Preacher's Pulpit  -    Dr. Joe Tims

TEXT: Amos 8:11-14

SUBJ: "A FAMINE FOR THE WORD"

Introduction:
About 750 B.C., an obscure farmer and shepherd was called by God to be a prophet...

The man's name was Amos.

 His mission: to warn Israel of God's coming judgment if they did not repent!

Sadly, the nation did not heed the call to repent...

As a result, they were led into Assyrian captivity

Part of Amos' prophecy that was fulfilled concerned an unusual famine that would come upon the people:

FAMINE FOR THE WORD OF GOD!

Today, there is also a famine for the Word of God

Different in some ways

Yet similar in other ways, and producing similar results!

Notice with Me:

I. MORAL CORRUPTION

(Amos 2:6-7)  "Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they sold the righteous for silver, and the poor for a pair of shoes; {7}That pant after the dust of the earth on the head of the poor, and turn aside the way of the meek: and a man and his father will go in unto the same maid, to profane my holy name:"

 A. Consider how corrupt the people had become in the days of Amos.

1. "They sold the righteous for silver"

a. Cash for Character

b. Everything is MONEY, MONEY and More MONEY!

2. " . . .turn aside the way of the meek:"

a. The world's standards often become the standards of those in the church.

b. People encouraged, to be dishonest, rebel against authority and have no accountability.

3. " . . . and a man and his father will go in unto the same maid, to profane my holy name:"

B. Who can deny that immorality is having its effect on the church today?

C. Not a single family that has been exempted from the blight of divorce.

D. As much sexual sin among God's people as among the unsaved!

"A FAMINE FOR THE WORD"

II. MATERIALIST CORRUPTION

(Amos 6:1-8)  "Woe to them that are at ease in Zion, and trust in the mountain of Samaria, which are named chief of the nations, to whom the house of Israel came! {2}Pass ye unto Calneh, and see; and from thence go ye to Hamath the great: then go down to Gath of the Philistines: be they better than these kingdoms? or their border greater than your border? {3}Ye that put far away the evil day, and cause the seat of violence to come near; {4}That lie upon beds of ivory, and stretch themselves upon their couches, and eat the lambs out of the flock, and the calves out of the midst of the stall; {5}That chant to the sound of the viol, and invent to themselves instruments of music, like David; {6}That drink wine in bowls, and anoint themselves with the chief ointments: but they are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph. {7}Therefore now shall they go captive with the first that go captive, and the banquet of them that stretched themselves shall be removed. {8}The Lord GOD hath sworn by himself, saith the LORD the God of hosts, I abhor the excellency of Jacob, and hate his palaces: therefore will I deliver up the city with all that is therein."

A. Their luxury prompted them to "put far off the day of doom" in their minds (i.e., they did not want to think about the future)

B. God had warned Israel that it might cause some to forget God - Deu 8:11-14,17

C. Likewise, Jesus warned that riches could choke those who had received the Word - Lk 8:14

D. Today, many in their search for wealth forget about God

E. Others have so filled their time enjoying their luxuries, they have no time for the Word of God

"A FAMINE FOR THE WORD"

III. RELIGIOUS CORRUPTION

(Amos 8:4-10)  "Hear this, O ye that swallow up the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail, {5}Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit? {6}That we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes; yea, and sell the refuse of the wheat? {7}The LORD hath sworn by the excellency of Jacob, Surely I will never forget any of their works. {8}Shall not the land tremble for this, and every one mourn that dwelleth therein? and it shall rise up wholly as a flood; and it shall be cast out and drowned, as by the flood of Egypt. {9}And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord GOD, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day: {10}And I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; and I will bring up sackcloth upon all loins, and baldness upon every head; and I will make it as the mourning of an only son, and the end thereof as a bitter day."

A. The people of Israel couldn't wait for religious days to be over.

B. Today, many people can't wait for services to be over so they can work or play.

C. Constantly looking for an excuse to miss Church!

D. Therefore, God says, . . .

(10) "And I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation;"

E. Doesn't this described the daily lives of so many Christians:

1. Easily over come with temptation.

2. Overwhelm with common trials of life.

3. Young people have lost their interest in God.

4. No one surrendering to serve God or talking up the slack.

"A FAMINE FOR THE WORD"

Conclusion:  The condition of many churches today is one of "spiritual malnutrition"!  Influenced by materialism, immorality, and a lack of true spirituality, by CHOICE many have imposed a famine upon themselves for the Word of God! Some new Christians fall away, Young people often lose interest. The behavior of some preachers, and teachers is what it is!

What Do We Need:

1) Faith in God:  believing that He will provide a way of escape

(Heb 11:6)  "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."

2)  Fear of God:  that awesome reverence that motivates us to turn from evil

(Prov 16:6)  "By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil."

The Word of God is designed to impart both! - Ro 10:17 Deu 17:18-19; 31:10-13

May we listen and obey the Word of God.

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