The Bible is full of authors who wrote over a long period of time. Some of them were highly educated and some of them came right from the field of work with a message of God. Amos was one of those prophets who came right from the field. When he was criticized for his course message, he replied, I was not trained to be a Prophet, but God called me right from the field of my labor. He says, “I am not a prophet nor the son of a prophet, for I am a herdsman and a grower of sycamore figs; but God took me from following the flock and the Lord said, go and prophecy to my people Israel.” (Amos 7:15)

In the Book we find that God is not only the ruler of Israel but is ruler over all nations. He is God of the world. Amos tells us that God looks at and judges the actions of all nations.

To these nations Amos declares, “Behold the days come saith the Lord that I will send a famine on the land, not a famine of bread or thirst for water, but for the hearing of the words of the Lord. And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north, even to the east, and they shall run to and fro and seek the word of the Lord and shall not find it. In that day shall the fair virgins and the young men faint for thirst.” [Amos 8:11-13]

My mind asks the question “what is the condition of the land being in a famine for the Word of God?” It means that there is no voice or message that speaks deep into my heart of what God says. It means there is a lack of authority to understand and speak the truth. There are an abundance of people who can speak academically into our lives, but there is no one to speak the Word of God into our desperate search for true meaning.

Why should this be true? In the case of this message of Amos, who was the cause of the famine? Samaria had built a calf and commanded the people to worship the calf. The substitution of the creature in the place of the creator constitutes an incapacity to receive the Word of God. If we worship what we create, we fail to worship the creator and His Word falls on hard ground. There is no voice, no virtue, no vision, no victory, indeed a famine for the Word of God. This is exactly what Paul says in Romans one where he states we worship the creature rather that the creator.

That leaves the Word of God out. A Famine.

What then is the condition of being without the Word of God? There is no message from the unseen, no authority laying its command upon my life. In the famine, we do what we wish, not what He wants. Are there men who say there is no message from the unseen? Men who never hear that voice that speaks to the deepest part of our being? God may be speaking, but he hears none. All he hears are the voices he wants to hear and thus the famine takes place. There are no voices, no virtue, no vision. He is not conscious of any other voices except what he wants to hear. This creates a famine; the Bible becomes a sealed book to many. They have chosen to close their ears to the eternal Word to listen to the human word, which cannot produce life.

Notice how the prophet describes the fruitless search. He says, “They wander from sea to sea and from the north, even to the east; they shall run to and fro and seek the word of the Lord and shall not find it.” Whenever a man has lost his capacity for the Word of God, cannot discern it, does not hear it, does not appreciate it, a restless search begins to find what he lost, but he does not realize what it is he lost. To such individual, the fact that he has lost the words of God does not seem of any significance to him. So he does not even recognize his own restlessness. He has forsaken the very thing that gave him an anchor in the tempest, so he floats aimlessly looking for security. In my opinion, every attempt to satisfy life without God is in the last analysis an attempt to find the Word of God.

If I were to conduct a survey asking people “do you believe in God,” the vast majority of people would respond in the positive. But the God they refer to is not the God of the Throne. He is not the God of the government. Their God, who they refer to is an old man with a long beard. He is not the God who spoke the entire universe into being. He is a good God who wants to shower all things good down on us. He is not the God Israel saw at Sinai or Elijah heard as he sat at the opening of the cave. He is not the God who fed his prophet for three years with a Raven while He destroyed a sinful land through a famine. Not THAT God.

Can you hear Amos say, “They shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord and shall not find it.”? That seems like a very contradictory statement. They are running, and they are looking for God. On their running route, they pass God but did not recognize Him. This is so true. Materialism is a perpetual lust, and unanswered agony of desire. Sensualism is a deadly opiate. Novelty is a pernicious irritant. It is a fruitless search; there is no substitute for the Word of God.

We speak of the famine of the Word Of God and I am one of the ones who is in danger of creating my own famine. I have read the entire book over fifty times. It can become like reading an old book or watching an old movie. I will develop my own famine unless the God of this book leaps out at me. I must still be challenged by its message, I must continue to turn my face toward Him, I must continue to allow The Word of God to stay the word of God. Otherwise, it sits with hundreds of other books as meaningless.

“And the Lord will continually guide you
And satisfy your desire in scorched places
And give strength to your bones
And you shall be like a watered garden
And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail”.

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