Feast, or Famines

Brian Mahon - 1/14/2024


Call to worship: Ezekiel 37:1-6

Text: Amos 8:11-12


God has spoken, but His people have not listened. They act like the world. Their worship is barren. They despise true heralds. They won't repent. They're at ease in Zion. And that's how you incur the judgment of judgments, a famine of hearing and/or finding the Word of God. Silence! Such a silence signals the end of God's people. Is there any hope? Will the Word sound forth again? It will. It has. It does. But how can we learn from Israel's downfall? How are we to avoid famines of the Word? The answer is to feast on it, implying a number of tangible activities. But ultimately, it's to create a habitat where the Word of Christ can dwell in us richly.

Sermon Outline:

  1. If we don't feast on God's Word, we can expect a famine of it. (8:11-12)
    • This famine, the great judgment. (Amos)
      A famine of hearing. (8:11)
      A famine of heralding. (8:12)
      Why this famine at all? (Amos)
  2. Feast on God's Word.


Discussion Questions:

  1. Read Amos 8:11-12 in light of Amos on the whole. The entire book will take about 30 minutes to read, give or take a few. Consider it in light of the other passages for Scripture reading.
  2. Who brings this famine about (8:11)? Why would God do this (hint: it will be helpful to read Amos on the whole)? In the conversation about judgment, have you thought of 'temporary judgments' (our affirmation of faith speaks to this in the statement on perseverance)? In this world, is there a worse judgment than a famine of the Word of God?
  3. How does Amos describe this famine in 8:11? How in 8:12? Is this one famine or two working together? In what ways is this relatable to us today? A famine of hearing? A famine of heralding? And why would it be even more egregious, given our place in redemptive history?
  4. As you read Amos, in what ways has Israel rejected 'the feast'? In other words, how have they rejected the Word and incurred this judgment? Consider 2:12, 3:7-8, 3:9-10, 4:4-5, 5:10, 5:21-24, 6:1, 13, 8:5, 9:10.
  5. What would seem to counteract a famine of the Word? What would feasting look like and/or involve? Are you hungry for the Word of God?
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