“November 14–20. Amos; Obadiah: ‘Seek the Lord, and Ye Shall Live,’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Old Testament 2022 (2021)
“November 14–20. Amos; Obadiah,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2022
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God chose Abraham’s seed to be His covenant people so that they would “be a blessing” to all people (see Genesis 12:2–3). But instead, by the time of Amos’s ministry, many of the covenant people were oppressing the poor and ignoring the prophets, making their acts of worship empty and meaningless (see Amos 2:6–16). True, the nations surrounding them were also guilty of great sins (see Amos 1; 2:1–5), but that has never been an excuse for God’s people (see Amos 3:2). So God sent a herdsman from Judah named Amos to preach repentance to the Kingdom of Israel. Later, God also declared through the prophet Obadiah that although the Kingdom of Judah had been destroyed, the Lord would gather and bless His people again. The covenant people had strayed from the Lord, both prophets testified, but they would not be cast off forever. When God reveals His secrets to His servants the prophets (see Amos 3:7), we can take it as a sign that He still wants to help us live up to the covenants we made with Him.
In Amos 3:3–6, the prophet Amos presented several examples of causes and effects: because a lion finds prey, the lion roars; because a baited trap is set for a bird, the bird is ensnared. (Note that in the Joseph Smith Translation of verse 6, the word “done” was changed to “known” [in Amos 3:6, footnote b].) In verses 7–8, Amos applied this logic to prophets. What causes a prophet to prophesy? What else do you learn about prophets as you read Amos 7:10–15? Ponder why you are grateful that the Lord still “revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7). What does this truth suggest to you about God?
As you read Amos 4:6–13, note the judgments the Lord had sent upon the people of Israel. What do these verses suggest about what the Lord hoped would happen after each of these experiences? (see also Helaman 12:3). Think about a recent trial you have experienced. While your trial may not have been sent by God, ponder how it might give you opportunities to seek Him.
See also Donald L. Hallstrom, “Turn to the Lord,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2010, 78–80.
We all experience periods of spiritual hunger and thirst, but there is no need for us to “wander from sea to sea” (Amos 8:12) looking for something to satisfy us. We know what will satisfy that spiritual hunger, and we have been blessed with the word of the Lord in abundance. As you read Amos 8:11–12, think about why a famine is a good comparison for living without the word of God. What additional insights do you find in Matthew 5:6; John 6:26–35; 2 Nephi 9:50–51; 32:3; Enos 1:4–8?
President Gordon B. Hinckley gave one possible interpretation of the phrase “saviours on mount Zion,” connecting the phrase to temple and family history work: “[In the temple] we literally become saviors on Mount Zion. What does this mean? Just as our Redeemer gave His life as a vicarious sacrifice for all men, and in so doing became our Savior, even so we, in a small measure, when we engage in proxy work in the temple, become as saviors to those on the other side who have no means of advancing unless something is done in their behalf by those on earth” (“Closing Remarks,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2004, 105).
You might review several recent messages from the President of the Church and discuss what the Lord is revealing to your family through him. Why is it important to have a prophet leading the Church? How have we come to know he is a true prophet? What are we doing to follow his counsel?
Your family might create a poster to hang in your home with this verse on it. What does it mean to seek the Lord? How do we seek Him? What blessings do we receive when we do? You could invite family members to share and discuss other passages that teach about seeking the Lord, such as Matthew 7:7–8; Ether 12:41; and Doctrine and Covenants 88:63.
Children might enjoy making up actions that go with phrases in these verses. When our bodies are hungry or thirsty, what do we do? When our spirits are hungry or thirsty, what do we do? You might also watch the video “The Great Apostasy” (ChurchofJesusChrist.org) and talk about how the Restoration of the gospel satisfies our spiritual hunger.
What could it mean to be “saviours … on mount Zion”? (For one possible explanation, see the statement by President Gordon B. Hinckley in “Ideas for Personal Scripture Study.”) Which of our ancestors need saving ordinances? What will we do to help them?
For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.
Suggested song: “We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet,” Hymns, no. 19.