Summary: Hear the Word of God as often as you can, by all means. Faith is built up when you hear the Word. Meditate on it and you shall be blessed.
11"The days are coming," declares the Sovereign LORD, "when I will send a famine through the land - not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the LORD. 12Men will stagger from sea to sea and wander from north to east, searching for the word of the LORD, but they will not find it.
In this chapter of Amos, God is pronouncing judgment on Israel.
• The merchants were keeping religious festivals, but not in the spirit. They couldn’t wait for the holy days and Sabbaths to be over so they could go back to making money.
• All they were really interested in was doing better for themselves, even if it meant cheating others; if it meant being immoral and deceitful; taking advantage of others.
• Their heart was not in worship. They put on a religious front for others, but God knew their hearts, and He was not pleased.
• The people were not keen to listen to what God has to say.
The days are coming, the Lord says, when they will not hear from Him.
• It will be a famine of the Word of God; not be a famine of food or water. It will be a famine of hearing the words of God.
• The people staggering from sea to sea; wander from North to East, searching for the Word of God.
They will be longing for the Word of God.
• They are longing for God to say something that will give them hope.
• They are craving for an assurance from God that things are fine.
• They are searching for answers. They want to know why. They want to know what to do.
There will come a time when we realise what we need is not food and water, but the Word of God.
• We may be well-fed but spiritually malnourished. We are looking for hope in a crisis, we are looking for comfort in our pain, and we are searching for a way out of our problem.
• These are the times that we do not want food and water; we have no appetite to eat. We want to HEAR from God.
• We want God to say something. “Tell me why am I in such a state. Tell me what I should do. Show me the way out.”
We will then appreciate the words of Jesus: “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'" (Matt 4:4)
• We need to hear the Word of God, more than anything else.
We saw in the book of Acts, each time Paul was in a difficult situation, God spoke:
Acts 18:9-10 (Corinth) “One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: "Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. 10For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.”
Acts 22:17-18 (Jerusalem) “When I returned to Jerusalem and was praying at the temple, I fell into a trance 18and saw the Lord speaking. `Quick!' he said to me. ‘Leave Jerusalem immediately, because they will not accept your testimony about me.'”
Acts 22:21 “Then the Lord said to me, `Go; I will send you far away to the Gentiles.'”
Acts 23:11 “The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, "Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome."”
Acts 27:23-24 (Storm) “Last night an angel of the God whose I am and whom I serve stood beside me 24and said, `Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.'”
Put a premium on HEARING the Word of God, as often as you can.
• If food and water are important to our physical growth and health, then hearing the Word of God is critical to our spiritual growth.
• Hear it not just once a week, but every day. Even a verse or two per day is better than hearing nothing from God.
Jesus said repeatedly in the Gospels: “He who has ears, let him hear.”
• The angel said to the churches in Revelation: “He who has an ear, let him hear.” (8 times)
We need to hear more of the Word of God, and not less.
• With the influx of smartphones and tablets, and tons of great multimedia apps, we are confronted with more distractions than ever.
• All these noises are clamouring for our attention. We end up reading and hearing LESS of the Word of God.
We need to MAKE AN EFFORT to hear it MORE. Rom 10:17 says, “Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.”