Greetings from beautiful Yucca Valley on this crisp fall morning. I was reading recently in my devotions about a famine of the word of God. That’s what the Old Testament prophet Amos described as something that was going to come upon the world.
“Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord God, “When I will send a famine on the land, not a famine of bread or a thirst for water, but rather for hearing the words of the Lord. “People will stagger from sea to sea and from the north even to the east; they will roam about to seek the word of the Lord, but they will not find it."
(Amos 8:11-12 NASB)
I don’t know exactly when this prophecy lines up in God’s future plan for human history. But I certainly see evidence that this “famine” is happening in our day and time. People are hungry for meaning and purpose in their lives. There is a ‘hunger’ for hearing the words of the Lord. And people seem to be looking all over for it except in the one place that it can be found, the Bible.
I somewhat understand that those who are apart from Christ, unsaved people, are duped into neglecting the Bible as the word of God. They are under the control of the prince of the power of the air, a deceiver. But what I don’t understand is that this “famine” of the word of the Lord is affecting some church people. What I mean is that they live their lives as if God really hasn’t spoken, as if we have no idea what His intentions are. And that knowing His will for our life is a dark, hidden mystery.
I’d like to suggest a few verses from the Bible that can help us understand its importance a little better. First is from the Psalms.
I have treasured Your word in my heart, so that I may not sin against You. (Ps. 119:11 NASB)
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Ps. 119:105)
The word gives us support so that we can know what sin is and it helps us to keep ourselves from sin. And God illuminates His will for our lives through His word. Like a lamp, His word reveals the direction in which we should go.
Another verse to consider is in the New Testament in the book of Hebrews.
For the word of God is living and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, even penetrating as far as the
division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
The Bible is indeed a living word that can help us understand our thoughts and the intentions of our hearts. Why is that important? Because we learn from Jeremiah,
“The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it? (Jer. 17:9)
Most of us don’t want to admit this, but we all experience the reality of it. Once again, it is the words of God that help us understand our heart.
Then consider what Jesus said about His word.
“Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.” (Matt. 24:34-35)
It (God’s word) will never pass away, it is eternal. So, we jolly well better make sure we know what it says!
Are you looking for help in ministry, in being a positive
influence in someone else’s life? Look to the word of the Lord.
All Scripture is inspired by God and beneficial
for teaching, for rebuke, for correction, for
training in righteousness; so that the man
or woman of God may be fully capable,
equipped for every good work. (2Tim. 3:16-17)
As you learn and do more of God’s will for your life, the word is His training manual to help us do His will effectively.
Finally, in Jesus’ response to the temptation of the devil, we learn that our very life’s sustenance depends upon the word of the Lord.
And the tempter came and said to Him, “If
You are the Son of God, command that
these stones become bread.” But He
answered and said, “It is written: ‘MAN
SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON
EVERY WORD THAT COMES OUT OF THE
MOUTH OF GOD.’” (Matt. 4:3-4)
There does seem to be a “famine” of the word of the Lord today. But there doesn’t need to be! The Bible is available to virtually every person on the earth, regardless of their language or nation of origin. And most certainly there is an abundance of the word of the Lord for the English-speaking world! Make it your goal this day, this week, this year to spend more time reading God’s love letter to the human race.
In Christ our living hope,