Oh, just reading through the prophets makes my heart ache! It makes my heart ache for God as his people fall away from him, reject, and refuse to glorify him. What a great God we have, and how sad it is that his people don’t praise him for the great awesome things he does for us, even just for giving us life, and eternal life.
From Ezekiel to Daniel, they make laws to worship kings who don’t even like their own rules, to people who prostitute themselves to idols and false gods; who were brought into the desert and walled in to hear the tender words of God in Hosea. Droughts and locusts in Joel calling the people to “Rend their hearts!” and now to Amos where even in utter desolation the people STILL will not return to the Lord.
What’s left to take away? How about the very words of true life?
Chapter 8 in Amos says from verse 11 on, “The days are coming” declares the Lord, “when I will send a famine through this 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. In that day the lovely young women and strong young men will faint because of thirst.”
I’m not entirely sure what to think about that idea. Just kind of scary to imagine. Sure you might be afraid to be without food, our entire economy and social structure was once built off striving to provide enough for your family so you never have to go hungry. But, imagine going without the word of the Lord. Imagine finely dressed beautiful young women and strong young men, with full stomachs fainting in the streets from thirst for the truth. And we are, internally, aren’t we?
Deuteronomy 8:3 from the Exodus says “He [God] humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”
This which Jesus stated again in Matthew and Luke when being tempted in the desert to turn stones into bread. “Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”
And yet we choose that don’t we? We choose to deprive ourselves of the very words of life. The truth of the hope of salvation and the freedom of forgiveness of sins. The comfort that God will never leave us or forsakes us, or the truth that he keeps our tears in a bottle and perceives our very thoughts from afar. Who loves us despite our past selves and is willing to take on the sins of the world, is willing to come to earth as a baby, and is even willing to promise he will in the first place!
Oh I pray for a renewed hunger for myself, for Christians, and the world for the truth; to know it, understand it, speak it, and love it. That I would memorize it and meditate on it. That I would treasure it and share it! Teach us, oh God, what it means to have the very words of life before us, now that we have tasted and seen that you are good through our very own salvation. May Bibles be opened this Christmas and the Christmas story with our families read and hearts rendered to the Lord! In Jesus’ name- Amen.