A Famine in the Land

Drought

How much importance do we place in the word of God? Do we appreciate the seriousness of our responsibility to know God’s word? God said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6). There are many passages we can read to show the importance of knowing God’s word. In this article we will notice one such passage that shows the importance of God’s word and the results of being without it.

‘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. 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. In that day the beautiful virgins and the young men will faint from thirst. 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’” (Amos 8:11-14).

This passage begins with a parallel between the word of God and food in order to make the point that His word sustains us in our spiritual life in the same way that food sustains us in our physical life. This comparison is also made in the New Testament when the word of God is referred to as “milk” and “solid food,” or “meat” (1 Peter 2:2; Hebrews 5:12). Those passages teach that the word of God is designed to cause us to grow and mature as Christians. Other passages also show the importance of the word of God. Without the words of Christ, we cannot obtain eternal life (John 6:68). Without the gospel, we cannot be saved (Romans 1:16). In the same way that food nourishes us physically, God’s word nourishes us spiritually.
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They Think It Strange

The Christian life is different from the life of one in the world. Paul told the Christians in Rome: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2). While Paul was giving his defense before Agrippa, he used that opportunity to try and “persuade” the king “to become a Christian” (Acts 26:28). The statement by Agrippa showed that he realized that Paul was trying to convince him to become a Christian. The very fact that he had to be persuaded to become a Christian shows that living as a Christian requires one to be different from the world. In writing to Christians, Peter said that the ones who knew them before they were Christians would “think it strange” that they do not live in the same manner that they lived before (1 Peter 4:4). Why would they think it strange? What is it about the Christian life that is different from the world? We will notice a few points from the context surrounding 1 Peter 4:4.
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Great Plainness of Speech

2 Corinthians 3:12

Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech” (2 Corinthians 3:12, KJV).

Paul told the Corinthians that he deliberately made his words and his message clear and understandable in his work as a minister of the new covenant (2 Corinthians 3:6). The new covenant Paul referred to is the gospel. He used “great plainness” as he preached. Why use such plainness? It is because of the hope we have under the new covenant. Those who obey the gospel have the hope of heaven because of Christ’s atoning sacrifice. But why is “great plainness” necessary in preaching the gospel? Let us notice a few reasons.
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