2 July 2022
The time is surely coming, says the Lord God,
when I will send a famine on the land;
not a famine of bread, or a thirst for water,
but of hearing the words of the Lord.
They shall wander from sea to sea,
and from north to east;
they shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the Lord,
but they shall not find it.
From Amos 8:4-6, 9-12, NRSV
At the beginning of today’s reading, we hear the prophet Amos setting out in explicit detail the reasons why the people have brought punishment on themselves. They had not abided by the rules so clearly set out for them with regard to the ways in which they should have traded goods. This had led to discrimination against the poor and needy and an overemphasis on making profit at any cost. Even the Sabbath and other religious festivals were seen as an interruption to the process of making money. Their punishment is to be a famine – not of bread and water – but of being able to hear the Word of God. The people had taken the Word of God for granted but now it was to be unreachable. They had forgotten that “man does not live by bread alone but by everything that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Deuteronomy 8:3). Perhaps they would not realise what they had lost until they could no longer find it.
- What effect would the inability to hear God’s word have had on the people?
- What can make it difficult for us to hear the Word of God?
You may like to spend some time today reading or listening to God’s word – perhaps by re-reading a favourite Scripture passage or by simply being still and allowing God to “speak” to you.