Famine in the Land!
Scripture reading for September 16th: Amos 8-9
I have never lived through a famine but have experienced a severe drought. My wife and I had been farming about 5 years when a very dry year caused our corn crop to nearly fail completely. We had a large hog herd and many cattle and had to try to buy corn, which was expensive and hard to find. It was a difficult time that brought us understanding of how dependent we were on the Lord.
In Amos’ day, God also promised a famine would come to His people. “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. 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.” (Amos 8:11-12) After warning His people repeatedly, God expected a response but got none. He was going to act and would stop speaking in warning. The judgment was going to fall and men and women would then begin to seek out God’s Word. A famine of the Word would be in the land and no word would be heard.
Amos saw God standing by the altar giving instruction to His holy ones. They were to strike the tops of the pillars and shake them down on the heads of the people. None of those who were sinners would escape His judgment. (Amos 9:1-2) “and I will shake the house of Israel among all the nations as grain is shaken in a sieve, and not a pebble will reach the ground. All the sinners among My people will die by the sword, all those who say ,’Disaster will not overtake or meet us.””( Amos 9:9-10)
The people had not listened to the word of God spoken by the prophets. They continued to trust in their own delusion that they were safe in their sins. God was warning them but they did not repent. The wages of sin is death. Eat the life-giving bread of God’s word while it may be found. It’s hard to satisfy your hunger during a famine!