At the moment, half the world is on some kind of “lockdown” due to the coronavirus. This means we are separated from friends, relatives, and other people we used to work with, worship with, and go to school with. This time of separation and solitude has made even the most introverted of people crave a return to social gatherings.
What we have learned is that long-term separation and silence is one of the hardest things to bear. And that is the punishment God promised to bring on Israel in Amos 8.
The end had come for them. Like the last basket of summer fruit at the end of the harvest, there was no more time left (v.1-2). Now God’s judgment would come on them as a nation. Many would die because of their heartless corruption and oppression (v.3-10).
The worst thing is that after their judgment would come silence (v.3). Silence from heaven. Worse than not finding bread to eat, they would have no bread from heaven (v.11). No matter how far they travelled or how resilient they may have been, they would all faint and thirst and find no word from the Lord (v.12-14)!
And they would learn to value that which they despised. They ignored God’s Word when it was given over and over again. And so they would no longer have it. And they would find that it was the one thing they could not live without.
We were created to worship and know God. Sin deceives us into filling our lives with anything but God. But we remain empty, thirsty and hungry. Sin only dulls our hearts appetites for a little while until we become hungry again and again.
May God help us realise that we cannot live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God. Don’t put off God’s Word. Return to it and enjoy it while you can. One day, those who reject God’s Word will find that they can no longer get access to it and that is the worst thing that can happen to anyone.