I am old enough to remember the Ethiopian Famines of the 1980s. I remember the concert to raise money for the hungry and, yes, I remember “We Are the World.” However, I think we should all remember the pictures as well …
The pictures are horrible. The children starving and the desperation of people running to and fro simply on the basis of mere rumors that there might be a cup of rice is heartbreaking. However, and as I was preparing to write this blog on Amos 8:11-12, I realized that this is an apt visual of what one looks like spiritually if one does not have the true Word of God that reveals the truth of Messiah Jesus.
Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find [it]. (KJV — PUBLIC DOMAIN)
And yet that is the spiritual hunger the Jewish people are experiencing at this moment. They are experiencing the “done deal” famine of not being able to hear the “words of the Lord.” And this type of famine is much worse than a famine of bread or a thirst for water because while the lack of physical sustenance will kill the body, the lack of TRUE words of the Lord will kill the soul.
However, this spiritual BREAD and WATER is available to them. However, the TRUE WORD of the Lord is available to them.
John 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the BREAD OF LIFE: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
John 7:37-38 In the last day, that great [day] of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of LIVING WATER.
John 1:1 In the beginning was the WORD, and the WORD was with God, and the WORD was God.
So … how can we as Christians and churches bring the BREAD and the WATER of the WORD of the LORD (Messiah Jesus) to the Jewish people. We must recognize that they are spiritual starving, they are in a spiritual famine, they are desperate for spiritual food to feed their souls. We must also recognize that just like in the 1980s when the world sought to alleviate the suffering of the Ethiopians that the only way to end the spiritual famine of the Jewish people is to bring the Gospel to them. We don’t need a song like “We Are the World” for we have the Word of God to remind us of our responsibility that is found in Romans 11:11 — I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but [rather] through their fall salvation [is come] unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.
We as Christians and churches must accomplish this task, not simply because Tzedakah Ministries has “To Equip His Church to Reach His People” as its vision statement. We must because spiritually the Jewish people are as desperate spiritually for the WORD of the LORD as the victims of the 1980s Ethiopian famine as the video shows above. Let me describe how …
The word for “wander” is (נוּעַ or nuwa) and it’s tense is that it is a completed action and one gets the sense that the staggering/wavering around with no sense of direction. This wandering is leading them to as we say in Texas to “running around like a chicken with its head cut off” (Hebrew verb tense gives one that it is an intensive ongoing action, יְשֹֽׁוטְטוּ). For they are intensively seeking, wanting to touch/feel (Hebrew verb tense again, לְבַקֵּשׁ).
Where are the Jewish people looking for this WORD from God? Where are they seeking answers? Where are they “running to and fro” because we as Christians and churches have not shared Messiah Jesus with them?
- Some have simply given up. This blog has written many times before about the Pew Survey that reports that more than 30% of American Jewry have no religious affiliation whatsoever.
- Some are branching into Eastern religions. For did you know that there are more Jewish Buddhists than Jewish believers in Messiah Jesus?
- Some are searching in the mystical world of Kabbalah where they will only find more questions than answers.
- Some are depending on Jewish community for Jewish identity because rabbinic Judaism offers only regulations and rules and no hope
- Some are so desperate for anything that they will become attached to ultra-Orthodox Judaism because it offers something even though it depends more upon the Talmud, Mishnah and Gemara than it does on the actual Word of God known as the Tanakh (Old Testament) for “truth”.
The last Hebrew word in verse 12 of Amos 11 describes what all these searches will achieve unless we tell them the search is over in the BREAD of LIFE and the LIVING WATER and the WORD of Messiah Jesus — an ongoing search that will never be attained, an ongoing search in which they will still not find what they are looking for…