Amos 8 … Consider the Sustenance of His Word

“Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord God,
“When I will send a famine on the land,
Not a famine for bread or a thirst for water,
But rather for hearing the words of the Lord,”

I tried to imagine what my life would be without It. Without His Word. I shudder to think where my own thoughts and feelings would take me apart from the renewing power of His Living God-Breathed Word.

I am currently discipling a new believer who is in her late forties and came to Christ with about zero church or Bible awareness. Every Word she reads is fresh and new, and written just for her! I count it one of the greatest privileges as a Christ-follower to be able to watch God grow my friend through the transforming power and Sustenance of His Word.

She came with a lot of baggage; boat loads that would be impossible to unpack apart from His Sanctifying Truth. I get it. I came that way too. And over the last 38 years, His Word continues to Sustain me in every circumstance, relationship, hardship, and blessing.

And apart from hell and being separated from Holy God for all of eternity, I can think of no greater tragedy than to spend a lifetime deprived of the Sustenance of His Word.

And the prophecy against the northern kingdom crescendos with the deafening details of the famine that is coming; the worst imaginable hunger any soul could ever experience, the deprivation of the needed Sustenance of His Word.

How many times He sent His Word through His prophets only to be repeatedly rejected. And because they continually spurned His Word, God responded by giving them what they had in fact been asking for; He would stop sending His Word.

“Ask, and it will be given to you…” (Matthew 7:7).

And now, as a basket of summer fruit, His people are ripe for the picking. Picked not for His blessings, but for His judgment. And it’s a horrible scenario to imagine, when darkness and mourning spread across their land.

“It will come about in that day,” declares the Lord God,
“That I will make the sun go down at noon
And make the earth dark in broad daylight.
10 “Then I will turn your festivals into mourning
And all your songs into lamentation;
And I will bring sackcloth on everyone’s loins
And baldness on every head.
And I will make it like a time of mourning for an only son,
And the end of it will be like a bitter day,

But worse than the besetting bitterness of darkness and mourning, will be the gnawing hunger that consumes His people when He sends the famine for hearing His Word. Nothing is quite so powerful a motivation as the threat of looming loss to drive us to carefully guard a treasured possession. Today, may we be driven to a deeper desire for the True Treasure we have in the Sustenance of His Word

Now they have come to know that everything You have given Me is from You; for the words which You gave Me I have given to them; and they received them and truly understood that I came forth from You, and they believed that You sent Me, (John 17:7-8).

Today, as we think on what this life would become if we were deprived of hearing from Him, let us be moved to ask for everything He has for us in the Sustenance of His Word; for He promised if we ask, we will receive.

Consider the Sustenance of His Word

Sustenance: source of strength, nourishment, support, growth; sustains health and life

  • It is the Sustenance of His Word that is our Source of Strength.
    • My soul weeps because of grief;
      Strengthen me according to Your word,
      (Psalm 119:28).
  • It is the Sustenance of His Word that is our Source of Nourishment.
    •  But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God,’” (Matthew 4:4).
  • It is the Sustenance of His Word that is our Source of Support.
    • Those who love Your law have great peace,
      And nothing causes them to stumble,
      (Psalm 119:165).
  • It is the Sustenance of His Word that is our Source of Growth.
    • like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, (1 Peter 2:2).
  • It is the Sustenance of His Word that Sustains our Health.
    • He sent His word and healed them,
      And delivered them from their destructions,
      (Psalm 107:20).
  • It is the Sustenance of His Word that Sustains our Life.
    • It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life, (John 6:63).

How do we respond to the Sustenance of His Word?

These days, it may be hard to fathom a famine from hearing His Word. Turn on the radio or a podcast and we have preaching and teaching available 24/7. But is this really His means of Sustenance?

Today, I found myself thinking about eating disorders. Anorexia, where food is available, but refused. Bulimia with excessive binging, but then purging the nutritional value. Compulsive eating, cramming in the food without really being hungry.

According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating disorders in America are on the rise. And according to the  National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, “eating disorders are among the deadliest mental illnesses, second only to opioid addiction, resulting in approximately 10,200 deaths each year.”

And aren’t spiritual eating disorders also deadly?

Self-examination time:

Am I starving myself and thus impeding my spiritual growth, or do I truly desire the Sustenance of His Word?

Like newborn infants, desire the pure spiritual milk, so that you may grow by it for your salvation, (1 Peter 2:2 HCSB).

Do I binge and just get my Bible reading in but then quickly purge and reject His conviction, or do I so treasure the Sustenance of His Word that I might not sin against Him?

Your word I have treasured in my heart,
That I may not sin against You,
(Psalm 119:11).

Do I compulsively read His Word, cramming in Bible reading without a true hunger for the Sustenance He provides, or am I allowing His God-Breathed Word to become the Sustenance for all my strength and nourishment, my support and growth, and my health and life, that I may be thoroughly equipped for every good work?

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work, (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Before I met Jesus at the age of twenty-nine, I had lived with a serious eating disorder for seven years. I felt truly hopeless, convinced that my life would be forever governed by this dreaded disease that would eventually take my life. But the day I surrendered my life to Jesus, and accepted His invitation to open the door to Him, He came in with His healing.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me,” (Revelation 3:20).

And as we began to dine together, I began to receive my Sustenance through our times together in His Word as He faithfully provided His Strength, His Nourishment, His Support, and His Growth to Sustain my Health and Life that brought self-control and discipline, even in my eating.

So today, if we find ourselves suffering from a spiritual eating disorder, He is waiting, knocking at the door of our hearts. And He has promised if we open the door, He will come in and dine with us, that we would feast on the Sustenance of His Word.

How sweet are Your words to my taste!
Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth! (Psalm 119:103).

Oh, let us ask Him to give us an insatiable hunger for the life-giving banquet of Truth He has provided in His Word. And He has promised that if we ask, He will answer by giving us a supernatural hunger and love for the Sustenance of His Word.

“Ask, and it will be given to you…” (Matthew 7:7).

Let’s Grow Together!

Leave a Reply