THE WORST KIND OF FAMINE
Thank You, Loving Father, for Your Word.
Read Amos 8:1–14
A Basket of Ripe Fruit
8 This is what the Sovereign Lord showed me: a basket of ripe fruit. 2 “What do you see, Amos?” he asked.
“A basket of ripe fruit,” I answered.
Then the Lord said to me, “The time is ripe for my people Israel; I will spare them no longer.
3 “In that day,” declares the Sovereign Lord, “the songs in the temple will turn to wailing. Many, many bodies—flung everywhere! Silence!”
4 Hear this, you who trample the needy
and do away with the poor of the land,
“When will the New Moon be over
that we may sell grain,
and the Sabbath be ended
that we may market wheat?”—
skimping on the measure,
boosting the price
and cheating with dishonest scales,
6 buying the poor with silver
and the needy for a pair of sandals,
selling even the sweepings with the wheat.
7 The Lord has sworn by himself, the Pride of Jacob: “I will never forget anything they have done.
8 “Will not the land tremble for this,
and all who live in it mourn?
The whole land will rise like the Nile;
it will be stirred up and then sink
like the river of Egypt.
9 “In that day,” declares the Sovereign Lord,
“I will make the sun go down at noon
and darken the earth in broad daylight.
10 I will turn your religious festivals into mourning
and all your singing into weeping.
I will make all of you wear sackcloth
and shave your heads.
I will make that time like mourning for an only son
and the end of it like a bitter day.
11 “The days are coming,” declares 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.
12 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.
13 “In that day
“the lovely young women and strong young men
will faint because of thirst.
14 Those who swear by the sin of Samaria—
who say, ‘As surely as your god lives, Dan,’
or, ‘As surely as the god of Beersheba lives’—
they will fall, never to rise again.”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectCan you imagine what it would be like if God withdrew his Word from us? Imagine not having any opportunity to hear from God.
Amos was presented with the fourth picture—a basket of ripe fruit. When the summer progresses and the last of the fruit on the trees is already fully ripened, then it is clear that little time remains. The last fruit of the harvest rots quickly and is not worth keeping. This was a picture of the nation now fully ripe and ready for judgment.
In this chapter God declared that judgment was coming on the injustice and unfaithfulness of the people. They wanted to get through the religious rituals so that they could get back to their corrupt businesses.
Since they were so desperate to not waste time in their religious gatherings, God promised that they would move into a season where they would be starving without God’s Word. They despised it, so God would take it away. We must be careful what we wish for. If we live our lives with God as an inconvenience, then God may hand us over to that notion. Having the Bible in our hands and hearing it preached at church are incredible privileges.
Look up an organization that brings the Bible to people who don’t have it. How can you support them today?
Thank God for our access to the Bible in your language. Pray for the churches near you and that they will faithfully teach the Bible.
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