Amos 8:11 ‘“The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign LORD, “when I will send a famine through the land—not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the LORD.”’
Fortunately, I have never experienced a famine of food or water here in the United States, but there was a time before I became a Christian, when I was in a famine of God’s Word. I picture my soul at that time looking like the images you see of famine victims; weak and emaciated with bones protruding. I was spiritually starving. But thankfully, in God’s grace and mercy, He intervened and rescued me, and like someone who had gone without food for a long time, I hungrily began to devour Scripture. Now that I am being fed regularly by reading and studying God’s Word, I cannot imagine having to go without it. Think of how Jesus must have suffered when He was in the grave. He was God’s Word in the flesh (John 1:14). It was part of His very being, yet He was separated from it. Like a heart torn from the body, the very life-sustaining force removed. But Jesus promises us, “…until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished” (Matthew 5:18). So if our souls are starving, it’s not because God has removed His Word. It’s because we are not coming to His feast.
Are we looking for God’s feast in the wrong places? Amos 8:12 goes on to explain that this famine would not be just a scarcity of God’s Word, but a complete absence of it. “Men will stagger from sea to sea and wander from north to east, searching for the Word of the LORD, but they will not find it.” The Bible commentary, Opening Up Amos, notes that the Israelites searched from North to East and West to East (sea to sea). They would look everywhere but in the South which was “the one place where the light of God still shone.” How often do we look to everything other than God and His Word for wisdom and fulfillment? How long will God’s patience last? His judgment on Israel would bring a complete and devastating, divine silence, “…they will fall, never to rise again” (Amos 8:14). How hopeless are those without the Word of God.
Are we coming to God’s feast, but only taking desserts from the table? Commentaries also state that at the time of Amos’ prophesying, Israel was enjoying a time of increased prosperity, but it was also a time of religious and moral corruption. They continually failed to honor and obey God. They were performing the ceremonial rites, “religion” was flourishing, but they did not have a commitment to His Word and weren’t living by His standards of conduct. Things are no different today. Many who attend church or claim they are “spiritual” do not believe in God’s Truth or are cherry-picking what they want from it. If we are choosing only the things we find sweet in His Word, then our souls will remain deficient and anemic. But Jesus promises to feed all who seek Him. “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty” (John 6:35). There will never be a famine of God’s Word for those who believe in Jesus because to truly believe in Jesus is to believe in God’s Word. So come to His feast and fill your soul.
How often are you feasting on the Word of God?
Will you ask God to reveal deficiencies in your soul?