Bible Study from October 12th, 2019

Let Justice Run Down as Waters, and Righteousness as a Mighty Stream. Amos Part 2

This week’s Lesson Sermon Subject: Are Sin, Disease, and Death Real?

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Bible Study Questions and Readings

But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.

— Amos 5 : 24

Topic: The Book of Amos, Part 2

Moderator: Thomas from NY

Bible Readings: The Book of Amos, Chapters 1-9

Additional Bible Readings: Hosea 10: 15; Hosea 13: 1-3; Jeremiah 48: 13; 1 Kings 12: 3, 4, 11, 19, 20, 28-30; 2 Kings 17: 6, 12, 18; 1 Kings 13: 1-3; 2 Kings 23: 1-5, 15-18; James 2:6; Proverbs 14: 31

Be prepared to discuss previous questions from The Book of Amos, Part 1:

  1. What was Amos’ prophecy? (Amos 7: 7-9, 11; see also 1 Kings 12, breakup of the kingdom and 2 Kings 17, end of the Northern Kingdom)
  2. What does Amos say is required? (Amos 5: 14; Amos 3: 3)

New Questions for The Book of Amos, Part 2:

  1. Name a speech given by Martin Luther King, Jr. where he used Amos 5: 24.
  2. What did Amos say about Bethel?
  3. What does Amos say about oppressing the poor? (Amos 4: 1-2; Amos 5: 11-12; James 2: 6; Proverbs 14: 31)

Notes from the Discussion

Judgment: some interpret this of penal judgment, by God threatened against these hypocrites; but it is better understood of justice to be administered by rulers, whose office it was to determine between party and party.

Run down as waters; freely, constantly, speedily, and for common benefit of all, as waters run.

Righteousness; equity, relieving justice, the want of which hath been notorious among you.

As a mighty stream, which bears down all that opposeth it: be hindered by none from doing every one right; do this, and you may yet be accepted.

— from Matthew Poole’s Commentary

The Bible is the book of Life.

— The Bible Study

A righteous idea has all the power of God behind it.

— The Bible Study

Mind is not necessarily dependent upon educational processes. It possesses of itself all beauty and poetry, and the power of expressing them. Spirit, God, is heard when the senses are silent. We are all capable of more than we do. The influence or action of Soul confers a freedom, which explains the phenomena of improvisation and the fervor of untutored lips.

— from Science and Health, 1910, by Mary Baker Eddy, page 89

Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

— 2 Corinthians 13 : 5-7

Clear your slate each night before bed. Go through your day and ask yourself, “Have I done my best? What could have I done better? Am I holding any hatred?”

— The Bible Study

We must form perfect models in thought and look at them continually, or we shall never carve them out in grand and noble lives.

— Citation 2 from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, 248

Repent means to change.

— The Bible Study

Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He hath shown thee, O man, what is good: and what doth the Lord require of thee but to do justly and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

— Micah 6 : 7-9

Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate:

— Amos 5 : 15

We cannot be lukewarm toward evil otherwise we will compromise with it. We hate the false systems not people.

— The Bible Study

Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

— Amos 3 : 3

He that foretold the judgment in his preaching to the people, yet deprecated it in his intercessions for them. He is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee. It was the business of prophets to pray for those to whom they prophesied, and so to make it appear that though they denounced they did not desire the woeful day. Therefore, God showed his prophets the evils coming, that they might befriend the people, not only by warning them, but by praying for them, and standing in the gap, to turn away God’s wrath, as Moses, that great prophet, often did. Now observe here, The prophet’s prayer: O Lord God! Forgive, I beseech thee, and take away the sin, v. 2. He sees sin at the bottom of the trouble, and therefore concludes that the pardon of sin must be at the bottom of deliverance, and prays for that in the first place. Note, Whatever calamity we are under, personal or public, the forgiveness of sin is that which we should be most earnest with God for. Cease, I beseech thee, and take away the judgment; cease the fire, cease the controversy; cause they anger towards us to cease. This follows upon the forgiveness of sin. Take away the cause and effect will cease.

— from Matthew Henry Bible Commentary, Amos 7

God does not send wrath and destruction. Error is destroying iself.

— The Bible Study

Good: Honest, uncorrupted, valuable, useful, moral, right, benevolent, kind, highest worth, perfect, beneficial, virtue, firm, not weak, complete, opposed to wicked, wholesome, faithful, fidelity, wise, calm, abundance, satisfied.

— From 1828 Webster’s Dictionary

But though I was initially disappointed at being categorized as an extremist, as I continued to think about the matter I gradually gained a measure of satisfaction from the label. Was not Jesus an extremist for love: “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” Was not Amos an extremist for justice: “Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever flowing stream.” Was not Paul an extremist for the Christian gospel: “I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.” Was not Martin Luther an extremist: “Here I stand; I cannot do otherwise, so help me God.” And John Bunyan: “I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of my conscience.” And Abraham Lincoln: “This nation cannot survive half slave and half free.” And Thomas Jefferson: “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal . . .”So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice or for the extension of justice? In that dramatic scene on Calvary’s hill three men were crucified. We must never forget that all three were crucified for the same crime–the crime of extremism. Two were extremists for immorality, and thus fell below their environment. The other, Jesus Christ, was an extremist for love, truth and goodness, and thereby rose above his environment.”

— from Letter from a Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King, Jr.

Righteousness: Purity of heart and rectitude of life; conformity of heart and life to the divine law.

— From 1828 Webster’s Dictionary

I want to leave this evening saying to you that there are some things in our social system that I’m proud to be maladjusted to, and I call upon you to be maladjusted to. I never intend to adjust myself to the viciousness of lynch mobs; I never intend to become adjusted to the evils of segregation and discrimination; I never intend to become adjusted to the tragic inequalities of the economic system which will take necessity from the masses to give luxury to the classes; I never intend to become adjusted to the insanity’s of militarism, the self-defeating method of physical violence.

There are some things that I never intend to become adjusted to, and I call upon you to continue to be maladjusted. History still has a choice place for the maladjusted. There is still a call for individuals to be maladjusted. The salvation of our world lies in the hands of the maladjusted.

I call upon you to be maladjusted, maladjusted as the prophet Amos who in the midst of the tragic inequalities of injustice in his day cried out in words that echoes across the generations: ”Let judgment run down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

As maladjusted as Lincoln who confronted a nation divided against itself and had the vision to see that the nation could not exist half free, and half slave.

Maladjusted as the — hundreds and thousands — of Negroes, North and South who are determined now to stand up for freedom, willing to face possible violence and possible death, who are willing to stand up and sacrifice and struggle until segregation is a dead reality and until integration is a fact.

Maladjusted as Jefferson who in the midst of an age amazingly adjusted to slavery cried out in words of cosmic proportions: ”All men are created equal; they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights. Among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” upon I call upon you to follow this maladjusted. In one of his earliest references to creative maladjustment.

— from The ”Montgomery Story” Bus Boycott in 1955. by Martin Luther King, Jr.

Never adjust to anything evil .

— The Bible Study

Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people.

— from “Quotations of Martin Luther King” by Martin Luther King, Jr., page 23

This is an exact quote from “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” (1963), and is Dr. King’s answer as to why he is in Birmingham:

“But more basically, I am in Birmingham because injustice is here. Just as the prophets of the eighth century B.C. left their villages and carried their “thus saith the Lord” far beyond the boundaries of their home towns, and just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the Greco Roman world, so am I compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town.” (His pastorate was in Atlanta) “Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid.”

— from Letter from a Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King, Jr.

In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death.

— Proverbs 12 : 28

“Justice is the fruit of righteousness. . . . justice stands for correct moral practice in daily life, and righteousness for the cultivation of correct moral principles. Justice is external, righteousness is internal.”

— from, regarding “Bethel”

If we will make the right choice, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our world into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. If we will but make the right choice, we will be able to speed up the day, all over America and all over the world, when “justice will roll down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.

Delivered 4 April 1967, Riverside Church, New York City

— from Beyond Vietnam — A Time to Break Silence by Martin Luther King, Jr.

According to Amos, a nation is exceptional by the measure of how it cares for the lowest members of society; and a nation of religious hypocrisy and economic injustice is one that will perish. John Winthrop expressed the message of Amos in his famous work “A Modell of Christian Charity” (1630); he knew that for the Puritan legacy to be a “light unto the nations” and a “city upon a hill,” the community would have to be based upon principles of justice, fairness, and regard for others, “that every man afford his help to another in every want or distress.”

— from ,”Let Justice Roll Down Like Waters (Amos 5-6)”, by Ssamuel Thomas

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