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:
It is no secret to the diligent student of God's Word that the church of God is suffering under the famine from which the prophet Amos speaks. Throughout our country we can find the Word of God being preached everywhere (whether in pretence or truth only God knows), and yet, one cannot deny the manifestations of such a spiritual famine of "hearing the words of the LORD".
Spiritual apathy, indifference and worldliness have greatly infiltrated the ranks of God's elect, and have brought great spiritual famine upon many. They march to Heaven, yet with little effort and zeal. They attempt to sing the songs of Zion, yet, their voices are weak and frail. They pray, yet their prayers are but sounding brass.
Beloved, this terrible famine is upon us, and if God be not pleased to turn our captivity and heal our land, we shall all suffer under the torments and agonies which come from such spiritual famine. What! To listen to God's precious Word and yet NOT TO HEAR its truths? Not to know of its power, as of days gone by, when it ravished our hearts and filled our souls with great delight and joy!? Not to hear the voice of my Beloved, as He speaks to my heart through His Word? To lose the comfort of the Spirit of God as He guides me into all truths and reveals to my heart the things of Christ!?
Is this not reason enough to bow our hearts and our souls before God and pray that He might spare us from such an agonising and fearful famine? Do not our hearts tremble at the thought of losing those precious impressions of Christ upon our hearts and having nothing but the dredges of this evil world and our own sins to feed upon? What horror! What devastation! What sadness!
Oh Beloved! We have great need of the Spirit of God to stir up our hearts to seek God! God is sovereign and no man can stay His hand or give Him counsel. Yet, He Himself has ordained prayer, repentance and confession as divine means for His children to return. These are not gifts or merits of our own, but divine virtues and graces imparted into every true believer at conversion. To these divine means must we flee, for each is anchored in the Author and finisher of our faith, the Lord Jesus Christ! Each of these divine means has its effectual power in the perfect redemption of Jesus Christ and therefore are honorable and accepted before the Father!
Turn us again, O God, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.
Three times in this Psalm (as though speaking to the Godhead three) the Psalmists humbly confesses that unless God turns us (for the hardness of our hearts make us unable to turn ourselves), and cause His face to shine (enlighten our hearts and our minds again to His blessed favor and unmerited grace), we have no hope. Yet, that faith (which is a gift of God) would work mightily in the humbled and contrite heart of the Psalmist, as he cries "and we SHALL BE SAVED"!
Let us greatly lament the great indifference of our hearts and the spiritual apathy which has so influenced our ambition, zeal and devotion for Christ. And let us pray that God would turn us and cause His face to shine upon us; for then shall we be saved from such terrible famine, and our souls shall be renewed with fresh manifestations of His infinite mercy and grace!
May God be merciful to us and hear our prayers!