We hear of famines around the world, and even close to home with the lack of rain for many years in agricultural California. Threats of shortages of fruits and vegetables stretch our bank accounts with higher prices. The Bible talks about another type of famine coming. I hope you read those 2 short verses in the prophecy of Amos chapter 8 in your Old Testament. He quotes the Lord who says, ‘…not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord.’ The reference is made to ‘in that day’and ‘the days are coming’; and I wonder, just wonder, if we’re not in that day now. Maybe they’re no longer coming…they are here– at least in a certain sense. Who knows? But we certainly suffer from it. A drought and dearth of hearing anything from God, any thing at all from His Holy Word. I have a small commentary book about the Minor Prophets, of which the book of Amos is one. This commentary was written about 35 years ago now. The author says that “our generation is shoving God to the margin of life. We are crowding Him out of the center of our lives and leaving the edges to Him. We want Him around when it is useful to us…”(Themes from the Minor Prophets by David Hubbard). That was then. And now I imagine our culture has pushed God over the edge, out completely. Not even the edges are His anymore. And to top it all off, He’s no longer useful. So get rid of Him lock, stock and barrel. And even if He’s allowed to hang around in old prayers or old commandments and crosses in cemeteries, the rationale runs something like ‘well, it’s just tradition and cultural heritage. Nothing religious about it.’ Really? That offends me in a society so easily offended by everything and everyone else. To the edge and over! Over and out! A few years back I asked a professor I had at Moody Bible Institute in the late 1960’s what differences he’s noticed in the students then and now. Of course, we were much smarter! No, he didn’t say that, did he!? Which I felt was too bad! But what he did say was that the average incoming Bible school student today knew so very little about the Bible. What? Did you read that? That was my reaction–incredulity. And if they don’t know the Bible well, how about the average Joe both in our churches–and might as well just forget about society… at all. The famine and thirst is here. Money and sexual titillation, politics and gender issues ad nauseam, terrorism and sectarianism, and all those latest food and fashion fads. They occupy our minds and time. As the Lord says in Amos 8:12 people all over the world are staggering, wandering and searching for truth (but not the Truth)–‘but they will not find it’. No, not until we bow the knee and come to faith in Jesus Christ alone, trusting in Him alone knowing that Truth with a capital ‘T’ resides in the book He has given us, the Bible. Best way to push back the drought and famine in our lives? Dive into the Word, immerse ourselves in it, plant the seed of God’s Word deep in our hearts and minds and will. Push back…don’t give in…spread the Word of God…wear out your Bible and buy a new one! Don’t just read the Word, hear it and heed it. And the blessings of God Almighty will keep a harvest and a well-watered life forever. Push back!