“Morning by morning, O Lord, you hear my voice”
(Please read Amos 8:11)
It was with full knowledge of the devastating effect of food famines, no doubt, that a lowly shepherd from Tekoa, prophesying against Israel, spoke the Lord’s words regarding a different kind of deprivation that was going to be visited on that rebellious people, whose worship was meaningless because their daily conduct did not live up to their professed religion. In the words of our text, it would be “not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord” (NIV).
What would the consequences be if this nation were to encounter a famine-size dearth of reading and hearing the words of the Lord? Some countries are already caught in such a thing, so severely that the very lives of Christians are at risk there. They surely need Christians’ help.
Even in our nation, where the Bible is a perennial bestseller, many people live virtually in a self-imposed famine of the words of the Lord, sometimes because of open enmity toward God. Some foes of Christ think the world would be better if there were no Bibles, but they will never see their nefarious wish come true.When Paul was chained like a criminal, he rejoiced that “God’s word is not chained” (2 Timothy 2:9). That’s still true — unless we “chain” it ourselves by neglecting it. What a waste, to commit spiritual suicide by self-deprivation in a land of plenty!
As servants of a loving Savior, may we be able by word and example to encourage others to read and love the Good Book and move from famine to plenty.