Words are important to me. They are the thoughts in my head, the means by which I express myself. They are my bridge to others and to God. God’s Word changes life’s entire landscape. CS Lewis says it well, “We read to know we are not alone.” Words, be they used in thought, conversation, reading or writing are fundamentally a gift from God. They invite me into a relationship with him, so something we read on Tuesday felt like a punch to the gut.
“The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign Lord, “when I will send a famine through the land— not a famine of food or thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord…” Amos 8:11
What would it mean to live in such darkness? There would be no justice, forgiveness, grace, or restoration. Joy, peace and laughter would cease to be. The world would be a place devoid of the presence of God. Life would be a wasteland. That’s not a pretty picture.
The Bible often describes hearing and reading God’s words in terms of appetite and taste. John’s Revelation experience echoes that:
So I went to the angel and asked him to give me the little scroll. He said to me, “Take it and eat it. It will turn your stomach sour, but in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey.” I took the little scroll from the angel’s hand and ate it. It tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour. Then I was told, “You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages and kings.” Revelation 10:9-11
Reading and receiving God’s Word everyday is a privilege. It’s not just another item to be check off on my to-do list. It is the very thing that breathes life into my soul. When I take in God’s Word, I may not feel the change as dramatically as John did; sometimes the changes are incremental; sometimes reading the Bible dramatically alters the course of the day. Sometimes, I enjoy it; sometimes it overwhelmingly upsets my world view, but always, it brings his kingdom one day closer to being the same on earth as it is in heaven.
In less than two weeks, we’re finished reading these 66 books. As we look back at the year we can take pause and wonder , how has God’s Word changed us? Our world? Our relationships? When has it brought us hope? When has it changed the course of our days? More importantly, who has God shone himself to be? What do we understand about him that we didn’t see a year ago? What do we long of him in the year to come?
I thank God that we never have to experience the famine Amos spoke of. God’s word is alive and within us.