Famine is the inability to access those essential qualities that preserve and continue life. In the physical realm food and water are necessary to sustain life, and in the spiritual realm a word from God is vital on a consistent basis to nourish spiritual life.
Famine was a deadly penalty for disobeying God. Famines were often creation’s response toward a continual pattern of disobedience to God’s clear and definitive commands and usually came about through the lack of essential rainfall, devastatingly destructive hail storms, a scourge of ravaging insects, or the invasion and siege of an enemy army. Famine, which often lasted for extended periods, occasionally resulted in cannibalism, where parents ate their own children to survive.
Famine always resulted in sickness, which eventually gave way to whole scale pestilence. If a person avoided the slow death of starvation, a deadly plague waited in the wings to claim its victim. As one reads the prophetic books of Jeremiah and Ezekiel, famine, pestilence, and the sword appear twenty-seven times as the terrible triplets of God’s awful wrath and judgment on the nation of Israel. Famine was a deadly penalty for disobeying God.
Famine still stalks the earth, dealing death to untold thousands of lives daily. The twin fists of pestilence and war pound continuously the weakened people in whose land famine devours. Media reports chronicle the horrible results of starvation and the long-term effects produced by famine.
But spiritual famine is far more destructive than physical famine. Spiritual famine results when those who have access to the Bread of heaven and the Water of life refuse to nourish their tortured souls with eternal sustenance. Their knawing hunger and parched thirst drives them ever to look for satisfaction but never to find it. This famine is not born in the absence of exposure to the Word of God but rather in the refusal to feed themselves. The spiritually starving refuse to hear, and thereby do not obtain the essentials they need to not just survive but to thrive.
Content to pick the dry bones of long-dead theological carcasses, they gorge themselves on the diseased debris of the devil’s dinner table and then wonder in amazement why pestilence breaks out and consumes their own camps. They are unwilling to hear a fresh word from God, but they willingly cannibalize their own spiritual children. All the while, they claim that the strong must survive. Everywhere they turn, the Father waits quietly, His mouth and hands filled with life-giving words, but they die hoping to hear but stubbornly refusing to listen. As a result their families and their churches are doggedly pursued and battered by famine’s fiendish fists, pestilence and war. Unwilling to obey and feast on prosperity in Christ, they willingly choose to disobey and are famished in a prison of self-induced want. Instead of living as victors in Christ they are squeezed in the vise as death’s victims
Listen up, church! “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh (disobedience) shall from the flesh reap corruption (famine, pestilence, and war), but the one who sows to the Spirit (obedience) shall from the Spirit reap eternal life (Gal. 6:7-8).
The famine of our day is not caused by a lack of preaching the Word but from a deficit of hearing the Word. If you have no spiritual seeds to sow, no spiritual crop to harvest, no spiritual food to eat, you are in a famine of your own making. If you cannot recognize your perilous condition you may already be a statistic of the devil’s body count. With all your strength lift up your gaunt frame and turn your face to the Father. Open your mouth and He will fill it. Feed on the Father’s manna instead of famine’s manure – choose life not death.