A famine of God’s word

DWP_DroughtAmos 8:11: Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:

This actually happened in the time of Eli (1Samuel 2:12-3:1). Before the emergence of Samuel as a prophet, a seer, it was recorded that the word of God was scarce and there was no open vision. The supernatural communication between heaven and earth was reduced. That was something unusual. It isn’t God’s default mode to not freely communicate with his people. This was likely because of the sinfulness that permeated the temple at that time, with the corruption, greed and fornication being carried out by the two sons of Eli.

At that time there was a famine of the word of God. From the focus verse we have the idea that the word of God is a source of satisfaction, like water and food. Peter said that Jesus has the words of eternal life (John 6:63). God once accused Israel that they have forsaken him the fountain of living waters, and got for themselves means of getting water that doesn’t actually give any lasting satisfaction.

At a time Jesus lifted up his voice and said that if anyone thirsts, he should come to him and that the water he will give will become in him rivers of living waters. To the Samaritan woman, Jesus said that the water he would give her would be in her a well of water, springing up into eternal life.

After Jesus multiplied bread to feed thousands (John 6:1-66), the people did not want him to feel so cool. They said that their fathers were also fed with bread from heaven by Moses. Jesus had to correct them that it was not Moses who fed their fathers with bread, but the heavenly father. He doesn’t want them to look back at the past event; he wants them to begin to see him as the true bread of God, that if they don’t eat him they won’t have life in themselves, they will remain spiritually dead. He is the ultimate satisfaction.

The foregoing shows that Jesus wants the people to come to him for spiritual bread and water, he wants to impress it on them the importance/imperative of seeing him as their source. He is not only light breaking us away from darkness (John 1:1-5), he is not only the ladder that leads us to heaven (John 1:50-51), he is the bread of God, and also he has spiritual water to give us.

With him there can be no famine of the word of God because he is the word of God. In the times of old, the prophets were the means of getting a word from God, but now we have the person of Jesus (Hebrews 1:1-3). Prophets die but he lives forever. To get the prophets of old, you have to go to them, whereas, Jesus lives in us.

Famine in a natural sense can result from laziness which prevents us from sowing seeds, or as a result of severe weather conditions which does not allow any seed sown to even grow.

In the bible, a famous famine took place was in the land of Egypt (Genesis 41). God had showed it in a dream to Pharaoh, that there would first be seven years of plenty, followed by seven years of famine that would make nonsense of the seven years of plenty.

Joseph, Jacob’s son, who interpreted the dream for pharaoh was saddled with making arrangement for mitigating the effects of the coming famine.

Famine is bound to happen when people are distracted from laying emphasis on putting the word of God inside of them. Without sowing, there cannot be harvest and without harvest, there is famine. If we are not actively sowing the word of God in our hearts, we should be ready to experience famine sooner or later. When we shy away from the hard-work of sowing the word in our own hearts (Proverbs 21:25) and in the hearts of the people who listen to us (2Timothy 4:1-5), everyone gets primed for a season of famine. When as a spiritual leader you busy sowing philosophy, and not the word of God, you are sowing the wind, you will reap the whirlwind (Hosea 8:7).

In the case of a famine, caused by adverse environmental condition like the one that happened in Egypt, it is all about making use of every opportunity prior to that. Don’t waste the opportunity that being unemployed afford you to have extra-time in the word. Solomon advised in the book of Ecclesiastes that when we are young, we should prioritise the things of the Lord, get excited by it (Ecclesiastes 12:1), invest yourself and your time in it.

There is no time like the time of youth to prime yourself in the ways of God. As far as Paul was concerned, the fact that Timothy knew the Holy Scriptures from a very young age puts him at an advantage (2Timothy 3:15).

You cannot afford to waste time, when it comes to putting the word in your heart. David prayed: let the word of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you oh Lord (Psalm 19:14); but another person said to God: your words have I put in my heart that I may not sin against you (Psalm 119:11). Putting the two together means that the words sown in the heart will prevent the famine of a disobedient life; David wanted both his thoughts and words to be in alignment with God’s. And we know that would remain at the level of wishful thinking if the word of God is not being actively sown in us.

That the word is a seed means that it will take some times before we see the result, the fruits, but see it we must. There are possibilities locked up in the word. It is meant to create a new reality of mind for us individually and collectively.

But, when there is no hunger and thirst for the word, then we have a problem. We are setting ourselves up for a famine of the word.


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