Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord God, “when I will send a famine on the land – not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD”
The Lord is being systematically removed from school, courtroom, church and home, and God is slowly withdrawing His hand of protection from a Christ-rejecting world. Christ’s return for His bride is fast approaching and we would do well to be ready. The Church would be wise to prepare her heart for Christ’s any day return for His body. How important to be immersed in His will when the Lord returns for His own. How crucial to hear what the Spirit says to the Church and obey His instructions.
We have all read how the faithful servant is charged to feed God’s people. We have all noticed how often we are warned of false doctrines in these last days. We have witnessed God’s prophesied, unstoppable march towards false doctrine, yet in these days of increasing apostasy, few voices are pointing to Jesus.
There are still a few watchmen on the walls crying 'prepare ye the way of the Lord', but there is one frequently overlooked warning to which we would be wise to heed:- a warning to apostate Israel, but one that can be applied to Church-age apostasy; a forewarning of a time of peculiar famine; a notice of great thirst in the world; a famine of hearing God’s lovely word – a scarcity of listening to God’s pure voice. We read in Psalms: how sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” Psalm 119:103 – and yet a time is coming when there will be a severe famine and thirst in the land.
The Word of God is true, vital, and more accessible than at any time in history, yet Amos warns of a time when people just don’t want to know and will not listen – and resistance to hear His voice and reluctance to follow His Word is rife today.
A multitude of reasons can divert our attention away from the important - Urgent pressures; family pressures; religious pressures; political pressures: financial pressures; social pressures; marital pressures - so many urgent pressures. Pressures and problems of life routinely contribute towards this sorry state, yet the scripture indicates a deeper and more insidious reason for this famine. Amos calls it a famine of hearing God’s Word – a famine of listening to God’s voice. But it indicates more than a deflected concentration – it points to rebelliousness.
Seven times the Spirit warns the Church, 'he who has an ear... let him hear'. But too often ears are tuned to listen to the wrong voices, declaring a false gospel. Today we hear of many travelling to and fro, to seek a teacher or follow a ministry. We know of innumerable souls trawling the internet to find out doctrine that suits. How can this activity be a famine for the hearing of the word of God? How could this be the rebellious apostasy that is prophesied for the last days?
Well, too frequently it is the voice of a man that is sought after and not God’s voice. Too often it is a limited gospel; a perverted gospel; a gospel that tickles the itching ear – a gospel where challenging, uncomfortable passages of truth are eliminated. It is often the message of a man they flock to hear, and not the word of the Lord. It is a twisting of the word to suit a pet teaching that is increasing in these last days.
Pharaoh is an example of a man who heard God’s truth but stopped listening. Pharaoh hardened his own heart when God’s truth was first presented to him. Three times we read that in pride and arrogance Pharaoh hardened his heart. But finally, God sent a famine of hearing His words, to Pharaoh – finally God Himself hardened Pharaoh’s progressively desensitising heart. Pharaoh is an old testament type that can be expressed as a spiritual truth today.
The truth expressed in this example is no different from today’s end times, for if truth is being presented and yet repeatedly rejected, God finally sends a famine – a famine of hearing God’s word – a famine of listening to God’s voice. God sent a famine to Israel and God is no respecter of persons. When time and again God’s word is rejected or replaced He eventually sends a delusion.
If twisted truth is believed long enough, it becomes ‘truth’ to that man.. it becomes his ‘truth’! If ears are tickled by false teaching long enough, it finally becomes accepted as true. This is exchanging the truth for a lie. This is a famine of hearing God’s word.
There are still a few watchmen on the walls crying, 'prepare ye the way of the Lord'. Perhaps you’re a one-such watchman on the wall crying, listen to the word of the Lord. But if your words of warning are falling on deaf ears – don’t be discouraged. Remember the prophets of old all discovered the truth that Amos penned. Many don’t want to hear God’s Word. Many don’t want to listen to God’s voice.
Scripture indicates this will be the sad state of Christendom at the end of the Church age. But we can still join with Joshua and others that listened to the voice of the Lord: 'but as for me and my house we will serve to the Lord.' As for me and my family we will trust His word and listen to His voice.
You be faithful to hear to His word and listen to His voice and obey His command. You be faithful in your own way to feed on His Word so you can feed His sheep. Be a faithful servant and preach the word – in season and out of season. Be one that cares for the household of God – in your small corner of His vineyard.
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