It's a terrible thing to be hungry. I'm not talking about "I'm bored, so I think I'll eat," nor do I mean "I had to work through lunch and I could eat a horse!" No, I mean starvation. Famine. The total inability to obtain sufficient food for prolonged periods. According to the United Nations, hunger kills 3.1 million children under the age of five every year. Over 66 million school-age children go hungry every day in the developing world. (See these and other statistics here.) Meanwhile in America, the FDA this week approved a stomach pump you can use at home as a weight loss device, pumping out the food you just ate in something one doctor has dubbed "mechanized bulimia."
We have problems.
While starvation is both a present reality and an ancient evil, there is more than one type of famine, as Amos 8:11-12 tells us: "'The days are coming,' declares the Sovereign LORD, 'when I will send a famine through the land -- not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the LORD. People will stagger from sea to sea and wander from north to east, searching for the word of the LORD, but they will not find it.'" I think this is a present reality, too. All too many preachers have abandoned God's word, and we can all agree that our culture stopped listening to it long ago.
But I don't want to start complaining, so let me offer some ways forward.
Go to church, both for worship and Sunday school. Hear the word taught and preached.
Read your own Bible at home.
Get together with godly friends and talk about what you've read.
Come hungry. Crave the Scriptures. Ache for the presence of God. Desire to be fed spiritual meat and living water.
Feed the hungry. Share the Bible with them. Tell others what the word of God says.
Jesus said in Matthew 5:6, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled." Hunger for righteousness. Hunger for the word of God in the midst of the famine. Praise God for giving us His word and offering us salvation through Jesus Christ -- because that's good news!