Read 1 Kings 22, Amos 8, and Proverbs 24:19-34. This devotional is about Amos 8.
What happened when God withdrew his blessing from people and brought the covenant curses he promised in Deuteronomy for their disobedience?
Lots of things happened–defeat in war, drought & famine, and ultimately, exile.
Our passage today highlights a lesser known but far worse consequence of God’s judgment: the loss of his word. Verses 11-12 say, “‘The days are coming,’ declares the Sovereign ‘when I will send a famine through the land—not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord. People will stagger from sea to sea and wander from north to east, searching for the word of the Lord, but they will not find it.’”
Although God was speaking to Daniel and Ezekiel during the exile, they were in Babylon, not in Israel or Judah. The temple in Judah was destroyed so there was no reading God’s written word there and no priests to teach it and discuss it.
The Bible indicates that this is how God typically responds when his word is neglected, disobeyed, and rejected. In Luke 8:18 Jesus said, “Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they think they have will be taken from them.”
When we respond to God’s truth obediently, we get more truth. When we don’t respond well to God’s truth, we get less.
This is, perhaps, why it is easier than ever to find a church–maybe even a very large church–in America, but harder to find one that teaches God’s word. We have become familiar, complacent even, with God and his word but as a generation, it seems, there is less concern for personal holiness, less hunger for truth. The warnings of Amos and Jesus remind us to realize how precious God’s word is and to treat it preciously by desiring it, learning, growing and obeying it.