Famine in the land


Amos 8:11-12

11 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: 12 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.


What we are about to see is not a very pleasant picture. It is something I had rather not talk about. There are sermons I had much rather preach. However, the truth must be laid before us, else we will be guilty of failing to “declare the whole counsel of God”.

  1. This world is quite familiar with famines: 
  2. The seven year famine during the days of Joseph. Only Egypt had plenty and it was because Pharoah had enough sense to listen to God’s man, Joseph.
  3. A three year famine in the days of David. II Samuel 21:1 “Then there was a famine in the days of David three years.”
  4. There was a famine in Samaria. II Kings 6:25 “And there was a great famine in Samaria.”
  5. There have always been famines. In some parts of the world there are famines right now. It is reported that one-third of the world goes to bed hungry every night.
  6. The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization reports that about 460 million people are at the brink of starvation daily.
  7. The World Health Organization estimates that approximately 4          million people a year die of starvation.


As bad as a famine for food is that is not the kind of famine Amos is talking about.

  2. It is not for food and water (v 11).Perhaps this kind will come, and it may come sooner than we think. It is already here for some places. Still, the famine I am talking about is far worse than one for bread.
  3. It is not for material substances.
  4. It is not for pleasure (v 13).The term “fair virgins and young men” refers to beauty, fun, and pleasure.
  5. It is not for religious activity (v 12, 14).
  6. There was certainly no lack of religious activity for the people being addressed by Amos.
  7. There is an abundance of religious activity going on in the world today. I Timothy 4:1 “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.”

II Timothy 3:5 “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof:”

I John 4:1 “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”

  2. It was a famine for hearing the Word of God. (V. 11)
  3. The time had come when they wanted to hear the Word proclaimed, but there was no place where it was being done.

The prophets were either silent or dead;

The house of the Lord was no longer visited by the sweet Spirit of God;

The services of the Lord were as cold as the tomb.

  1. What a sad and deplorable situation.



  1. God sent it, but it was not God’s fault. It was the people’s fault.

The Prophets had been sent to them, but they had been rejected and even killed.

The Word had been proclaimed, but they had turned a deaf ear to it.

The Spirit had striven with them, but they had hardened their hearts against Him.

  1. Many of the countries where we are now sending missionaries once had the gospel preached to them just as it is preached in America today. They so rejected it that God withdrew. It is the case of stepping over God’s deadline spiritually speaking.


  1. How much longer will it be before this happens to us?

We have outlawed the Bible,

legalized abortion,

let criminals go free,

heckled, scoffed and discriminated against God.


A Thought To Ponder:

  1. A) When God withdraws then people will want Him, but He will not be found Proverbs 1:22-32
  1. B) When God’s people hearken unto Him then safety and peace be theirs.

Proverbs 1:33 But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.