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Famine Of The Word Of God

Famine is a horrible calamity. We can conjure up images of starving children, hopeless-looking parents, and hundreds of people stealing just to get a bite of food. Hungry people die on the streets, and nations and communities are decimated by starvation. The air is hot and dry. It’s hard to remember the last time it rained. The fields are barren of crops.

By the time government statisticians conclude, by the numbers, that a famine exists, it is too late for many even to survive. Both Christian and secular relief organizations abound. However, the need for help is greater than what these organizations can provide. In 2024, South Sudan, Yemen, northern Nigeria, and Ethiopia are critical hot spots for famine.

In addition to famine caused by lack of rain and other natural factors, wars cause many famines.

In 2 Kings 6, Biblical history records when Syria laid siege to Samaria. The enemy had cut off the food supply. The situation was so desperate that women were killing their infant children for food.

As sad and as critical as all this is, there is a much worse famine, but most people don’t recognize it. It is called a famine of the Word of God. “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: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.” (Amos 8:11,12).

Amos lived and prophesied when the nation (Israel-the Northern Kingdom) was prospering economically under the able but ungodly leadership of Jeroboam II. The leadership in business and politics was affluent, proud, and arrogant. They saw no need for the warnings of a godly prophet.

Amos gave stern warnings in chapter four. They were oppressing the poor, crushing the needy, and, at the same time, being very religious with their sacrifices and observances. God had sent them cleanness of teeth and want of bread (famine). Yet they had not returned to the Lord.  God had smitten their fields with blasting, mildew, and the palmerworm. Yet they had not returned to Him.  God had sent them pestilence, and many of their young men had been slain by the sword. Yet had they not returned to the Lord. He overthrew some of them. Yet had they not returned. Now Amos thundered to them, “Prepare to meet thy God, O Israel.” (Amos 4:12). Then he reminded them that this God is the Creator, the God of hosts (the Supreme Commander of all the armies of heaven). Amos impressed his listeners that this was not an idle threat.

But they did not want to listen to him. It was unimaginable to them that God would judge them and their nation. Yet in about 65 years, God would judge Israel using Assyria to destroy them and carry them away captive.

Because they would not listen, Amos warned of a famine of hearing the Word of God.

They had already decided not to listen. They wanted prophets – –

  • Who would speak kind words to them.
  • Who would speak words of comfort.
  • Who would prophesy of good times with plenty of money.
  • Who would entertain them with pleasing stories, great music, and no negatives.

Because they had closed their ears to Amos and other godly prophets, they were now hastening the famine of the Word of God. When you shut your ears to God’s Word, then you seek preachers who will feign loyalty to the Word but actually preach and teach their own philosophy and psychology, things that are pleasing to the ear. In Paul’s words, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (2 Timothy 4:3,4).

When you no longer want to hear the truth of the Word, preachers (with itching ears) will arise who will give people what they want to hear instead of the pure Word of God. These preachers will carefully avoid offending, refuse to name and condemn sin, and preach their own self-made gospel. Eventually, there will be very few, if any, godly preachers preaching the truth. The famine has arrived!

It seems that in 2024, we are at this very point in history. The unadulterated Word of God is “put on the shelf” so we can be entertained by anemic preaching, exciting music, and comforting words. And while we’re playing church, the world goes on its merry way – straight to hell.

Physical famine is extremely painful (and shocking to observers). We should be concerned and help wherever we can. But the results of a famine of the Word are eternal. The result is an eternity in the lake of fire with no reprieve, pardon, or early release for good behavior. It is final and permanent.

Now is the time for every born-again preacher and every born-again Christian to return to the truth of the Word of God. Paul expressed it well. “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” (2 Timothy 4:1-2).

About Dale B

I am a born-again Christian who loves to write and share the Good News about Jesus. Raised on a small Wisconsin farm and saved at age 12, I have been active in Christian service since that time. My many years as a pastor, accountant, and lay worker in the church have equipped me to help those in need. In retirement now in Texas, the Lord has led me to writing as a means of winning people to Christ and helping Christians grow in the Lord. By God’s grace I hope to be a blessing and encouragement to you.

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  1. Dale,
    Thank you for this powerful article – Sadly, it’s happening now – the Word is expressly and notably absent for most of the world. Thank God for those who have the word in their hearts.
    Have a blessed day –

  2. I love the word of God even if it is harsh. He loves us enough to discipline us instead of striking us down.
    An awakening call we need to heed when He gives us warnings that will cause much more suffering in the end than we could ever anticipate. Our body and soul is at stake so we need to personally read His words; not being spoon fed with sweet and comforting words to make us feel good.
    Thanks for the stern message. May we read and examine ourselves as often as we have breath.

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