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Spiritual Famine

  • Spiritual Famine from Refreshing Hope Ministries on Vimeo.

    Too often, we take the Lord for granted. We will pray later...we will do that later. That is assuming that He gives us a "later." Yet, that is not what is taught in the Bible. Today is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2). Consider the words of Isaiah:

    (Isaiah 55:6 NASB)  Seek the LORD while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near.

    Why would Isaiah instruct us like this? Because there are times of visitations, awakenings, and revivals. They can happen personally as well as globally. I have had several small revivals in my life, often when working in the darkest places. There are times when the Lord draws closer than usual. This is when you can turn a little effort into a great reward.

    Yet, the opposite is also true. Spiritual famine is a judgment from God for disobedience. There have been many spiritual famines where there was no word from the Lord for an extended time. Let's start in the book of Samuel.

    The high priest Eli had grown old, and his two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, worked at the temple with him. They were outrageous priests. They stole people's tithes, the best part of their offerings, and slept with the women who worked at the temple gate. Yet, Eli did nothing to restrain them. Look how Samuel describes them:

    (1 Samuel 2:12–13 NASB)  Now the sons of Eli were worthless men; they did not know the LORD and the custom of the priests with the people.

    (1 Samuel 2:22 NASB)  Now Eli was very old; and he heard all that his sons were doing to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who served at the doorway of the tent of meeting.

    Apparently, the priestly scandal thing is nothing new to the Lord, for He has seen it and worse for thousands of years. Still, that is some incredible priestly behavior. But watch what happened as a result of it:

    (1 Samuel 3:1 NASB)  Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the LORD before Eli. And word from the LORD was rare in those days, visions were infrequent.

    The word of the Lord became rare. Spiritual famine is a punishment for disobedience. The Lord told young Samuel what He planned to do to the house of Eli in chapter three.

    (1 Samuel 3:10–14 NASB)  Then the LORD came and stood and called as at other times, "Samuel! Samuel!" And Samuel said, "Speak, for Your servant is listening." The LORD said to Samuel, "Behold, I am about to do a thing in Israel at which both ears of everyone who hears it will tingle. "In that day I will carry out against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. "For I have told him that I am about to judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knew, because his sons brought a curse on themselves and he did not rebuke them. "Therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever."

    The Lord came and spoke to the boy, Samuel, while the high priest Eli was sleeping right down the hall. Sin had brought a spiritual famine over Eli and his family. The word of the Lord went to Samuel instead.

    The same thing happened with Saul, the first king of Israel. The Lord sent Saul on a mission to destroy the Amalekites, but Saul feared the people and allowed them to keep the best of the livestock. He also spared Agag, the king of the Amalekites. This caused the Lord to regret making Saul king (1 Samuel 15:11). Then look what happens to Saul:

    (1 Samuel 28:6 NASB)  When Saul inquired of the LORD, the LORD did not answer him, either by dreams or by Urim or by prophets.

    A spiritual famine came on Saul. He prayed, but he got no answer. It is so vital to hear a timely word from the Lord. Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4). King Saul and his sons were soon killed in a battle with the Philistines. Compare that to the way David operated:

    (1 Chronicles 14:13–16 NASB)  The Philistines made yet another raid in the valley. David inquired again of God, and God said to him, "You shall not go up after them; circle around behind them and come at them in front of the balsam trees. "It shall be when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then you shall go out to battle, for God will have gone out before you to strike the army of the Philistines." David did just as God had commanded him, and they struck down the army of the Philistines from Gibeon even as far as Gezer.

    David inquired of the Lord, and the Lord answered him and gave instructions. Then they fought the battle together. Yes, the words of God bring power to overcome within them. The Lord spoke the universe into existence. He said, "Let there be light," and there was. His word is a delivery system for His power and authority. You need it. When you are cut off from it, you wander in the dark.

    (Amos 8:11 NASB)  "Behold, days are coming," declares the Lord GOD, "When I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine for bread or a thirst for water, But rather for hearing the words of the LORD."

    Between the Old Testament book of Malachi and the appearance of John the Baptist in the New Testament book of Matthew, there were about four hundred years of silence. There were no prophets to be found. The Lord was frustrated and irritated with His people. They wouldn't listen. They wouldn't tithe. They offered defiled food on His altar. They gave the Lord their blind and lame animals as sacrifices. It's kind of amazing. You really should read the book of Malachi when you have time. The Lord told the priests this:

    (Malachi 1:10 NASB)  "Oh that there were one among you who would shut the gates, that you might not uselessly kindle fire on My altar! I am not pleased with you," says the LORD of hosts, "nor will I accept an offering from you.

    Yet, what happens during a spiritual famine in the church? It's business as usual. People continue on with rote repetition of religious practices and add new programs. It's what they know. Instead of deep, heartfelt repentance in tears, we tend to ignore it. Then it becomes the new normal, having church without God.

    During the four hundred years of spiritual silence, the priests kept right on working. They kept offering their defiled sacrifices, but their prayers went unheard and unanswered.

    If you want to hear from God, then get the sin out of your life now. God gives us a generous amount of time to deal with things before His judgment comes. He is patient and long-suffering but may we never believe that He is passive and blind. That's our little game.

    You can pray this with me if you like:

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, please forgive me for the things I've done and said wrong. I'm sorry. Restore my hearing and let me hear a fresh, timely word from You. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen!


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16 comments
  • 2
Dave and Sue Earlywine
Dave and Sue Earlywine

God,please talk to and inspire us.We love and worship you. Amen 

Apr 26
  • 2
Yvette York
Yvette York

Amen Good Morning Everyone 

Apr 26
  • 2
Patricia Walker
Patricia Walker

Amen. Thank You Heavenly Father for hearing my prayers. For all I've been blessed with. Thank You. Amen

Apr 26
  • 2
Wanda Pennington
Wanda Pennington

Forgive me Lord Jesus for all the things I've done and said wrong. Thank you Lord for all the blessings on my life. Thank you for answering my prayers.  I Love you Lord and praise you in Jesus Name,  Amen 

Apr 26
  • 2
Lynn Brown
Lynn Brown

I pray to hear Your word and will Father, Amen!

Apr 26
  • 1
Marisa Jackson
Marisa Jackson

Amen!!

Apr 26
  • 2
Linda Clark
Linda Clark

Amen and praise God!

Apr 26
  • 2
Jose Simo
Jose Simo

Heavenly Father I humbly ask You to help me, speak to me and through me and make me clean as You wants me to be. That my behavior be changed and only hear Your voice to follow Your will, in Jesus Christ name I pray, Amen. Thank You Lord, I will keep Your designs, Amen. 

Thank you Pastor and Sylvia as always for your leading, God bless you both. 

Apr 26
  • 1
Scott Riegelmann
Scott Riegelmann

Amen hear our repentance Father and send a timely word from you to my heart thank you for your faithfulness

Apr 26
  • 1
Mari Kaufmann
Mari Kaufmann

Amen God help me to be a better person. Praise God Praise Jesus Amen 

Apr 26
  • 1
Wesley Paulus
Wesley Paulus

Amen!

Apr 26
  • 1
Schalk  de Beer
Schalk de Beer

Yes, amen Lord 

Apr 26
  • 1
Cristy Herzberg
Cristy Herzberg

A great reminder! Thank you

Apr 26
  • 1
Sherry McCosh
Sherry McCosh

Amen! Thank you for this Devotion today! We always need to be listening and ready to hear from the Lord.

Apr 26
  • 1
David Makanjuola
David Makanjuola

Amen in Jesus name

Apr 27
  • 1
Sharon Leonard
Sharon Leonard

Yes, I've been praying for His fresh word and to hear him speak to me. He has done so many things in my life. They have been Awesome. He has sent His angels to me in other countries., traveling. I know God is Alive and well. No, I don't take God for granted. I'm amazed at what He does do for me. He's always on time, His time not ours. Believe me I need Him . He can do things quickly with no problems. I have to not get frustrated while I wait on His perfect timing. Sometimes I wonder did He hear me... Well of course he did.He hears everything spoken by us. I just keep on Praising Him for healing me and taking care of everything around me , including sending the right people to help me.

AMEN !

Apr 28