Do you prefer picture books? The alternative requires reading all those words which can be so tedious. After you have read a picture book story to a child, it is interesting to see what they remember as they “read” the story again with the pictures as their memory pegs.
Amos has preached quite the message, but now the message is in pictures. In order to see how well they were listening, they must interpret the pictures. In Amos 8:1-2, Amos sees a basket of summer fruit. God said, “I will not pass by them anymore.” Summer fruit represents the time of judgment. It is slow to ripen. God is patient and His longsuffering stretches beyond what we could ever measure. As the fruit ripens to its peak, the window is short for the fruit at that point. Compared to the time of ripening, the ripeness quickly fades, and it is over. The fruit is rotten. God’s judgment would be swift and calculated. Then the winter would come. Amos says, “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, That I will send a famine in the land, Not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, But of hearing the words of the Lord” (Amos 8:11).
Human nature has not changed over the centuries. In much the same way, people today carry on their lives without regard to God or His Word. They think they can get along well without it. A famine of the Word is like being in danger, yet your voice is mute as you cry out for help. A famine of God’s Word is like opening your eyes in the morning only to find you were struck blind overnight. We don’t fully appreciate the Word while we have it.
Sometimes a treasure’s value is exponentially higher once we are forced to live without it. You should not suffer from a famine of God’s Word. Jeremiah said, “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O Lord God of hosts” (Jeremiah 15:16). Job celebrated the Word when he said, “Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food” (Job 23:12). Feast or Famine? It’s your choice. Will you choose to feast?
The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: And in keeping of them there is great reward. (Psalm 19:7-11)