11 “The time is coming when I will send famine on the land. People will be hungry, but not for bread; they will be thirsty, but not for water. They will hunger and thirst for a message from the Lord. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken. 12 People will wander from the Dead Sea to the Mediterranean and then on around from the north to the east. They will look everywhere for a message from the Lord, but they will not find it.
Amos 8:11 - 12
ESV - 11 Behold, the days are coming," declares the Lord God, "when I will send a famine on the land - not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord. 12 They shall wander from sea to sea, and from north to east; they shall run to and fro, to seek the word of the Lord, but they shall not find it.
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Although there were other prophets after Amos, there would eventually be a period of about four hundred years immediately preceding the birth of Christ in which there would be no recorded prophetic messages from God. In my opinion, this was a judgment and a mark of God's displeasure concerning the conduct of His people, and with their treatment of those prophets whom God had sent. However, the longer it went on, I would also say that it was a means that God used of creating both a yearning and a sense of anticipation in Israel for the time when God would again speak to them, to make the people fully ready for, first, the appearance of John the Baptist (of whom the very last prophecy and verses recorded in the Old Testament (Malachi 4:5-6) spoke), and then the appearance of the Messiah, the actions of both of whom would stand in stark, unmistakable contrast to the previous period of silence, as a clear indication that God was still (and again) active in the history of Israel.
The vision of the fruit basket foretells the approaching judgment of Israel for oppressing the poor (Amos 8:4-10). Because of their continued disobedience, God will send a famine for His word and people will wander in all directions looking for it, but it will be late, and they will be unable to escape God’s judgment (Proverbs 1:27-33). It is not that God withdrew His love from His people, but their hearts became hardened to the point that they were only looking for a way to escape the judgment but unwilling to give up their sinful ways (Rom 11:7,8). God is always near for those with sincere hearts (Jeremiah 29:13; Isaiah 55:6). Israel experience, however, it will be repeated just before Christ’s seconds coming, when the time of mercy will be over. (Rev 22:11, 12). The time to find God is now, as we do not own tomorrow (Heb 9:27).
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