Amos 8.9-14 – Not by bread alone

Yesterday we saw that God has a perfect memory, and the ways He Sovereignly chooses to use it is based on our position before Him; justified through faith in Jesus or in rebellion against Him.

In vv.9-14 Amos continues to deliver God’s message of coming judgement for the persistent and consistent rebellion against His ways, and one really interesting part is vv.11-12;

11 “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.

12 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.

God is sending a famine on the land, but not of bread or water, of hearing the words of the Lord. This has to be the worst kind of famine. In difficult times, we need the Word of God the most.

Imagine driving down a dark, windy road in a country you are not familiar with, right then you would need your SatNav/GPS/direction-giving-device, wouldn’t you, and that would be the worst time possible to have that device not work on you. Similarly, for God’s people to have a famine of His Word at a time when they need it most is a terrible thing.

In Matthew 4.4 Jesus draws from Deuteronomy 8 when He says

“It is written,

“‘Man shall not live by bread alone,

but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

The Word of God is so important to our life that it is the ultimate famine used in judgement by the Lord.

If we neglect and reject it when we feel things are going well, will it still speak to us when things are tough?

Personally I would rather not find out. Instead, let us first seek the Kingdom of God, and take to heart the truth that we don’t just live by the intake of food, but as we nourish our bodies we must also nourish our souls with the Word of God.

Published by James Travis

Pastor of Saar Fellowship in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Married to Robyn and Dad to our two boys.

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