Summary: Repent and turn to God for the judgment is coming.

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Topic: Spiritual Famine

“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.” (Amos 8:11)

AMOS gave a very somber message to the Israelites in this verse. It was about the judgment of a spiritual famine. We note the cautioning about the judgment, the character of the judgment, and the coming of the judgment.

Cautioning about the judgment. “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD.” The beginning of the verse shows the grace of God in that He warns of coming judgment. The warning is to give time for people to repent and thus avoid the judgment. God is ever doing this. The trouble with man is that he seldom heeds the warnings. But when judgment comes, no one can complain; for God has duly warned mankind of the coming judgment.

Character of the judgment. “I will send a famine . . . of hearing the words of the LORD.” This is not what we usually consider a famine. Usually, we think a famine is one of physical food. But this judgment is a famine of spiritual food. This judgment will remove the preaching and teaching of the Word of God from the land. This judgment will remove the Scriptures from society. It will take the Bible away from man. It is one of the worst judgments for mankind.

Coming of the judgment. This judgment finally came to Israel because they did not repent. God’s prophets were taken off the scene, and the Word of God was removed. People walked in spiritual darkness in Israel. The same is happening in our land. The Bible is ruled out of school and society by our courts. Churches are barren of the Word. The minister no longer majors on preaching and teaching the Word. Rather, he is a public relations man, a decorative piece at social events, and someone to have handy to marry and bury people. The pulpit is empty, and the Sunday School classrooms are staffed by people who do not know the Word and cannot teach it. The church program majors on entertainment, not on Bible exposition. Ignorance of the Bible prevails. It is time to repent and turn back to God and His Word.

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