Would You Listen to the Word of God?

Image © 2011, Timothy Lee. Used with permission.

Amos 8:11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:

The Bible says that there will come a time when man will not want to hear the word of God (2 Timothy 4:2). They will go for teaching that will scratch their backs and soothe their consciences. Israel was just as irresponsible to the Word of God in the times just before the invasion of Assyria. Is it not interesting that just before the coming of the Rapture and the tribulation, God prophesied that there will also be a time when men will refuse to hear the Word of the Lord? However, consider that Scripture clearly stated that the famine of the hearing of the Word of the Lord would be sent by the Lord Himself. Why would the Lord do this? Does He not want people to hear His word and heed His voice?

Because Israel had persisted in their sins despite repeated warnings from God’s servants
The prophet Amos had warned sternly about Israel’s sins (Amos 4) and had constantly chided and rebuked the people of Israel for their transgressions against the Lord. He had called them to repentance. However, it fell on deaf ears: the people of Israel continued in their stubborn ways and they refused to hear the word of the Lord.

Because God’s patience has run out
…the LORD unto me, The end is come upon my people of Israel; I will not again pass by them any more.
Amos 8:2

The Lord is always patient with His people and is longsuffering. He will not always chide and He will not always rebuke. He loves and desires us to come to Him when He calls, and He desires truth in our inward parts (that means He wants us to be sincere in our coming to Him) and give up our ways of the world for the ways of Christ. However, note the following verse

And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man…
Genesis 6:3

The Bible tells us that God loses His patience because men persist in their ways of sin. He loses His patience because He has done all He can and yet men will not repent. He had waited 490 years for the nation of Israel to turn towards Him, and yet they did not. Is the Lord justified in His longsuffering? Surely He is for He is merciful! Is the Lord also justified in His coming judgment? Surely He is for He is Holy!

Because God is merely being faithful to His own promise
If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.
Isaiah 1:19 – 20

God had already told Israel through Isaiah that He would act according to their response. If their response was obedience, God would bless them. Likewise, if they rejected God’s word, then God would show the sword to judge them.

Christian, praise the Lord that we live in the age of grace and in a time that God is longsuffering towards us.

However, dear Christian friend, does the love and grace of God cause you to be more self-centred and cold towards Him? Should not God’s patience towards us lead us to repentance and His goodness cause us to turn sooner to Him? Should not His field that is white to harvest be filled with God’s grateful people reaping the souls unto eternal life?

Lord Jesus, I will obey You right away. I will follow You immediately when you call me to do Your work and Your will. I will not take Your grace for granted nor will I turn my ear from Your law for You have been good to me, and therefore I will be faithful to You.

Evangelist-Pastor Johnny Tan
Ambassador Baptist Church

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