THE FAMINE HAS COME Amos 8

‘I give you my word!’ ‘A handshake will do it!’ ‘A man’s word is as good as…’ Well, you get the point. But today we need guarantees. No longer someone’s word or a handshake. Lawyers draw up papers with a slew and stew of boilerplate verbiage. Be sure to read the fine print, if you happen to have a super-duper magnifying glass. Trust no one, except me and thee and I’m not so sure about thee!

Words…words…words with nothing much to back them up. The Old Testament prophet Amos says this–“‘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'” (Amos 8:11).

When people clog up their ears, shun anything heard from the Lord, He pulls back the moisture of His promises, ushering in hot sirocco winds of warning, blowing in at almost hurricane force, drying up everything in its path. Terrible times ensue. Acrid whiffs of hell permeate the air. Utter silence ensues.

How we need God’s Word. To hear from Him. Take it from me, I foolishly try living on less. As in a glance or two at my Bible, looking for some short psalm to speedread. A hop-to-it desperate prayer. Living on a spiritual diet fit for famine. And barely realizing it. Yet somehow I know that something’s not right. It’s me.

The results? Life clogs up on dead end streets. Aloneness settles in like an unwelcome fog. Until…I decide to get into my Bible. Commit to reading it every day. Start hearing from my Lord as best I could. Talking with Him more often than not, without begging selfishly to get out of some jam, mostly of my own making. Adding His praises for good measure… for a change.

That simple? Seemingly so. But true. Try it. I did and still do. Take my word for it? Well?

As we anticipate the birth of Jesus, the coming of God’s promised Messiah, let’s remember what the Apostle John wrote. His Christmas story in miniature–‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God’ (John 1:1); ‘And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth’ (John 1:14).

God’s Word, as good as gold and far better, takes on human flesh and lives among us. Hear from Him all through your Bible. Take Him at His Word. Tune in. Be attentive. Listen carefully and obediently.

As we get closer to Christmas, remember that Jesus is God’s Word given to us. Some gift, huh? Surely you can count on Him? Yes! Finally, someone whose word we can trust!

Thank you, Jesus, for being trustworthy always. Amen.

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