Musings 93

Amos 8:11 “Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord GOD, “When I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine for bread or a thirst for water, But rather for hearing the words of the LORD. 12 “People will stagger from sea to sea And from the north even to the east; They will go to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, But they will not find it. 13 “In that day the beautiful virgins And the young men will faint from thirst. 14 “As for those who swear by the guilt of Samaria, Who say, ‘As your god lives, O Dan,’ And, ‘As the way of Beersheba lives,’ They will fall and not rise again.”

I recently heard a minister during the sermon say that the famine of the word was for the time up until the time of Jesus. He then went on to say that we are not in a famine in our day because we have so many Bibles in our day and we can think of ourselves as being blessed because of that. I will admit to being rather surprised to hear that as the presence of Bibles in a country is not the sign of being blessed. The Pharisees had many scrolls and had a lot of knowledge of the Bible, yet Christ told them that they searched the Scriptures thinking that in them they would find eternal life and yet the Scriptures testified of Him and they (the Pharisees) would not come to Him for life.

I will argue that we are in the midst of a devastating famine in the land. While there are many preachers and many Bibles, the famine spoken of in Amos is a famine of hearing the words of the LORD. This is to say that while there may indeed be many Bibles and many preachers, this is not the same as people actually hearing with understanding the truth of the Scriptures. God can curse a people by ministers who preach the externals of the Scriptures and yet have not understanding themselves and certainly the people don’t hear either. There is a spiritual understanding of the Scriptures that God alone can give. Personally, I am very weary of hearing an academic and external meaning of the Scriptures that ignores the heart of the Bible and the spiritual meaning.

Ephesians 4:18 being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart;

Colossians 1:9 For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,

Colossians 2:2 that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself,

1 John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.

An understanding of the Scriptures which God alone can give is what we need. People are darkened in their understanding and excluded from the life of God, which shows that we need understanding and not just a few facts about the Bible. Paul prayed for the people that they would have the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, which would lead to a true knowledge of God’s mystery which was Christ Himself. No matter how many Bibles a person owns and no matter how much academic understanding of the Bible people have, apart from the understanding that the Song of God gives they will not know God.

We know that God gives grace to the humble and He leads the humble in understanding and is said to teach them in the inner man. The Lord Himself must break our proud hearts so that we would look to Him for real understanding rather than our commentaries alone. While commentaries can be helpful to understanding the externals of what is written, only the Lord Himself can give us a true understanding. We are indeed in a deep judgment and a terrible famine. People are satisfied with an external understanding of the Scriptures that unbelievers can have if they study enough. That is not what the Lord has for His people. “THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD, AND which HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN, ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.” 10 For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God” (I Cor 2:9-10).

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