Key Passage: Jonah 4:2 “I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love.”
Big Picture Question: What does God do when people sin? God loves people, but He punishes sin.
Christ Connection: God is holy and He punishes sin. But God also loves people. God wanted His people to stop sinning and love Him, but they would not. God punished His people. God loves us. We sin and should be punished. But God sent Jesus to be punished for us.
Thank you for continuing this journey of The Gospel Project® for Kids. Over the next four weeks, our Bible stories will focus on four prophets whose messages to God’s people foreshadowed Jesus Christ. In today’s Bible story, Amos was a regular, hard-working man who raised sheep in the Southern Kingdom of Judah. God called Amos to prophesy to the people of Israel.
On the outside, the Northern Kingdom of Israel looked good. They were prospering economically, their borders were expanding, and sure, King Jeroboam was an evil and ungodly man, but he could have been worse. But God was not pleased with His people. Their hearts were far from Him. They ignored God’s laws, worshiped idols, and mistreated the poor. They were greedy, hypocritical, and prideful. So God called Amos to tell Israel that God was going to judge them for their sin.
Taking God’s message to the people of Israel was no easy task. When Amos told Israel through three sermons that God’s judgment would also fall on them, they told him to go away. The Israelites’ refusal to turn back to God eventually led to their exile and brought an end to their time of prosperity.
God is holy and just, but He is also loving and gracious. God wanted His people to turn back to Him, but they refused. Israel faced the punishment for their sin. God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sin. God accepts anyone who trusts in Jesus as Lord and Savior.
Family Activity: Encourage each family member to intentionally do something nice for someone. It can be a friend, family member, or neighbor. You may even choose to do something as a family. Talk about how God wants His people to treat one another fairly, something those living in Israel were not doing during the time of Amos.