“’The time is surely coming,’ says the Sovereign Lord, ‘when I will send a famine on the land—not a famine of bread or water but of hearing the words of the Lord.’” — Amos 8:11
“For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths.” — 2 Timothy 4:3-4
Two decades ago, I was sitting at the breakfast table as my daughter was attempting to describe something that had captured her imagination. She must have noticed my eyes scanning the pages of a book I had been reading that week.
In mid-sentence her words came to a screeching halt and in the next moment I felt two little hands on my face. I knew what had happened and quickly responded, “Go ahead, sweetheart, daddy’s listening.” To this, my daughter responded, “Yea daddy, but I need your face!”
The book of our life can be written by the question, “Who has your attention?” The truth is, we give our attention and energies only to that which is of utmost importance. Everything else we encounter is just noise.
Amos predicted that one day there would be an famine of hearing. Why would God send such a pestilence on His world? Could it be partially because His actions are a consequence of our attitudes? Could it be that–in a guilt-free, victim-filled culture–our lack of response to truth and disobedience to God carries with it strong consequences?
Every time you and I hear the truth from God’s word, we become responsible for what we hear. God’s answers require questions. Sound funny?—it’s not! Some things we need to ask ourselves when we hear God’s truth are:
· Is there a sin to confess?
· Is there a promise to claim?
· Is there an attitude to examine?
· Is there character trait to avoid or adopt?
· Is there an error to forsake?
· Is there a principle to explore?
· Is there an example to follow?
Self-centeredness is deafening! If we continue to focus on what we want instead of what God says, we will find ourselves famine-stricken!