"The days are coming," declares the Sovereign LORD, "when I will send a famine through the land ... a famine of hearing the Words of the LORD." Amos 8:11
Overlooking Cobb Harbor on Ireland is a statue of a young mother and her two sons. It commemorates the many emigrants who had to leave their homeland because of potato famines, especially the one of 1847.
While physical famines are dreadful, they are superseded by the evil effects of the famine of the soul. The prophet Amos speaks of "a famine of hearing the words of the LORD" (Amos 8:11). It causes people to think more about God's Word as they seek help, for he writes, "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" (Amos 8:12).
Moses conceives of spiritually hungry people trying to "ascend into heaven to get it [God's Word]" and look for it "beyond the sea." Spiritually hungry people go to out-of -the-way places for the Word when all the while, writes Moses, "the Word is very near to you ... in your mouth and in your heart" (Deuteronomy 30:12-14). Today people also suffer spiritual starvation because they are ignorant of--or they outright reject--the Word of God that is so near to them, so near as the power switch of their radio and TV set.
As for earthly food, it abounds when crops are good. Then droughts come, causing people to starve or to emigrate to other lands. So it is with the Word of God, our spiritual bread. When the prophet Samuel was still a lad and ministered under Eli, we are told that "in those days the Word of the LORD was rare; there were not many visions" (1 Samuel 3:1). Through the ministry of Samuel the situation was much improved. The Word then was plentiful. When God gives out His Word, whether in dewdrops or in deluges it will accomplish what He desires.
To alleviate spiritual hunger, God did the ultimate. He not only gave us His Word in words but also to the fullest extent in the person of His Son. Jesus Christ is the living, life-giving Word. He is the Bread from heaven come to nourish our souls in this life and to prepare the road to heaven for us by giving His life on the cross. Now it is not necessary for us to cross oceans to find Him: He is near us in the Gospel.
PRAYER: Thank You, Lord Jesus, for being the Bread of Life to nourish my soul. Amen.
(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)