Lately, in my bible reading, there have been lots of references about famine. In our twenty first century mind set where food is everywhere, and many of us are watching our weight (even using intermittent fasting as a technique) we have never experienced an actual famine. Just recently, I realized that I was going through a famine of my own creation. The famine was created by being so busy that I was neglecting the study of the word of God. Have you ever been in that situation?
In Amos 8:11, the Lord shows Amos a vision for Israel that describes my famine. It says, “Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord God, “when I will send a famine on the land, not a famine of bread or a thirst for water, but rather for hearing the words of the Lord.” The problem that I was encountering was that I had drifted away from the daily study of the word. The delusion that I was under was that I was fine. I didn’t even know how starved for the word I was. It’s like when you are past the point of hungry and you just want to take a nap. Well, I wanted to take a nap and not notice that I was spiritually depleted, empty and needed nourishment from the word. In Jeremiah 25:10 it says, “Moreover, I will banish from them the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the grinding of the millstones and the light of the lamp.” The context of this verse is the Lord’s plan of exile to Babylon for the Israelites. The reason for the exile was their failure to follow God’s instructions. This verse describes what He will banish from them: mirth (gaiety, laughter, amusement), gladness, the voices of the bride and groom, the grinding of the millstone, and the light of the lamp. All of these things were important things that brought joy into the lives of the Israelites. Why did the millstone bring joy? In the middle east, bread was a staple of life which wasn’t purchased at Walmart. Grain was usually purchased at villages and then the women would prepare the bread for their household. The milling and preparation of the wheat took approximately 2-3 hours every day to make enough for a family of five. So, the grinding of the millstone was an integral part of daily life which brought nourishment to the entire family. The sound of the millstone, the sizzle of the bread on the stone, or in the oven were all sounds bringing comfort. When the millstone is no longer grinding wheat, it is no longer bringing the nourishment that we need and famine is at our doorstep.
When we are not in the word of God, we create a famine.
In Isaiah 55:1-2 it says, “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy?” God’s word is compared to bread throughout the entire bible. This verse is telling us that no matter what we try to substitute for the word it will not satisfy us. The word is also freely given to us without any cost, as a gift. The bread which we need which will be life-giving to us is not just the word but, it is Yeshua who said in John 6:35, “I am the bread of life, whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” He also came as a gift, freely given to all who will accept Him.
Our need for the word, just like our need for Yeshua, never goes away. It is a daily need. When we open up the word each day, He will satisfy our souls, we will commune with Him and hear His voice. He will feed us with the richness of His word and we will enjoy the jewels that He shares with us from His word.