A Famine of the Word

The Famine of the Word 

Amos 8:7-14

“Behold, days are coming, declares the Lord God, When I will send a famine on the land, not a famine for bread or a thirst for water, but rather for hearing the words of the Lord.

            Famines are devastating and destructive. It has been estimated that 70-120 million people died from famines worldwide in the 20th century. It is estimated that 9 million people die yearly from hunger and hunger-related diseases.  This is both tragic and unnecessary in an age of mass food production.   According to experts, the reality of famine is not a result of not having enough food but a result of human mismanagement and lack of action rather than natural disasters.    

            The spiritual famine sweeping across our country is equally tragic today and even more devastating.  This famine is the famine of the Word of God. As much as food and water are The Famine of the Word 

Amos 8:7-14

“Behold, days are coming, declares the Lord God, When I will send a famine on the land, not a famine for bread or a thirst for water, but rather for hearing the words of the Lord.

            Famines are devastating and destructive. It has been estimated that 70-120 million people died from famines worldwide in the 20th century. It is estimated that 9 million people die yearly from hunger and hunger-related diseases.  This is both tragic and unnecessary in an age of mass food production.   According to experts, the reality of famine is not a result of not having enough food but a result of human mismanagement and lack of action rather than natural disasters.    

            The spiritual famine sweeping across our country is equally tragic today and even more devastating.  This famine is the famine of the Word of God. As much as food and water are necessary to sustain life physically, the words of the Lord are just as essential for life spiritually.  Jesus points to the importance of the word of God when he states, “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4).  The lack of physical food results in the death of the body.  But the lack of spiritual food results in the death of the soul.  This spiritual famine comes not because there is no word from God but because we reject his word.  

            Israel had long possessed the law of God, but they continued to neglect to obey God’s law.  Time and time again, God sent prophets to warn the people of impending doom if they rejected God.  Rather than respond, they continued to refuse to listen.  Now, God will send a famine on the land as an act of God's judgment. When Israel is confronted with adversity and the onslaught of their enemies, heaven will remain silent. The offer of God’s grace is never without a warning.  If the people refuse to obey God’s law, there comes a time when judgment is decreed and inevitable.

             But this dire warning is just that.  It is a warning.  It calls the people to respond before it is too late.  The offer of grace has yet to be rescinded.  They are on the precipice of judgment, but there is one last opportunity to avert disaster.  God is sending the prophet Amos to call the people to repentance.

Like Israel, our nation has had unparallel access to the word of God.  We have it in our homes.  It is proclaimed in churches.  It is declared on the airwaves.  Yet, like Israel in Amos's time, we continue to reject God’s law to pursue our own.   We continue to deny God’s moral truth to follow man's morality.  This we do at our own risk, for there may come a time when God sends a famine of his word when God allows us to descend into the depths of our spiritual starvation.  A spiritual famine that we have created ourselves.  

            However, there is still hope for the opportunity to respond to God’s appeal and seek Him.  Our country's problems today are not political, economic, social, or racial but spiritual, so we must turn to God for solutions rather than man. Instead of seeking truth from the wisdom of men, we need to seek the truth from the knowledge of God.  Instead of looking to politicians for answers and solutions to our national problems, we must turn to God. God is a God of holiness and justice and he will bring judgment upon sin.  This may not be a popular message today, but we need to hear and respond to it before it is too late. It begins with us coming before God, seeking His grace and wisdom, and then standing upon His word regardless of the cost.  National repentance begins with personal repentance.  It begins with each one of us seeking God and his word with abandonment and diligence.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      necessary to sustain life physically, the words of the Lord are just as essential for life spiritually.  Jesus points to the importance of the word of God when he states, “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4).  The lack of physical food results in the death of the body.  But the lack of spiritual food results in the death of the soul.  This spiritual famine comes not because there is no word from God but because we reject his word.  

            Israel had long possessed the law of God, but they continued to neglect to obey God’s law.  Time and time again, God sent prophets to warn the people of impending doom if they rejected God.  Rather than respond, they continued to refuse to listen.  Now, God will send a famine on the land as an act of God's judgment. When Israel is confronted with adversity and the onslaught of their enemies, heaven will remain silent. The offer of God’s grace is never without a warning.  If the people refuse to obey God’s law, there comes a time when judgment is decreed and inevitable.

             But this dire warning is just that.  It is a warning.  It calls the people to respond before it is too late.  The offer of grace has yet to be rescinded.  They are on the precipice of judgment, but there is one last opportunity to avert disaster.  God is sending the prophet Amos to call the people to repentance.

Like Israel, our nation has had unparallel access to the word of God.  We have it in our homes.  It is proclaimed in churches.  It is declared on the airwaves.  Yet, like Israel in Amos's time, we continue to reject God’s law to pursue our own.   We continue to deny God’s moral truth to follow man's morality.  This we do at our own risk, for there may come a time when God sends a famine of his word when God allows us to descend into the depths of our spiritual starvation.  A spiritual famine that we have created ourselves.  

            However, there is still hope for the opportunity to respond to God’s appeal and seek Him.  Our country's problems today are not political, economic, social, or racial but spiritual, so we must turn to God for solutions rather than man. Instead of seeking truth from the wisdom of men, we need to seek the truth from the knowledge of God.  Instead of looking to politicians for answers and solutions to our national problems, we must turn to God. God is a God of holiness and justice and he will bring judgment upon sin.  This may not be a popular message today, but we need to hear and respond to it before it is too late. It begins with us coming before God, seeking His grace and wisdom, and then standing upon His word regardless of the cost.  National repentance begins with personal repentance.  It begins with each one of us seeking God and his word with abandonment and diligence.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

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