Stay Hungry!

August 1, 2016

Feast or Famine part 3

 So what happens when we cherish the Word and saturate ourselves in it? This is the result: “‘Behold, the days are coming,’ says the LORD, ‘when the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him who sows seed; the mountains shall drip with sweet wine, and all the hills shall flow with it’” (Amos 9:13).

This description of abundant blessing follows Amos’ previous chapter’s promise of judgment. In Amos 8, God had said He would bring a judgment, consisting of a famine for His Word, on those who disregard His Word. But here in chapter 9, He promises that afterward, there will be blessing— and the connection to the blessing is receptivity to His Word.

“Famine or Feast?” really sums it up; and notice, it’s a question. We, to a large degree, determine the answer. If we are people who love God’s Word, cherish it, and feed upon it, we will have a perpetual feast. We will constantly bear fruit, as we read in the first psalm: “Blessed is the man … [whose] delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water … whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper” (Psalm 1:1-3). See the connection there, the promise of blessing. Hearing, believing, and obeying God’s Word brings life and blessing.

Not long ago, I participated in an outreach in Watts in Los Angeles, CA, where a church has recently begun. Talk about a community where there is confusion, chaos, oppression, depression, misery, etc. Interestingly, though, in Compton, CA, and many surrounding communities, there is a church on practically every corner. Many of them, however, don’t believe and teach the Bible. But where someone is faithfully proclaiming and believing it, there is beauty in the place of ashes; lives are being transformed. I had many conversations with men whose lives were devastated by sin. One man had spent 40 years in prison: in and out for 20, and in straight for 21. He was 73 years old, yet he shared how God had saved him and changed him. As we talked, he kept quoting Scripture to me, and I thought, This is so powerful. Later I said to my wife, “I thank God that these men have gone in to that community and planted a Bible-teaching church.” It’s not enough just to go in and preach the Gospel. People must have a place where they can be fed God’s Word, because that is how transformation takes place.

So let’s not take God’s Word for granted, but cherish it. By doing so, we may avoid famine in our own lives and prevent judgment on our communities and our culture. May we see a perpetual feast as people feed upon the Word of God.