By Roy Burner (Minister of the Gospel)
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 (Amos 8:11).
A problem exists in that many are walking in their own way rather than adhering to the Word of God. Isaiah revealed: 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). A Bible commentary noted: Gone astray illustrates the desperate condition of mankind; emphasizing the totality of sinful humanity. Those words are appropriate for today concerning a famine in the land of both hearing and obeying the Word of God.
There are many inducements towards one's walking in their 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. Scripture reveals: There is a way which seems right to a man; but the end thereof are the ways of death (Proverbs 14:12).
The Apostle Paul instructed Timothy, a young Evangelist, to preach the word; be instant (or 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, and shall be turned into fables (or that which is fictitious) (2 Timothy 4:2-4).
This reveals a famine in the land, of hearing God's Word, with the truths of God's Word not fully proclaimed. A Bible commentary noted: 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. This brings one to the issue of a famine in the land; of hearing the Unadulterated (or Pure) Word of God.
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 times.
Scripture reveals: Many shall be purified and made white, and tried (or 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?
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 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 (or mockers), walking after (or 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.
Many once godly nations have become as pagan nations no longer having the fear of 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 (or money lovers), boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent (or without self-control), fierce, despisers of those that are good.
Traitors, heady (or 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). Also the Day of the Lord will come with its destructive measures: Wherefore, seeing that you look for such things, be diligent that you may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless (2 Peter 3:14). Let us stand for the truths of God's Word while we have the opportunity.
An unknown author wrote of the things that will destroy us: Politics 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; as Eve, in the Garden of Eden.
Scripture reveals the deception of the Serpent unto Eve: But 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). Disobedience to God's Word brought sin and death into the world; that previously did not exist!
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 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.
Our Lord gave a report concerning the church at Ephesus with a startling observation: I have somewhat against you, because you have left your first love (Revelation 2:4)! 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.
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