer 3 Read the following: Isaiah 1:1-5
Pr. Steve’s Thoughts: We begin to read Isaiah this week. We will begin to take up Isaiah more in depth in worship in the following two weeks.
1 The vision concerning Judah and Jerusalem that Isaiah son of Amoz saw during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. 2 Hear me, you heavens! Listen, earth!
For the Lord has spoken: “I reared children and brought them up, but they have rebelled against me. 3 The ox knows its master, the donkey its owner’s manger, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand.” 4 Woe to the sinful nation, a people whose guilt is great, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! They have forsaken the Lord; they have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him. 5 Why should you be beaten anymore? Why do you persist in rebellion? Your whole head is injured, your whole heart afflicted.
OPTIONAL: WATCH SERMON ON YOUTUBE OR LISTEN TO SERMON PODCAST (12 min)
You may want to watch the previous week’s sermon together on the YouTube app of your TV or listen to the audio podcast on your phone available on FLC’s website.
REFLECT ON THE PREVIOUS WEEK (40-60 min)
Have a conversation with your group about what you just read, anything from the past week’s sermon that grabbed any group members’ attention, or about anything from the week’s reading. Questions to consider…
OPTIONAL: WATCH DVD previewing next week “Isaiah Ch. 6-44” (11 min)
To get the most out of next week’s sermon and discussion, and for those who chose to do the nightly reading for the coming week, you may watch the video of Bible teacher John Walton explaining the themes and relevance of Isaiah Ch. 6-44.
CLOSE (5 min)
Thank your participants for coming. Remind them of the next meeting time and make plans for who will be responsible for snacks/kids/etc.