Saturday, September 3, 2011

A Famine of the Word of God

"Behold, the days are coming," declares the Lord God, "when I will send a famine on the land - not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord. They shall wander from sea to sea, and from north to east; they shall run to and fro, to seek the word of the Lord, but they shall not find it."
Amos 8:11-12

These must have been sobering words coming from the mouth of the prophet. It is hard to imagine the depths of such a curse - to seek the word of the Lord and not be able to find it. We must remember that God does not pronounce this judgment upon those who truly seek him, but upon those who willingly choose to repeatedly reject his words. In this case God's judgment came as the result of the people's rejection of Amos' prophetic warnings. Amos was a simple shepherd and farmer, of little influence in the sight of the religious elite. When he pronounced judgment on Israel, Amaziah the priest told him, "O seer, go, flee away to the land of Judah, and eat bread there, and prophesy there, but never again prophesy at Bethel, for it is the king's sanctuary, and it is a temple of the kingdom". God gave the people of Israel exactly what they wanted: a removal of his word from the land.

 We see in Scripture that when people repeatedly and deliberately reject the words of God, and seek their own path, he eventually turns them over to their own devices. What appears to be man achieving freedom from God's rules is actually God's judgment upon him. We see this in Romans 1, where the phrase "God gave them up" is used three times. He gave them up to the impure lusts of their heart, to dishonorable passions, and to a debased mind. While this passage is often cited as a description of the sinfulness of homosexuality, take a look at vv. 29-31. This passage is actually a description of all of us, left to our own devices, devoid of the restraining influence of the word of God.

As sons who have been adopted into the family of God and who are co-heirs with Christ (Rom. 8:17) of the glorious inheritance of the saints (Eph. 1:18), we should thank God each day that his grace has been lavished upon us (Eph. 1:8) through the Holy Spirit, who guides us into all truth (John 16:13). The body of Christ need not fear God's judgment because we are being guarded by God's power through faith (1 Pet. 1:5).

1 comment:

  1. The older I get, the more I realize how truly blessed I have been, and how totally undeserving I am of those blessings.