Amos 8: 11-12 “The days are coming” says the Sovereign LORD, “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. Men 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.”
Famine. I have never experienced a famine of food or water. Yes, I’ve been hungry…but not literally starving. My Poppa and Momma lived through a manmade famine in Ukraine in the late 1930’s. My Poppa came from a very large family of about 11 siblings. During that famine he lost all of them. Only he, his mother and one nephew survived…barely. My Poppa ate grass and bark and somehow survived. I can’t imagine the hunger, the pain, the sadness of watching everyone you love slowly die before your eyes.
In Amos, God promises to send a famine on His chosen people, the Israelites. He had tried to get their attention to call them back to Himself. But they were a stubborn people. The LORD sent prophets to them; they told them to be silent. They refused to listen to the One who had delivered them from slavery and shown His love and faithfulness again and again. They turned to other gods. The Israelites were people of the WORD of God. Over and over again the scriptures say, “Hear Oh Israel the word of the LORD.”
God’s last words come through the prophet Malachi. Then the famine came…400 years the LORD is silent. Weeks run into months, months into years, and years into centuries. As time passed the people began to hunger, then stare and then even “stagger” in search of a word from God. For 400 years, no matter where they went, how far, how wide, they would not find the word of the Lord.
Then silence was broken. The angel of the Lord appeared to Zechariah the priest. Then to Mary to announce she was favored by the Lord and would have a baby, but not just any baby but the Son of the Most High…the Savior!
Have you ever experienced a famine of words from the LORD? A dry spell. A time when all you wanted was the LORD to speak to your heart, give you an answer, or tell you the way you should go? I have. It’s painful and I’ve become impatient. But I have learned that there is purpose in the quietness of God. There is something God is teaching me through that “famine.”
Be encouraged, press into the LORD even when you hear nothing back. Trust Him because although He may be silent He is not inactive. Although He is silent it doesn’t mean we are to turn away but trust Him all the more for the fresh Word He will speak in His perfect timing. Hunger and thirst for that Word, because His desire is to fill the emptiness to overflowing! Praise God!
MaryAnn and John Kiernan have been married for 43 years, have 2 grown/married sons and are the proud grandparents of four grandsons and two granddaughters! She serves at America’s Keswick as a Biblical Counselor and also as Intake Coordinator for the Colony of Mercy. Her life verse is Romans 8:28.