Monday, June 29

End the famine!

Scripture: Amos 7-9, Psalm 104, Titus 2

Amos 8:11–13 

11 “The time is surely coming,” says the Sovereign Lord, 

“when I will send a famine on the land— 

not a famine of bread or water 

but of hearing the words of the Lord. 

12 People will stagger from sea to sea 

and wander from border to border 

searching for the word of the Lord, 

but they will not find it. 

13 Beautiful girls and strong young men 

will grow faint in that day, 

thirsting for the Lord’s word.


Amos prophesied to rebellious and disobedient Israel that a famine was coming: a famine of hearing the words of the Lord.  God had spoken to them over and over, and they had refused to listen.  God was about to abandon them and stop speaking to them.  And when that happened—when the famine hit—they would desire the words of the Lord like a starving person craves food.  They would search for the word of the Lord but not find it.  They would thirst for the word of the Lord to no avail.  

This is God saying, “I’ve spoken to you and you’ve refused to listen.  Now I refuse to speak to you any longer.”  

Why was that a problem?  Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 8:3.  “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”  Just as bread sustains us physically, God’s word sustains us spiritually.  Without food, we die physically.  Without God’s word, we die spiritually.  So famine is an apt metaphor.  


When God speaks, I want to listen.  I don’t want to repeat the Israelites’ sin of refusing to listen to God.  

This is one reason I do daily PBJ.  I open my Bible and ask God to speak to me; I pray and take time to listen.  Honestly, it’s easy for these things to become spiritual calisthenics, done without thinking, without paying attention to the voice of the Lord.  But my reason for doing them is to connect with God, to make space in my life for Him to speak to me.  

I have a t-shirt that says on one side, “End the famine.  Amos 8:11” and on the other side, “Feed yourself.”  

This passage (and that shirt) remind me how desperately I need to hear from the Lord!  

And the warning in this passage should get our attention: if we refuse to listen, God will stop speaking with us.  Disaster!

Prayer: Lord, I need to hear from You.  Please speak with me each day, and help me to pay attention, to listen…to end the famine!