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Jesus said, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."

Mark 4:9

by Walt Hasbach

  The Old Testament contains histories of ancient Israel.  At those moments when Israel forgot its covenant with the Lord, and its people became wicked, God sent prophets to warn them.  They did not always listen, and the results were much like we see in America today.  Amos 8:11 "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.”  God says that He will soon send a peculiar famine, not a typical famine of food or water, but a far more destructive one. It strikes at the heart of His people, causing the very fabric of society to unravel.  Notice first that it does not say that it will be a famine of the word of the Lord, but a famine of hearing.  God's words will still be available, but it will be rare that those words will be heard.

  This famine causes God's words not to be heard, and the result is that sin and disobedience flourish, it is a tremendous curse, because without having God's words as guidance the nation will be like a blind man, stumbling around and not comprehending why he keeps falling.  The reality is that without God’s divine instruction, the nation can only stagger toward eventual destruction.  Truth is a blessing, but God has every right to withhold it, just as He withholds rain when His people turn from Him.  People may be vaguely aware that things are breaking down, that life seems to have a lot more tragedies, and that nothing seems to work as it once did, but they will not make the connection between their hardships and their spiritual deafness.

  There is a price we must pay for entertaining the wicked and turning away from the Lord. The passage above from the Book of Amos reflects this perfectly, speaking not of a famine in terms of food and water, but a famine of hearing God's word.  Across America, churches are closed, thanks to fanatical orders given by government officials who leave casinos and other questionable places open for business.  Across the land, Covid-19 has descended upon us, we having trouble control it.  The price in human life is disturbing.  Incomes are wiped out.  Millions are not allowed to work or attend Church, yet little is being done to grant them aid other than a moratorium on rent; merely a deferral of the inevitable if people are forcibly in a state of unemployed.  Once that changes, many families will owe thousands of dollars without any means of working it into their previously strained budgets.

  There is no wonder America is besieged with political chaos.  For the first time in a century-and-a-half, soldiers ring the national capital to defend the politicians gathered there.  And each day that passes, COVID 19 and the abortion mills carry out their grim trade.  The nation votes to end this practice, sending pro-life politicians to govern, and yet after five decades, abortion remains legal and common.  Major cities are torn apart by unruly gangs with no regard for how this will affect the innocent people and their property.  Police are told to “stand down” City governors say “it is a summer of love” to excuse the rioters.  Murder is up.  Gun violence is up.  And no one knows how to end this.  Or do they really care?

   What is happening is a warning.  We might think this is a short time crisis; saying it cannot get any worse.  I will say, don’t be so sure it isn’t the worst it can get.  History tells us this is mild by comparison to what this can turn into.  When we look at ancient Israel, the consequence for their insolence was to be conquered and dominated. This condition lasted more than two thousand years.  Fortunately, the Old Testament also provides the hope and the cure. We are reminded that if we return to God, return to keeping His law, and loving Him, then we will see the end of these dark times.

  Let us pray for our nation and for an end to the terrible fate that has befallen us.  May we soon enjoy a rebirth of greatness as we turn away from our sins and back to righteousness.

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