April 30, 2021
Amos 8: 11-13 ESV
Clergy, Bluff City/St. Paul UMC
Three Rivers District
11 “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.
12 They shall wander from sea to sea,
and from north to east;
they shall run to and fro, to seek the word of the Lord,
but they shall not find it.
13 “In that day the lovely virgins and the young men
shall faint for thirst.
This is not a passage of Scripture that we read after a hard day when we are seeking comfort from God, is it? Amos has a message for the people of Israel, and it was not a pleasant pill to swallow. The book of Amos is nine chapters long, and the majority of it is about God’s judgment, particularly God’s judgment upon His people. What is this message? God sees the luxurious living of the “elite” and the laziness of the people when it comes to taking care of the poor. And, quite frankly, God has had enough. Amos tells God’s people of the coming judgment, but he does not leave them without final hope.
So much could be said here, but we have such a short time. In my view, this particular passage is especially hard to hear. “The days are coming … (when you will) seek the word of the Lord, but shall not find it.” We live in an age where the word of the Lord is readily available. It’s on our computers, it’s on our phones, and we probably have half a dozen Bibles laying around in our homes. And yet, one cannot help but see many churches when you read these words. Are we truly seeking the word of the Lord? Have we abandoned the word of truth for compromise? Have we allowed social justice to become the only gospel? The Christian life necessitates works of mercy, but it is equally about receiving God’s mercy through the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. Are we seeking the whole word of the Lord?
God has given us an incredible gift in His word. Let us not abandon the whole of it. Let us seek the Lord while He may be found … and lead others in the same direction. Why do we do this? What is the final hope about which Amos wrote? “Behold, the days are coming ...” God says. I will raise, repair, rebuild, and restore. What a day that will be! Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus. Amen.