Doom and Gloom for God’s People, Then Hope

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Picture of a plumb bob

Amos completes his prophecy in today’s Bible reading*. He declares a lot of doom and gloom for God’s people.

Of all of the bad things Amos predicts, I think the worst is revealed in Amos 8:11-12.

Look, the days are coming— this is the declaration of the Lord God— when I will send a famine through the land: not a famine of bread or a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord. People will stagger from sea to sea and roam from north to east seeking the word of the Lord, but they will not find it.
Amos 8:11–12 (CSB)

One chapter earlier, Amos encounters a plumbline (Amos 7:8) and God says he is about to judge His people with a plumbline. A plumbline is used in construction and is similar to a square or level. It helps workers know if walls are perfectly vertical.

The plumbline God uses will show that the people don’t stand up straight for His judgment. This would be especially fitting in light of Amos 8:11-12. This is perhaps the darkest doom and gloom that Amos predicts.

Have you experienced a famine of hearing God’s Word. If you have, it isn’t because God’s Word isn’t available to you. As I walked through a Christian Bookstore last night, I saw a number of Bibles on sale at half of their normal prices. Some of the Bibles were still very pricey. However, thanks to modern technology and the generosity of Bible publishers, the text of a number of Bible translations is available for free on the Internet!

If you don’t have a modern translation that you can understand clearly, check out the Bible App or Bible Gateway. You’ll find a number of modern Bible translations, an assortment of Bible reading plans, and tools for helping you to develop a dynamic life with Jesus, centered on His Word.

Application

Proverbs 29:18 warns God’s people, “Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law.” (ESV) If God creates a famine of hearing God’s Word, the people will have no objective standard to guide them on how to live. God’s silence would be deafening.

* Chapters covered in today’s reading:
Amos 6
Amos 7
Amos 8
Amos 9


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