There is a famine in the Land
Amos 8:11 “ Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, 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:”
Have you heard God lately?
Have you heard Him in your Bible reading? Or in your Church services? Or in your innermost spirit, where the Holy Spirit dwells and speaks?
Well, if you have not heard Him lately, you are starving.
1 Peter 2:2-3 “As new born babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.”
All our growth comes through Him; by the interaction of His Word to us by the Holy Spirit, and our receiving it.
This verse in Amos was given to Israel when they were turning from God, to idols.
And Amos was sent as a prophet to speak to Israel to warn them, so they would repent: turn around and choose God.
Amos 7:14-15 “Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son; but I was a herdsman, and a gatherer of sycamore fruit:
And the Lord took me as I followed the flock, and the Lord said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel. “
So he did, but those around the king were afraid that the people would believe him, for he told of God’s promise of judgement on those who followed the idols.
So they just wanted him to go away. Go back to Judah and live a normal life there.
Prophesy there, if you must speak God’s Words; but not here.
How ridiculous! How could Amos be obedient, and not do what he had been told?
How could the people have a chance of repenting, and returning to the Lord, without hearing His Word to them? (Romans 10:14-15)
Well, Amos did not leave, but gave out the Word of God to His people. He stood fast in a land that was turning to idols, and forgetting everything God had taught them about His love of justice and truth.
Instead they turned to stones, and wooden stocks covered with silver and gold, but no life.
This is what they wanted. This is what they looked to.
How sad, to exchange true life, for illusion; to exchange the love of God, for the love of things. (Isaiah 44:9-11)
Amos 8:4-7 “Hear this, oh ye that swallow up the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail,
Saying, when will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? And the sabbath, that we may set forth the wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances of deceit?
That we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes; yea, and sell the refuse of the wheat?
The Lord has sworn by the excellency of Jacob, surely I will never forget any of their works.”
The merchants were cheating the buyers. Giving less for more; by changing the balances. Saying they had got what they paid for, when they did not.
It was all so that they could have more power over people, to have greater leverage in bargaining, because of this wealth.
The idols that they worshipped were not only images to bow down to; but the idols of silver and gold in their hearts.
Amos preached God’s Word, and not many listened and turned; but he had warned them faithfully, and God was pleased with him, for his faithfulness to Him.
Amos warned them that there would be a day, when God would stop speaking and calling them to repentance; then would come the day:
Amos 9:1, 10 “I saw the Lord standing upon the altar: and he said, Smite the lintel of the door, that the post may shake: And cut them in the head, all of them; and I will slay the last of them with the sword: he that fleeth of them shall not flee away, and he that escapeth of them shall not be delivered.”
Who is He talking to?
“All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword, which say, The evil shall not overtake or prevent us.”
All those who think to get around God and His Word, won’t.
We, too, in this Church age have been warned against turning from God to idols of our own making.
Instead of staying true to God, and His Word:
2 Timothy 4:1-2, 4 “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 long suffering and doctrine.
And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned to fables.”
Fables might instruct, but only God’s Word gives life—true life. Do you want it?
Have you heard God, or His Word to you, lately?