Amos 8:11-12 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: (12) And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.
I began writing this devotion the same day that someone stole my ’87 Chevy Silverado Pick Up. As I mulled this scripture regarding the thieves (thief), “their day” will come. (I have prayed that their souls will repent and askinto their hearts.) “That day” (for the thieves) is not what God is referring to in this set of scriptures.
To what “days” is it that God is referring? Amos was not speaking of a literal, physical famine as the scripture states. (There had been a 400 year silence after the Book of Malachi until the Birth of John The Baptist. It was a famine of God’s Word.) Israel had been scattered and they wanted to hear from God. We don’t know if Amos was referring to that particular “famine in the land” or an upcoming “famine.”
If we look at our surroundings today, (our nation and the entire world,) we can see a negativeness concerning God and His Son Jesus. Our Churches are being swayed by worldliness, (not concerning themselves on honouring God,) but doing worldly things to bring in “the world.” We see cults demeaning The Word of God, (changing The Word, God’s Bible, [The King James Bible,] and the sermon [message] to allow sinners to feel more comfortable in Church.)
Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
In a previous life, (before I was saved) I cut gemstones as a hobby. If the stone is cut well, 90% of its brilliance will come through the very top of the stone. If you place the stone top up in clay or mud, the stone will still be brilliant. (That is what we as Christians ought to be. “Let your light so shine before men” as a brilliant light in a sea of mud.) If the stone is mounted properly, all of its brilliance will be seen. In our brilliance, we can now “glorify your [our] Father which is in heaven” with our all.
“Are you letting your full light shine through?”
At times, we become side tracked from the commands that Jesus has given us.
Matthew 28:19-20 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: (20) Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
The Bible tells us numerous times, “Go ye.” This doesn’t always mean going to a foreign land.
Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Our town, “our” region, is our “Jerusalem,” our “Judaea” is our state, and our “Samaria” is our nation. The “uttermost part of the earth” can be anywhere that God has called us to go. We are commanded to “Teach[…] them to observe all things” whatsoever He has commanded. We see the commands, yet we can be side tracked to other focuses.
2 Timothy 4:3-4 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; (4) And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
Many Churches today are ignoring Jesus’ commands. (This should be our single focus.) Timothy repeats God’s Word from The Book of Amos, “For the time will come.” As I look around throughout our “Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth,” it should be obvious that not only has the “time…come” as Amos prophesied using God’s Word “the days come.”
(Our main task is to lead souls to Christ.) Yet, many Churches have turned away from the preaching of God’s Word (to hand out balm for their “itching ears.”) (The “truth” of The Word of God is our solid foundation. The fables and men’s opinions are the wiles of the devil.)
Ephesians 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
After I first came to The Lord, my comfort level was low. (I learned from the preaching about my sins. I learned, as a new Christian what I was supposed to do.) I am certain my feet were bloody from the stomping on my toes (figuratively) from Brother Huntress.
When God called me to Pastor, my personal charge was to always follow Jesus’ commands. The Book of Mark told me:
Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
And I went as God called.
Another set of verses I used in my personal charge are taken from The Book of Ezekiel.
Ezekiel 33:7-9 So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. (8) When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. (9) Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.
To wrap my personal charge into my words: As a Pastor, and now as an Evangelist, I am required to lead people to The Lord. I am also required to warn them of their final destination if they refuse Christ. (Part of that warning is to define the devil, and what he is all about.)
If we define “Prophet” clearly, it is one who foretells the future. Webster’s 1828 defines it as:
“PROPH'ET, n. [L. propheta.] 1. One that foretells future events; a predicter; a foreteller. 2. In Scripture, a person illuminated, inspired or instructed by God to announce future events; as Moses, Elijah, David, Isaiah, etc.”
For clarification, I know of NO ONE who has met the standard of the men mentioned in this definition. However, all who have been called of God to preach are: foretellers of the future, prophets if they preach Christ’s Gospel, His Redemption, His Repentance, His Heaven, and the hell created for Satan and his followers. These prophets are foretelling our future.
God is warning us through Amos and Timothy of this coming day. My fear is that day of falling away has come.
2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; (4) Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
It is hard to say “that day” is here, but it certainly appears to be. (So what are we to do?) Lead someone to Christ, and tell them of their future Home in Glory. Seek the lost. Go about God’s work. Let us not tarry in our watch. We must “Work Till Jesus Comes.”
Bro John R. E Chastain