Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it. ~ Amos 8:11-12
The prophet Amos warned that a day would come when there would be a famine in the land for the hearing of the words of the Lord.
Israel had repeatedly rejected God’s message and warnings and now they would get what they asked for. God would not send anyone to challenge them, warn them or even encourage them; they would receive no Word from God from His prophets. In other words, whenever they looked for God’s guidance during the coming calamity, they would find only silence.
There is no judgment worse than God giving a person over completely to his or her own sinful desires – and the consequences. When this happens, a person is left to fall deep into the corruption of this world.
We can see an example of God giving the Gentiles over to their own sin in Romans 1. The term in verse 24, “God gave them up to uncleanness” means that God allowed them to completely go their own way, experiencing the full effect of their sin.
Why would God give them over? I believe He has two purposes for giving them to their own sinful ways:
1. Judgment – To allow sin and its consequences to increase as part of his judgment on them.
2. Salvation – To bring them to a point of realizing their need for God’s mercy, forgiveness, and a right relationship with him.
Truly if you think about it though it is all for Salvation. Jesus wishes that none should perish but that all should come to repentance. Read it in 2 Peter 3:8-10!!! He wants us to believe in Him but when we do that He then wants us to know Him. We do that by knowing His Word. We show that by obeying His Word. One day it will be too late to repent and serve the Lord Jesus Christ. It will be too late to take up our cross and follow Him.
If we continue in our sin James 1:13-15 speaks of the ultimate consequence of sin:
“Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”
How important is hearing the Word…Life and death are in the balance.
Now, it is also worth noting that the famine Amos spoke of is not a famine of speaking God’s Word – but hearing it. Today we are blessed with many ways to hear the Word of God. We can get on the radio or television, we can get on the computer, on Facebook or YouTube, and have thousands of sermons at our disposal. There is preaching and teaching of the Word, Godly encouragement through songs and hymns and quotes; prophecy. People are out there speaking the Word. And these things are all good and serve a great Kingdom purpose. When people share what they have received from the Word or from God they are built up. In addition, when we listen prayerfully to God’s chosen vessels we are built up too – changed from glory to glory. Truly, hearing changes you and plants the Word in your own spirit so that you can fight temptation with that Word. I believe that speaking it then “seals” that change!!!
BUT to just casually listen to what someone else received from the Word, whether it is in person or through browsing Facebook or even casually browsing the Bible isn’t the same as digging deep for yourself, hearing for yourself and laying the foundation of your own life upon God‘s Word. Dig deep – it will make a difference.
May God bless your time in the Word today as He has blessed mine!