FAMINE IN THE LAND

W R Burner (Minister of the Gospel)


INTRODUCTION

There is a famine in the land of hearing the words of the Lord.  Scripture reveals: 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.  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).

A problem exists in that many are walking in their own preconceived ways rather than adhering to the Word of God. Scripture reveals:  All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way: and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:6). 

It was noted that gone astray illustrates the desperate condition of mankind; emphasizing the totality of sinful humanity. Those words are appropriate for today as there is a famine in the land of both hearing and obeying the Word of God; resulting in a condition found in the Pre-flood days of Noah, Sodom and Gomorrah, and Babylon the hold of every foul spirit!

There are many inducements towards one's walking in one's own way rather adhering to the Word of God. Many seducing spirits have captured the attention of God's people more than allowing God's Word to settle into one's heart; creating a famine in the land setting. Scripture reveals: There is a way which seems right to a man; but the end thereof are the ways of death (Proverbs 14:12).


Famine in the Land
of Hearing God's Word

The Apostle Paul instructed Timothy, a young Evangelist, to preach the word; be instant (ready) in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine.  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts they shall heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth (a famine in the land setting), and shall be turned into fables (that which is fictitious).  Watch you in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of your ministry (2 Timothy 4:2-5). 

It was noted that preaching is the God-ordained means to prevent defection from the truth.  Teachers who appeal to itching ears tell people what they want to hear, not what they need to hear.  Paul instructs Timothy to fully discharge his evangelistic ministry by preaching the gospel.   To do otherwise would bring a famine in the land of hearing the Unadulterated (Pure) Word of God.

A False Doctrine

There is a complete disregard for God's Word that is enhanced by a society willing to trade the condition of their soul for an easier walk.  When laws are twisted and perverted to the enhancement of the ungodly; it is truly a sign of the rising of a famine in the land venue.

Scripture reveals:  Many shall be purified and made white, and tried (refined); but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand (Daniel 12:10). Is it not time to proclaim injustices that are bombarding the land? Is it not time to bring to light the evils that are attempting to outweigh the righteousness of man? Is it not time to take a stand for the truths of God's Word?

Deviating from God's
Word

God's Word is clearly defined; yet many are deviating from it to satisfy their own desired lifestyle.  Has one become so saturated in the daily bombardment of unrighteousness that they have become immune to what is happening round about them? Has one become so sympathetic and tolerant that they are failing to receive the truths of the Unadulterated (Pure) Word of God?

What will the future hold if one simply searches out the niceties of God's Word and fail to proclaim its entirety? The Apostle Peter wrote: I now write to you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: that you may be mindful of the words which have been spoken by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Savior.

Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers (mockers), walking after (according to) their own lusts (2 Peter 3:1-3). Peter emphasized the inspiration of all Scriptures; not a chosen few to help support one's own agenda.

No Longer Fearing
God

Many once godly nations have become as pagan nations no longer fearing God!  Scripture reveals the characteristics of such a time: This know, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous (money lovers), boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent (without self-control), fierce, despisers of those that are good.

Traitors, heady (reckless), high-minded, lovers of pleasures, more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away (2 Timothy 3:1-5).  Apostle Paul informed Timothy, a young evangelist: Evil men and seducers shall wax (grow) worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue you in the things which you have learned and have been assured of; knowing of whom you have learned them (2 Timothy 3:13-14). Let us stand for the truths of God's Word while we have the opportunity!

What Will Destroy Us

An unknown author wrote of the things that will destroy usPolitics without principles; pleasure without conscience; wealth without work; knowledge without character; business without morality; science without humanity; and worship without sacrifice.

One can starve off these attributes, that are bringing a destructive pattern into our existence, by allowing the Word of God to penetrate one's heart and life.  One does not have to be roughshod into believing that flaunting God's Word will have no consequence! 

Scripture reveals the deception of the Serpent unto Eve:  Of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it lest you die; you shall not surely die (Genesis 3:3-4).  It was noted that the Serpent attempted to tone down the penalty and certainty of death for eating of the forbidden fruit, when God had expressed the certainty of it.  Disobedience to God's Word brought sin and death into the world; that previously did not exist!

Penalty for Error

Israel of old had its honeymoon ended when it embraced the idols of the land and forsook the God of their creation. If any nation, or individual, does not grasp hold of the significance of God's Unadulterated (Pure) Word one could easily fall into such a condition.

There are many who would like to twist, pervert, and distort the truth of God's Word.  It is up to the believers in Christ to uphold the truth and help offset "a famine in the land" of hearing God's Word.  There are those who are attempting to target the things of God; through anti-Christ agenda, which targets anything that reflects Christianity.

A Startling Observation 

A report was given concerning the church at Ephesus with a startling observation: I know your works, and your labor, and your patience (perseverance), and how you cannot bear them which are evil: and you have tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and have found the them liars; and hast borne (persevered), and has patience, and for my name's sake have labored, and has not fainted (become weary).

Nevertheless I have somewhat against you, because you have left your first love (Revelation 2:4)! It was noted that the church at Ephesus is commended because of its soundness of faith and its perseverance through persecution.  However, the people had come under Christ's disciple for having left (not lost) their first love or former devotion to Christ.  

It was noted that the city of Ephesus was one of the most important commercial and religious cities in Asia Minor.  Ephesus served as the main church to the others, all of which were connected by the same Roman road.  Unless one is awakened to the truth, by the revelation of God's Word, a famine in the land of hearing the words of the Lord will continue unabated and reconstructive efforts to restore that which was lost will not take place

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