Showers on the Grass

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” Therefore Israel will be abandoned until the time when she who is in labor bears a son, and the rest of his brothers return to join the Israelites. He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord , in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they will live securely, for then his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth. And he will be our peace when the Assyrians invade our land and march through our fortresses. We will raise against them seven shepherds, even eight commanders, who will rule the land of Assyria with the sword, the land of Nimrod with drawn sword. He will deliver us from the Assyrians when they invade our land and march across our borders. The remnant of Jacob will be in the midst of many peoples like dew from the Lord , like showers on the grass, which do not wait for anyone or depend on man. The remnant of Jacob will be among the nations, in the midst of many peoples, like a lion among the beasts of the forest, like a young lion among flocks of sheep, which mauls and mangles as it goes, and no one can rescue.
Micah 5:2‭-‬8

Well this is a “reflection of Him” for sure, “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”. Out of Bethlehem will come a ruler. Not just any ruler, but one from old, from ancient times…in the beginning was the Word (John 1:1). The prophecy even says that the people of Israel will “be abandoned until the time when she who is in labor bears a son, and the rest of his brothers return to join the Israelites.” It seems to be describing the invitation that Jesus will make to gentiles and all those willing to follow God and join His Kingdom.

This coming “child” will “stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord , in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God”. This certainly sounds like Jesus and His posture as both the Lion and Lamb. This is truly a new thing that Micah is sharing here. This coming Messiah will rule with majesty and “his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth”. This prophecy seems to have been fulfilled in the person of Jesus.

At this point the prophecy takes a much more specific and confusing turn. It seems to be referring to events that may have already happened. It predicts that “Assyrians invade our land” and “seven shepherds, even eight commanders” will rise up, while at the same time referring to the same figure described above. The abrupt change in the tone of the prophecy almost makes me wonder if there are two or more stories grafted together. I do not know. The passage returns to a similar tone as the beginning toward the end of the passage.

“The remnant of Jacob will be in the midst of many peoples like dew from the Lord , like showers on the grass, which do not wait for anyone or depend on man.” I am not sure what this means but it seems to be describing either a people in exile or a people that are displaced from their natural surroundings, but who retain some imprint or “dew” from God. They stand out like “dew from the Lord” or “showers on grass”. They are different from their surroundings. This could certainly be referring to the people of Israel at this time and place, but I think it also applies to modern-day God followers like me.

As I understand it Christians are supposed to be a foreigner in the cultures in which they live, regardless of their race or nationality. Followers of the way of Christ are supposed to be like dew from Lord and showers on Grass. So what does this look like for a modern-day God follower? I think it means that our spirit, God’s Holy Spirit through us, and God’s peace permeates those around us like dew. We gently cover those we encounter with a Godly presence that permeates our souls and the souls of the ones around us. I have never heard of anyone drowning in dew and I suspect that if we are to share God’s love “like dew” it should never feel like drowning to the person receiving it.

We are also to stand out as something fundamentally different than our surroundings – like rain drops on grass. Just like rain on grass we are supposed to make things and people around us grow and thrive. Our presence in the lives of others should make them grow. If that is not the case perhaps we are sharing something other than God’s love. I fear I have a long way to go in learning how to be dew and showers on grass as a Christian. I know I sometimes come across to those around me like Limburger cheese rather than divine dew. It is a good thing that God is willing to accept all of us flawed followers trying to desperately to be dew.

Prayer: God thank You for accepting our attempts to be dew and showers on grass for those around us. Send Your Holy Spirit to help us.

Posted in Christian Community, Christianity, Following God, God's Love for Us, Holy Spirit, Life Together, Love for the Lost, Micah, Peace, Sharing the Gospel, The Nature of God, The Spiritual Realm, Trusting God | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Water Rushing Down a Slope

Look! The Lord is coming from his dwelling place; he comes down and treads on the heights of the earth. The mountains melt beneath him and the valleys split apart, like wax before the fire, like water rushing down a slope. All this is because of Jacob’s transgression, because of the sins of the people of Israel. What is Jacob’s transgression? Is it not Samaria? What is Judah’s high place? Is it not Jerusalem? “Therefore I will make Samaria a heap of rubble, a place for planting vineyards. I will pour her stones into the valley and lay bare her foundations. All her idols will be broken to pieces; all her temple gifts will be burned with fire; I will destroy all her images. Since she gathered her gifts from the wages of prostitutes, as the wages of prostitutes they will again be used.” Micah 1:3‭-‬7

Well the book of Jonah was a whirlpool of wisdom to be sure. What it lacked in length it made up for in depth. Welcome to the book of Micah.

This book contains one of my favorite “life verses”, Micah 6:8, so I am excited to float this stretch of the river and see what other nuggets we can pan from this book. Although I have read Micah before I really knew nothing about Micah the man. Apparently he was a “farm boy” that was more comfortable in a rural setting than the city. I am with Micah in this respect, I much prefer woods and wild places to cities and streets. I suspect this will show up in the language that Micah uses to convey his messages.

The passage begins with a command – “look”. This one word conveys so much meaning. How often do we float through life looking but not seeing because we are either looking the wrong direction or not seeing something right in front of us. Micah is directing us to look at something rather important, “The Lord is coming from his dwelling place; he comes down and treads on the heights of the earth.” Micah is beginning his message with a description of God descending from heaven. That is jumping in with both feet for sure.

As God descends “The mountains melt beneath him and the valleys split apart, like wax before the fire, like water rushing down a slope.” Whenever someone describes the nature of God by analogy it is worth some careful pondering to see what is hidden beneath the surface.

Metaphors like this remind me of geodes, or crystal-filled cavities in rocks sometimes referred to as thunder eggs. My dad and I spent many happy hours hunting for geodes when I was growing up. The interesting thing about geodes is that on the outside they look rather boring and often similar to other rocks, but if you know how to “see” them you can find geodes that, when you slice them open, contain amazing crystals caverns.

So lets slice open this “geode” about God and see what we can learn. The metaphor begins with “The mountains melt beneath him and the valleys split apart”. Mountains and valleys (think Grand Canyon here) are really the biggest items we can wrap our brains around aside from something like the moon or the sun which both seem small because of their distance from us. So to say that mountains melt beneath God and valleys split apart is to say that God is bigger and more powerful than anything in our experience. The people of Israel have had plenty of first hand experiences with this power, but they have trouble remembering.

Then comes these amazing similes, God takes downs mountains and valleys like “wax before the fire, like water rushing down a slope”. I think everyone has had experience playing with candle wax at one time or another. A little bit of heat transforms this otherwise hard substance into something malleable and soft. Certainly God can do this for the physical world, but I think an even more interesting way to think about it is in the spiritual realm. God takes hardened souls, and through the heat of trials and challenges, softens them so they are malleable and able to be formed in God’s image.

The second part of the simile is the water reference and it holds special meaning for me as a hydrologist and geomorphologist (one who studies erosion and runoff), “like water rushing down a slope”. Water has amazing power to transform landscapes through erosion. One only needs to look to the Grand Canyon for a prominent example. I think that God wields similar power over our lives if we allow His rushing waters to flow over our souls. I think in many ways the transformation is often imperceptible over short time frames, just like erosion in the Grand Canyon, but over a lifetime God can sculpt our souls into some amazing things if we let Him.

This is an amazing first plunge into Micah. So far I am impressed by the “earthy” tone that Micah is using and I am excited to learn more.

Prayer: God Your hand can sculpt our souls as easily as melting wax or water on a slope. Help us to allow this sculpting or our souls.

Posted in Deuteronomy, Faith, Following God, Free Will, God's Love for Us, Micah, Obedience, The Earthly Realm, The Spiritual Realm | Tagged | Leave a comment

Salvation comes from the Lord

The restored 'Creation of Adam' by Michelangelo Buonarroti on the ceiling of the Sistine ChapelFrom inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God. He said: “In my distress I called to the Lord , and he answered me. From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help, and you listened to my cry. You hurled me into the depths, into the very heart of the seas, and the currents swirled about me; all your waves and breakers swept over me. I said, ‘I have been banished from your sight; yet I will look again toward your holy temple.’ The engulfing waters threatened me, the deep surrounded me; seaweed was wrapped around my head. To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever. But you, Lord my God, brought my life up from the pit. “When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, Lord , and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple. “Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them. But I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord .’ ” And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land. – Jonah 2:1‭-‬10

Happy Easter!  I am writing this the day before Easter so I can enjoy Easter day and reflect on the salvation that comes from the Lord!  I thought yesterday’s post was very timely, but today’s is an even more amazing “reflection of Him“. This passage about Jonah’s “resurrection” falls on the day we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection for Easter – God’s timing is so cool. He can even turn my procrastination into a profound blessing :).

I will not get into a debate about whether Jonah could in fact have been swallowed by “a fish” and survive in its belly for three days and nights. I think to do so would be missing the point here. I am pretty sure that God’s main purpose in providing this prophecy for Jonah is to provide a foreshadowing of Jesus’ sojourn in a cave for three days and nights after being crucified on a cross. In that sense it does not really matter whether Jonah really was in the belly of a whale or not.  Certainly if God wanted to make this happen He could, but I think to make that the main focus of this story is to miss the point.

I think the crux of the story comes toward the end of the passage when Jonah repents and prays. He says “my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple. “Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them. But I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord”.  Wow, what a hidden well here in Jonah.  Jonah, and God, have laid out the path for salvation that will come when Jesus arrives to “calm the storm“.

The path to God, according to this passage, is this: 1) pray to God; 2) reject all the worthless idols in our lives that distract us from God’s love for us; 3) shout praise and sacrifice our lives to God; 4) make good on our vow to God (commitment) by faithfully following God wherever He leads. This is the path that leads to salvation.  It is not complex, it does not require a theology degree, we do not need candle sticks or alter covers, and it depends on no one else but each one of us and God – the source of our salvation.

Once again God “gave me a hug” as I was preparing this post. I was listening to Pandora and a song came on that seemed to speak directly to my heart about this passage. It was “Give me Jesus” by Jeremy Camp.  Here are the lyrics:

In the morning, when I rise
In the morning, when I rise
In the morning, when I rise
Give me Jesus
Give me Jesus
Give me Jesus
You can have all this world
Just give me Jesus
When I am alone
When I am alone
Oh, when I am alone
Give me Jesus
Give me Jesus
Give me Jesus
You can have all this world
Just give me Jesus
Jesus
Give me Jesus
When I come to die
When I come to die
Oh, when I come to die
Give me Jesus
Give me Jesus
 -Written by C.S. Brown and sung by Jeremy Camp

Prayer: God salvation truly comes from You.  Thank You for providing the path for salvation and Your Son to lead us there.

 

 

 

Posted in Christianity, Covenant, Discipleship, Faith, Following God, Free Will, God's Love for Us, Gospel, Jonah, Love for the Lost, Obedience, reconciliation, Redemption, Sharing the Gospel, The Earthly Realm, The Nature of God, The Spiritual Realm, Trusting God | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Calming the Storm

He answered, “I am a Hebrew and I worship the Lord , the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.” This terrified them and they asked, “What have you done?” (They knew he was running away from the Lord , because he had already told them so.) The sea was getting rougher and rougher. So they asked him, “What should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us?” “Pick me up and throw me into the sea,” he replied, “and it will become calm. I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you.” Instead, the men did their best to row back to land. But they could not, for the sea grew even wilder than before. Then they cried out to the Lord , “Please, Lord , do not let us die for taking this man’s life. Do not hold us accountable for killing an innocent man, for you, Lord , have done as you pleased.” Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. At this the men greatly feared the Lord , and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows to him. Now the Lord provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. – Jonah 1:9‭-‬17

This passage is “part 2” of yesterday’s passage about a sleepy Jonah.  Here Jonah is fully awake and dealing with some pretty desperate and determined sailors.  I have never been in a sailboat during a storm, but I can imagine that it would be pretty scary and it would leave you feeling really helpless.

Jonah confesses that he is the reason for the rough seas they are experiencing.  He is a Hebrew and his God who “who made the sea and the dry land” is angry.  Apparently Jonah had told the sailors part of his story, that he was “running away from the Lord”.  I wonder what these non-Hebrews thought when he told them this before the storm. They probably wondered a bit about his sanity and gave him a wide berth on the ship. The storm was a “reality check” for them.  They are quickly becoming convinced that Jonah was the sane one and perhaps they were the ones who were confused.

Jonah volunteers to become a sacrifice to “calm the storm”, telling the sailors to throw him overboard. The sailors are not ready to do this.  They frantically try to row for shore to get out of the storm, but the storm defeats them. So why were the sailors hesitant to throw Jonah overboard?  It seems to me that throwing a man you did not know, and who you suspect was crazy, would be easy but it was not for the sailors.  I suspect they were beginning to understand the power of this God that Jonah was running from and they did not want to choose poorly. Finally they decide they have no choice but to sacrifice “an innocent man” and they plead with God not to hold them accountable for doing it.

At this point in the story I think Jonah has something to learn from the sailors.  They are acknowledging God’s power and essentially asking for forgiveness for what they feel they have to do.  In the end they toss Jonah overboard. The storm is calmed and the sailors take a posture of repentance and humility toward this God that they have just met. I have heard about the possible parallels and hidden meanings between Jonah and Jesus before. but I confess I have not really dug very deeply into this idea before now. After reading this passage, and my previous experience with water references in the bible I am more curious than ever about this metaphoric meaning for the events of Jonah. Here is what I am thinking about this passage and the metaphorical meanings it contains. I have not accessed a lot of other sources other than my own memory and God’s Holy Spirit (to the extent that I have ears to hear it).

In a sense the ship full of sailors is a metaphor for our physical life on earth – the Land of Oblivion.  They are floating about “a sea”, a spiritual ocean if you will. God is about to disrupt the plans and purposes of these sailors with a great wind or storm. The storm’s arrival is a metaphor for Jesus’ arrival on earth which results in a “spiritual storm” on earth which affects all of us “sailors“. The solution of the sailors, and the people in Jesus’ time, was to kill an innocent man to calm the storm. Of course we know the “rest of the story” and that God had other plans for Jonah and for Jesus.  They both overcome death for a larger purpose that is beyond the physical world.  In Jonah’s case this will involve reaching out to the lost people of Ninevah and in Jesus’ case it involves reaching out to the lost people everywhere, including me.

I did not intend this passage here in Jonah to relate to Easter, but God had other plans. This passage is very much about Easter and the sacrifice it represents. We celebrate the resurrection of Jesus tomorrow because He “calmed the storm for us”. A spiritual storm that has been raging about us, threatening to sink our souls, since the time of Adam and Eve.  Our response to this amazing grace should be like the sailors, we should offer a sacrifice to the Lord, our lives, and make vows to him – a commitment to faithfully follow Him.

Prayer: God thank Your for the amazing grace provided by Jesus, the Innocent Man who took away the sins of the world.

Posted in Christianity, Covenant, Death and Dying, Discipleship, Following God, Forgiveness, Free Will, Jesus, Jonah, Love for the Lost, Obedience, Redemption, The Earthly Realm, The Nature of God, The Spiritual Realm, Trusting God | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Spiritually Asleep

Beginning of Space Mountain ride at Disneyland

The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord . Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up. All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god. And they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship. But Jonah had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell into a deep sleep. The captain went to him and said, “How can you sleep? Get up and call on your god! Maybe he will take notice of us so that we will not perish.” Then the sailors said to each other, “Come, let us cast lots to find out who is responsible for this calamity.” They cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah. –
Jonah 1:1‭-‬7

Welcome to the book of Jonah, home to many Sunday school stories. Jonah and the whale is one of the “all star” stories right up there with Daniel in the lion’s den and David and Goliath. What is it about these stories that make them so prominent and well known? I think in many ways they are like a star attraction at a carnival or water park.  They get all the “press” and attention, but they are not always the most interesting or fun, at least that has been my experience on my float so far examining water references in the bible.

When I was growing up on the west coast the amusement park to visit was Disneyland in Anaheim California, and to a lesser extend Universal Studios. The big attraction at Disneyland at the time, as I remember it, was a roller coaster ride called Space Mountain.  This ride was somewhat unique at the time, and I guess still somewhat unique, in that the roller coaster ride was mostly in the dark, in “space”.  This had the effect of amplifying the thrills by preventing you from seeing what was coming next.

I confess my first ride on Space Mountain was somewhat of a disappointment. I am sure many people really like this ride. it just didn’t “blow my hair back” as a wonderful older friend of ours used to say.  I actually enjoyed other rides much more.  My favorites at the time were Pirates of the Caribbean, Thunder Mountain Railroad, and the Matterhorn roller coaster.  All three of these rides transported you to a different place and time while they provided thrills and fun. This has been my experience when approaching well know passage and familiar waters in my float through the bible. It is usually not the “big attractions” that I find most interesting or compelling.  It is the passages and stories that transport me to another time and place to experience God’s love in a new ways that I have really enjoyed and remember.

This passage, although not as well known as later passages about Jonah and the whale, is one of those passages that has been told so many times and in so many ways that it is a challenge to approach it with fresh eyes, but as Mother Theresa is quoted as saying “Yesterday is gone, tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today, let us begin.”

The passage starts out with the word of the Lord coming to Jonah. It does not provide any details about what this looked like, but apparently it was sufficiently clear to quote God saying “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me”.  God rarely if ever speaks to me in such clear terms.  Many of my experiences of God are felt as something more akin to butterflys in my stomach or a drenching rain when God’s love flows over me at unexpected times.  I have rarely heard an audible voice, although God has made His thoughts and perspective clear, when I was in the proper posture to hear Him.

It seems that despite this clear word from God to go to Nineveh Jonah decided he had better go the Tarshish.  Now as I understand my geography Nineveh was near the present-day city of Mosul, Iraq and Tarshish was located in the opposite direction across the Mediterranean Sea.  The location God asked Jonah to travel to was about 500 miles across land to the northeast, and the place he chose to go to was about 2,500 to the west across a large body of water.  Certainly the water journey was more dangerous and fraught with peril as we will see.  God sends “a great wind on the sea” to get Jonah’s attention.  Everyone on board was frantically calling out to their deities, where was Jonah?  Deep asleep in the hold of the ship. I think God is providing a metaphor here for Jonah’s spiritual posture as well as the posture of his physical body – he was spiritually asleep.  God is about to wake him up!

I am convinced that God’s word to us comes in both “great winds” and whispers. The take home message for me from today’s passage is that God is in the business of waking us up when we grow spiritually “sleepy”. Sometimes He does this with a spiritual two-by-four to the forehead and other times he does it like the gentle dew of morning. I am excited to approach the book of Jonah with fresh eyes and see what hidden wells God has in store.

God has a sense of humor, as I was finalizing this post what song came up on Pandora?  While you were sleeping by Casting Crowns :).

Prayer: God You have provided Jonah with a clear understanding of what You want him to do. Help us to discern Your will for our lives without the need to send a great wind to get our attention. 

Posted in Discernment, Following God, Free Will, God's Love for Us, Jonah, Obedience, The Nature of God, The Spiritual Realm, Trusting God | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Poured Out Over the Face of the Earth

Though they dig down to the depths below, from there my hand will take them. Though they climb up to the heavens above, from there I will bring them down. Though they hide themselves on the top of Carmel, there I will hunt them down and seize them. Though they hide from my eyes at the bottom of the sea, there I will command the serpent to bite them. Though they are driven into exile by their enemies, there I will command the sword to slay them. “I will keep my eye on them for harm and not for good.” The Lord, the Lord Almighty— he touches the earth and it melts, and all who live in it mourn; the whole land rises like the Nile, then sinks like the river of Egypt; he builds his lofty palace in the heavens and sets its foundation on the earth; he calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out over the face of the land— the Lord is his name. – Amos 9:2‭-‬6

Well this final water-related passage of the book of Amos is a tricky and confusing bit of water. The God being described here is different than the God who promised to meet us at the banks of the river that no one can cross. This is a God from which the people of the passage cannot hide, “I will hunt them down and seize them”. They cannot hide in the sky, mountains, or even in the depths of the sea.

Amos is describing the dire consequences for the people’s self-imposed separation from God. Even in exile they cannot escape God’s wrath. There is a bit of “funny water” and turbulence near the middle of the passage when it says “I will keep my eye on them for harm and not for good”. The “I” is apparently referring to God. I confess I am confused by this. The God described up to this point has almost always been both lion and lamb. This God seems like all lion, at least at the moment.

I am reminded of a scene from Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis when Prince Caspian gets angry about having to return to Narnia rather than continue on to Aslan’s country with Lucy, Eustace, and Reepicheep. He retires to his cabin to sulk and Aslan appears to give him a “talking to” about his attitude. That is what I feel like God is trying to get across here, He is angry with the people and their poor choices and they are getting a stern talking-to through Amos.

God is clearly sovereign over all things here in the land of Oblivion, “He touches the earth and it melts, and all who live in it mourn”. The dramatic word picture comes to an interesting bit, God “builds his lofty palace in the heavens and sets its foundation on the earth”. So God dwells in the heavens, but in some sense maintains a connection to earth, “the foundation”. Hmmmm. I am not sure what this means, but I wonder if it is a somewhat obscure reference to a future “cornerstone”, Jesus – a reflection of Him.

The passage ends with a water reference, God “calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out over the face of the land”. The language is interesting in that the concept of “pouring out” has been used in previous passages to refer to people crossing over from this life to the next, their souls pouring out to join some sort of spiritual ocean. If one thinks of it this way it sounds even more like a reflection of the coming Messiah who will pour himself out and cover “the whole land” with amazing Grace and forgiveness.

Prayer: God thank You for pouring out Your amazing Grace to cover the sins of the world.

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Searching for the word of the Lord

The “pieta” by Michelangelo

“The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign Lord , “when I will send a famine through the land— not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord . People will stagger from sea to sea and wander from north to east, searching for the word of the Lord , but they will not find it. “In that day “the lovely young women and strong young men will faint because of thirst. Those who swear by the sin of Samaria— who say, ‘As surely as your god lives, Dan,’ or, ‘As surely as the god of Beersheba lives’— they will fall, never to rise again.” – Amos 8:11‭-‬14

Well this is an interesting passage buried here in Amos…I really like this guy. He calls it like it is in a very refreshing way. He reminds of some of the other great thinkers and Christian apologists that I admire like C.S. Lewis, G. K. Chesterton, and A.W. Tozer. In this passage Amos is providing a prophecy from God about a somewhat different and unusual calamity to come. Unlike many of the previous calamities this coming famine and thirst will not be because of a physical need or the result of an invasion from afar.

The thirst and hunger will come from a spiritual emptiness within – the peoples souls will thirst for “the word of the Lord”. What does God mean by the “word of the Lord”?  There are three interpretations that come to my mind: 1)  it could mean the inspired word of God found in the Old testament (and New Testament) of the Bible; 2) It could be the prophetic words given by prophets like Amos and others; 3) it could be a “reflection of Him“, a reference to Jesus who Himself was called “the Word” in the book of John 1:1.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:1

Apparently there will be a time, that has already happened, or will happen in the future, when “the word of the Lord” will be difficult to find. We will “stagger from sea to sea” looking for it and we will not find it.

It occurs to me that there are at least two ways to look at this spiritual “famine”. It could be referring the time when God seemed to go silent between the prophets and Jesus which has already happened, or it could be the time after the resurrection of Jesus and it is still happening for those who do not have ears to hear or eyes to see. As a follower of Jesus I believe that even after Jesus left He is always with us in the form of the Holy Spirit. God’s indwelling Spirit forever fills the emptiness within for those who invite God into their soul.

For those who do not accept Jesus or the spiritual nourishment He promises the famine continues and they “wander from north to east, searching for the word of the Lord, but they will not find it.” So in the words of Forrest Gump “I think maybe it’s both. Maybe both is happening at the same time.”  Perhaps the spiritual famine was the time before Jesus, but it also continues today for those unwilling or unable to accept the spiritual food and Living Water that God offers us through Jesus.

Prayer: Thank You God for ending the spiritual famine through Jesus Christ.

Posted in Amos, Covenant, Discernment, Following God, Free Will, God's Love for Us, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Love for the Lost, Obedience, reconciliation, Redemption, The Earthly Realm, The Nature of God, The Spiritual Realm | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment