FAMINE IN THE LAND: My Discussion With Two Daughters

“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD” (Amos 8:11).

When men preach today many never quote more than one or two scriptures, and very few read from the Bible itself anymore. Not long ago, I attended a service in East Tennessee where the whole lesson was on Power Point and there was not even one scripture during the entire lesson!  After the Power Point was shut down, the speaker used one scripture, Acts 2:38, as part of the invitation.

If few today are daily Bible readers, when will they ever learn the word of God?  In a congregation that has that kind of sermon Sunday after Sunday, how can anyone, especially little children, survive the attacks and temptations of the world?

Is Amos 8:11 coming true in our day?  That is one of the reasons I am struggling to get good Bible study material out there for the ladies who want to learn.  There may not be many who take advantage of the lessons, but I have done what I know to do to make the studies available.


Proverbs 29:18—Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

Ezekiel 3:26-27—And I will make thy tongue cleave to the roof of thy mouth, that thou shalt be dumb, and shalt not be to them a reprover: for they are a rebellious house. 27 But when I speak with thee, I will open thy mouth, and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; He that heareth, let him hear; and he that forbeareth, let him forbear: for they are a rebellious house.

Ezekiel 7:26—Mischief shall come upon mischief, and rumour shall be upon rumour; then shall they seek a vision of the prophet; but the law shall perish from the priest, and counsel from the ancients.

Hosea 4:6-10—My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. 7 As they were increased, so they sinned against me: therefore will I change their glory into shame. 8 They eat up the sin of my people, and they set their heart on their iniquity. 9 And there shall be, like people, like priest: and I will punish them for their ways, and reward them their doings. 10 For they shall eat, and not have enough: they shall commit whoredom, and shall not increase: because they have left off to take heed to the LORD.

Amos 8:11-14—Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: 12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it. 13 In that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst. 14 They that swear by the sin of Samaria, and say, Thy god, O Dan, liveth; and, The manner of Beer-sheba liveth; even they shall fall, and never rise up again.

Matthew 5:6—Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Matthew 9:36-38—But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. 37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; 38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.

John 7:37—In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.


Isaiah 5:13  “Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge: and their honorable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst.”

John 6:32 – 40 “…I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst…”

Jeremiah 19:14 – 15—Behold, I will bring upon this city and upon all her towns all the evil that I have pronounced against it, because they have hardened their necks, that they might not hear my words.

Jeremiah 23:16 – 22 …”they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the Lord.” 22 “But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.”

Jeremiah 29:17 – 19 …”I will persecute them with the sword, with the famine, and with the pestilence…because they have not hearkened to my words, saith the Lord, which I sent unto them by my servants the prophets…”

Psalm 1:1 – 2 …”but his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law doth he meditate day and night.”

Colossians 3:16 “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom…”

1 Timothy 4:13 – 16 …”Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.”

Psalm 40:8  “I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.”

Psalm 37:30 – 31 …”The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.”

Psalm 119:9  “Wherewithall shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.”

Psalm 119:24  “Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counselors.”

Romans 7:22  “For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:…”

James 1:25  might be tied in. …”he being not a forgetful hearer…”


Matthew 12:7—But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.

The Pharisees were even one step better than we are.  They at least knew the words of the Old Testament, but sadly this did them no good because they had no understanding of them (received not the love of the truth). We not only need to know the words, we need to go beyond knowing the words, because if we don’t understand them, they do us no good.

What about those who learn the scriptures for academic reasons, or learn them as poetry or literature, in much the same way they would learn a saying by Ben Franklin, but refuse their truth, and don’t seek for the wisdom in them or try to obey them?

Ezekiel 33:30-33—Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people still are talking against thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, every one to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the LORD. 31  And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they show much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness. 32  And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not. 33  And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them.

Ezek 34:1-2  And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 2 Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks?)

In order to gain God’s wisdom, we first have to HEAR and understand the words he has given us:

Proverbs 1:20-33—Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets: 21  She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying, 22  How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? 23  Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. 24  Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; 25  But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: 26  I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; 27  When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. 28  Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me29  For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: 30  They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. 31  Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. 32  For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. 33  But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.

Proverbs 2:1-5—My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; 2  So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; 3  Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; 4  If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; 5  Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.

Prov 2:6-11—For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. 7  He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly. 8  He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints. 9  Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path. 10  When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; 11  Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee:

RECEIVE my words: receive: 3947. laqach; to take – (I see this as more active than just being a recipient of a gift – if  I TAKE something that’s yours, I’m active in taking it, I have to put forth some effort to take it.)

Hide my commandments with thee; hide: 6845. tsaphan; to hide (by covering over); by impl. to hoard or reserve; to protect

INCLINE thine ear unto wisdom: incline: 7181. qashab, to prick up the ears, i.e. hearken

Apply thine heart to understanding: apply 5186. natah,; to stretch or spread out (think of stretching your heart – What do we do with our heart? We think with our heart. So if I’m stretching out or spreading out my heart to understanding, I’m applying or stretching my thoughts toward understanding

Criest after knowledge: criest: 7121. qara’,; a prim. root [rather ident. with H7122 through the idea of accosting a person met]; to call out to (i.e. prop. address by name, but used in a wide variety of applications)  Who do we address by name? God, of course. – James 1:5-8—If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6  But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7  For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. 8  A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.)

Liftest up thy voice for understanding: voice – 6963. qowl, kole; or qol, kole; from an unused root meaning to call aloud; a voice or sound

Prov 2:4-5  If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; 5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.


–Beth Johnson

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