“Hear this! The days are coming – this is the declaration of the Lord God – when I will send a famine through the land: not a famine of bread or a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord.” (Amos 8:11)
I can’t imagine anything worse. A famine of the words of the Lord would be to me the worst thing imaginable.
The Lord gave Amos those words to the people of Israel. I’m sure it increased his popularity! Actually, he had already been asked to leave Israel because of the veracity of his prophetic declarations, but he had another Master to obey rather than the king.
The reason the Lord gave the message was that the people of Israel were not listening. They were ignoring the words of the Lord, treating His words with contempt, and basically following the whims of their every desire. Indulgence was their logo. Injustice was their standard. Irrelevance was their destination. They were about to be relegated to insignificance. The Lord was about to use a “dirty broom” (Assyria) to level Samaria and exile the Israelites. Only, they didn’t see it coming. That’s because they were not listening, and that’s why there was about to be famine of the words of the Lord.
Nothing good comes from not listening to the word of the Lord. Anytime a nation begins to turn away from the word of the Lord, or begins to seek its own path apart from the Lord, God will be patient for a while, but if nothing changes that “grace period” will end. And no one will like the results.
We need to pray that our nation, which sometimes appears to be not listening very well, may turn around and move in God’s direction, to hear His word and heed it.
Lord, Forgive us for when we do not listen. Help us to hear, help us to respond, help us to turn daily toward You and seek Your word. Amen.