“Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord God,
“when I will send a famine on the land—
not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water,
but of hearing the words of the Lord.”
God predicted, in Amos 8, a terrible time of famine. As God tells us, he was not predicting a shortage of food. No, God was predicting something far worse, he was predicting an absence of the people hearing his word.
That sad silent time came upon the people of Israel. For 400 years after the time of the prophet Malachi, God sent no prophet to Israel. Until the rise of Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, nobody in Israel heard any clear word from God. God’s silence would have been heart-wrenching to a true follower of his.
Funny, isn’t it, that we do not consider silence from God as a tragedy? Oh, I know, we would all say that we would hate the silence that God promised in this passage. But, really, do we? God has spoken to us. God has given us his very word, his very words. Every time we open our Bible, we hear is voice. Every time a preacher reads from the holy Scriptures, God’s word washes over us.
So, here’s the question. If the word of God is a treasure, if silence from God is a horror, and if we have the ability to hear God’s word in the Scripture and from the pulpit, how do we neglect it? The goal here is not to guilt anybody into anything. The point is to ask a pointed question. If we love hearing the voice of God, we must not neglect his word. Read it. Hear it preached. Memorize it. Obey it. Do not subject yourself to a famine by not hearing the word of God.