Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Are we Experiencing a Famine?

Meditation for the week of December 18, 2011

Amos 8:11  "Behold, the days are coming," says the Lord GOD, "That I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine of bread, Nor a thirst for water, But of hearing the words of the LORD.

The last words of the Lord given to Israel in the old testament were, “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.  And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, And the hearts of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse (Malachi 4:5-6).”  Approximately, four hundred years later, the word of the Lord came to Zechariah while he was serving in the temple.  The message he heard was through an angel who said, “"Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John (Luke 1:13).”  He had been praying for a child. The Lord had heard his prayer and was going to give him and his wife Elizabeth a child.  But not just any child.  They were going to bring forth the child who would fulfill that old testament prophecy in Malachi (See Matthew 11:13-14). 

The Lord says that man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4).  The faithful in Israel were experiencing a spiritual famine because God had not spoken for 400 years.  But now He speaks and begins to bring to pass the prophecies concerning the coming Messiah.  Surely, the faithful were energized by the hope associated with the message to Zechariah.  They were given new life and hope.  The famine was over!

We know that they had the written word of God and that God did speak to His people through it during those “silent” years.  But there was no new revelation.  We have to distinguish between revelation and illumination.  God ceased to speak in the new testament when the book of the Revelation was completed.  However we still can get fresh illumination as to the meaning of what was written though the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

It would be nice to have the Lord speak directly to us and through us and some people claim that they have gotten new prophetic revelation.  But my Bible says that prophecy as a gift foretelling new truth has ceased  (1 Corinthians 13:8).  That gift would cease to function when the church became a “man”, that is, when the church had fully matured.  Prophecy in the sense of speaking for God from the words that have already been given by God has not ceased and is certainly a part of the preaching of the Gospel.   While hearing God speak audibly and with new messages might be nice, I am glad that I have a complete revelation of Christ in my Bible and that I don’t have to rely on men claiming to have new insights for my teaching today.  We already have enough religious confusion in the world.  Just think of the confusion that would exist because of our methods of mass communication if God spoke today as He did in the old testament and as He did in the early days of the church.

But still, is there not a famine in our land?  We read and read and read and end up with endless confusion about the way of salvation, the manner of baptism, the order of the church, the moral teachings of Scripture, and the prophetic plan.  Some people are trying to build a kingdom of God here on earth.  Others of us believe we should be involved with building a spiritual kingdom through the new birth that will not be understood or accepted by those building an earthly kingdom. We have one Bible and a lot of confusion.  I suspect we know more about what men say about the Bible than we know about what the Bible says.

When the Lord came the first time He said He was the Word.  He not only was the vehicle God used to present His message, He Himself was that message.  As we go through this holiday season, we need to step back and ask ourselves if we are feeding on the Word of God and enjoying His forgiveness and fellowship.  Or have we traded the cross for the tinsel and noise of the holiday season?  Are we missing the real value of the Lord who was conceived miraculously, born naturally, grew normally, ministered powerfully, died cruelly, was raised from the dead victoriously, and Who is coming triumphantly,

Let’s don’t experience a famine when we could be experiencing a feast.

Bruce Collins

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>