““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.” Amos 8:11 ESV
For as long as I’ve been in public ministry, Amos 8:11 has been the defining verse for every sermon I’ve ever preached, every curriculum piece I’ve ever edited, and every camp staffer I’ve ever trained. We are living in the days Amos prophesied about: a famine of hearing the words of the Lord.
It’s not a famine of HAVING them. We have more access to God’s Word today than at any point in the history of the planet. In 2013, one survey said there was an average of 4.4 Bibles per household in the United States. Today, thanks to YouVersion and other apps, you have instant access to every English language version of the Bible, and pretty much any other language you can think of. We have access to more Bible study tools than most of us even know how to use. Thanks to the Internet, we have unlimited access to the greatest teachers and preachers in the world.
But we are still starving for God’s Word. Its not a famine of HAVING, but of HEARING. It seems like we are a culture of spiritual bulimics. If that is a trigger analogy for any of you, I am deeply sorry. I don’t want to minimize anyone’s struggle with eating disorders. But I can’t think of a better analogy. We are consuming massive amounts of God’s Word. But we aren’t getting the nutrition it provides. Its like we binge at church, or in small group, or in our morning quiet time, and then we purge when we click over to social media or Netflix or our preferred news network or whatever else we use to distract and divert us.
If you are in a Bible reading plan or are developing the discipline of daily time in God’s Word, keep at it! This is your nourishment. And even when it gets dry or dull or difficult to understand, don’t give up! Feast on God’s Word. But don’t push back from the table so quickly that you don’t digest it. He’s where the joy is. He’s where the nourishment is!