“Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord God,
“When I will send a famine on the land,
Not a famine for bread or a thirst for water,
But rather for hearing the words of the Lord.
And people will stagger from sea to sea,
and from the north even to the east;
They will go to and fro to seek the word of the Lord,
But they will not find it.” (Amos 8:11-12)
When God issued this statement, the “words of the Lord” came through prophets. It was how God made His presence known, directed and lead them. Disciplined them. Encouraged them.
And there were times when God was silent for long periods, and the people would wonder, “Where has He gone? Why isn’t He speaking to us? Doesn’t He care?”
This happened also during the reign of King Asa:
“And for many days Israel was without the true God and without a teaching priest and without law. But in their distress they turned to the Lord God of Israel, and they sought Him, and He let them find Him.
And in those times there was no peace to him who went out or to him who came in, for many disturbances afflicted all the inhabitants of the lands.” (2 Chronicles 15:9)
What if today and tomorrow and for months and even years, God would not let us find Him? What if, no matter how many prayers we offered, no matter how contrite we were or how low we crawled on our bellies in repentance, God’s presence had completely vanished? What if God turned His back on us and hastened to a distant corner of the universe, never to look in our direction again?
What’s interesting about this is that even though God has not turned His back on us, many, many people on this earth have turned their back on Him, and the results are the same: a train wreck. In our relationship with our Creator, regardless of whose back is turned, the results are devastation. Those who do not hear or read the words of the Lord are in a famine, whether they know it or not. And people who are starving will do the most desperate things.
The men who took meat cleavers to that poor British soldier are in a famine so desperate, their minds have literally wasted away. They have no clear thinking or truth, and certainly, no peace. As in the scripture above from 2 Chronicles, “many disturbances” have afflicted them.
Even those today who seem, from all appearances, to be normal–the atheists who keep striving to take prayer out of schools, the military or anywhere they find the words of God–are without spiritual nourishment and not in their right minds. They have no peace, no assurance, and no sweet knowing that He has their back.
But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'” (Matthew 4:4)
This statement by Jesus is not metaphorical. It is literal. We need God’s word to nourish us, to keep us healthy mentally and physically.
And that’s why we are seeing more and more blatant acts of depravity, because many people have turned away from God’s word, or have never heard it. Consider how your mind would be if you fed yourself with nothing but jelly beans for a year. You’d be loopy. Your mind would be mush.
There’s another kind of spiritual famine as well, that many Christians partake in. It’s the kind where they pick and choose what part of God’s word they want to believe. God’s word is complete, and gives us all our spiritual vitamins. When we choose to turn away from or ignore certain parts–parts that society would tell us aren’t relevant anymore–we are denying ourselves important and necessary spiritual food. Don’t be fooled, and certainly don’t listen to the words of those who are spiritually deprived anyway.
Praise God that He has given us all we need in His word to keep us healthy, happy and at peace. Eat of it daily. It will give you strength to stand when others are falling around you.