According to the 2017 Legatum Prosperity Index, Canada was listed among the top 10 most prosperous nations in the world. When we hear the word “famine,” it is about other nations, not our own. Yet, there is a serious famine in our country, and most are oblivious to it.
Amos 8:11 reads, “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord GOD, that 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.”
Due to the indifference of God’s people, Amos warned Israel that days would come when there would be a famine of God’s word—a time when they would seek the LORD, but neither He nor His word would be found. They didn’t have the written word as we do today. If we want to know God’s word, we simply open our Bibles, and there it is. For them, the written word was scarce; they relied on the priests and prophets to share God’s message. However, as the nation grew more and more wicked, their priests knew less and less of God’s word. Not only that, but they would eventually reach a point of no return when it came to their rejection of God, and He would no longer send prophets among the people. There would be a famine of God’s word.
We live in a nation that is experiencing an unnecessary famine of God’s word. His word is readily available. At one time, almost every home would have a Bible in it; I’m not sure that is the case anymore. But, even if it isn’t, they are available in book stores and thrift stores, on our computers, and even on our smartphones. The Bible is readily available, and yet as a people, we are experiencing a famine of God’s word because of a mixture of apathy, materialism, and unbelief.
Several years ago, there was a survey on religious beliefs in Canada. One pollsters recounted an exchange with a couple who identified as Christians. They believed all people would go to either heaven or hell. When asked what determined who went where, they said the Ten
Commandments. The pollster asked if they could name any of the Ten Commandments. They could not. However, the woman suspected recycling and taking care of the earth might be one of them, since it was frequently mentioned at the church she infrequently attended.
The exceptionally sad thing is, this woman’s ignorance about God’s word is not an irregularity—she is representative of the average Canadian. We’re a nation of people who do not know God or His word. Despite all the material blessings Canadians enjoy, there is a famine in the land. A famine of God’s word.
Life without God’s word results in bondage. Jesus said, “you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Free from what? Sin (verses 34-36). Jesus died to set us free from sin and death, but we can only enjoy that freedom by hearing and obeying His word.
Life without God’s word erodes society. We need to build our lives on Jesus Christ, for He and His word are the rock, the foundation of faith (Ephesians 2:20). Everything else is sinking sand (Matthew 7:24-27). God’s word is the foundation for life, the origin and determinant of truth (John 17:17). Today, we live in what is being called a post-truth era. For many, there is no standard of truth. Things we once took for granted as being true are rejected—things as basic as gender! When you remove God’s word from a society, you remove the standard. Everything then becomes relative and subjective. We are left with the ambiguous and discrepant framework of “my truth” and “your truth” rather than the truth.
Life without God’s word is void of true faith. Paul said, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). Sadly, there are many believers who have the faith of an unbeliever. Believing there is a God, but not knowing what He said or being satisfied with a cursory faith in God will not save. Paul expressed his great concern for those who did not know and obey God’s word (Romans 10:1-3; 2 Corinthians 3:15; 4:3-4). Those who refuse to hear God’s word, or who hear it but refuse to obey it, have rejected the very message which creates saving faith. The Bible is readily available, it is understandable; the problem is most people have no interest in receiving God’s message. They are satisfied to have a famine of God’s word in their lives.
Is your faith prospering in the knowledge of God’s word, or is there a famine of Scripture in your life? Too many do what they think will please God without knowing. We can know. We can read in the Scriptures what God would have us do. There is no reason for a famine of God’s word to happen today.