“’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.’” Amos 8:11
Poverty is a major world problem, the results of which are far-reaching and complicated. Disease, starvation, inadequate medical care, crime, and the lack of clean water are just some of its consequences. Yet, there is a famine that is worse than hunger and thirst. It has nothing to do with social status and affects every nation and people group on this planet. Its consequences reach into eternity. The prophet Amos called it, “a famine of hearing the words of the LORD.”
The Bible has much to say about caring for the poor. As Christ followers we are commanded to serve the needy, broken, oppressed and unloved. This is the Father’s heart. But there is a pandemic so far-reaching that no amount of money or effort can make a dent. This disease has spread to every person on the planet and ravages every life it touches. It is the root of all that is evil, unjust, and wrong in the world. This pandemic is sin; and it has left souls famished for the Bread of Life and the Living Water.
The primary problem in our world is not physical. It is spiritual. All injustice, evil, wrongdoing, selfishness, arrogance, pride, and sickness are the result of man’s fall into sin. If every belly was full and every person employed…every child educated and every medical need met, there would still be murder and rape and stealing and cheating. Sin flows from the heart; and there is only one cure for the heart. His name is Jesus. This does not absolve us of the responsibility to love and serve the needy. It means that to do so without the gospel is an even worse injustice.
Faith in Jesus Christ comes through hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17). Souls are starving for Him and don’t even know it. But we know…those of us who have “tasted and seen that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8). We can say, with Christ, “man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). May our lives demonstrate this truth.
Dear Jesus, When my soul was starving and without hope You rescued me with Your love. And now I can see the famine surrounding me. Please use me, Lord, to bring Your Word to a lost and dying people. I have nothing to offer of any value except for You and Your power in me. Make me bold and effective for Your Kingdom. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.