A Short Study in Scripture: A Threatened Famine

Amos 8:11‑12  •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 6
1. “BEHOLD, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land. Not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water: but of hearing the words of the Lord. And they shall wander from sea to sea: and from the north even to the east: they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it” (Amos 8:11, 1211Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord: 12And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it. (Amos 8:11‑12)). “The law shall perish . . . and counsel” (Ezek. 7:2626Mischief shall come upon mischief, and rumor shall be upon rumor; then shall they seek a vision of the prophet; but the law shall perish from the priest, and counsel from the ancients. (Ezekiel 7:26)). “The Lord hath spoken it” (Is. 22:25).
2. In Eli’s “day the word of the Lord was precious: there was no open vision” (1 Sam. 3:1, 211And the child Samuel ministered unto the Lord before Eli. And the word of the Lord was precious in those days; there was no open vision. (1 Samuel 3:1)
21And the Lord appeared again in Shiloh: for the Lord revealed himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the Lord. (1 Samuel 3:21)
). Saul had to make the sad confession, “God is departed from me, and answereth me no more: neither by prophets, nor by dreams” (I Sam. 28:15, 16). He was without light, without guidance: utterly forsaken. God had forsaken him. To faithless Israel God said, “I called you, but ye answered not: therefore . . . I will not hear thee” (Jer. 8:13, 1613I will surely consume them, saith the Lord: there shall be no grapes on the vine, nor figs on the fig tree, and the leaf shall fade; and the things that I have given them shall pass away from them. (Jeremiah 8:13)
16The snorting of his horses was heard from Dan: the whole land trembled at the sound of the neighing of his strong ones; for they are come, and have devoured the land, and all that is in it; the city, and those that dwell therein. (Jeremiah 8:16)
). “As I live. . . I will not be enquired of by you” (Ezek. 20:33Son of man, speak unto the elders of Israel, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Are ye come to inquire of me? As I live, saith the Lord God, I will not be inquired of by you. (Ezekiel 20:3)). “Though they cry in Mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them” (Ezek. 8:1818Therefore will I also deal in fury: mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them. (Ezekiel 8:18)).
3. “Where there is no vision the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he” (Prov. 29:1818Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. (Proverbs 29:18)). David found God’s word more precious than gold (Ps. 19:7-10). Job esteemed His word more than his necessary food (Job 23:1212Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food. (Job 23:12)). Jeremiah says: “Thy words were found, and I did eat them: and Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by Thy name” (Jer. 15:1616Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O Lord God of hosts. (Jeremiah 15:16)). A beautiful reason! “Happy is that people whose God is the Lord” (Ps. 144:15). “Do not My words do good to him that walketh uprightly?” (Micah 2:77O thou that art named the house of Jacob, is the spirit of the Lord straitened? are these his doings? do not my words do good to him that walketh uprightly? (Micah 2:7)).
(b) The word of the Lord gives light. —The Psalmist says: “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Ps. 119:105); “The entrance of Thy words giveth light” (Ps. 119:130).
(c) The word of the Lord is a guide.— “Thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying: This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left” (Is. 30:21).
E. A. H.