Saturday, November 12, 2011

Worse than Persecution #5: A famine of God's Word

"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. 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. (Amos 8:11-12 ESV)
Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law. (Proverbs 29:18 ESV)
There's a reason why believers imprisoned for their faith throughout the world are typically denied a Bible.

There's a reason why they treasure every word they recall or every portion of Scripture that is slipped to them.

There's a reason new believers in lands where persecution is prominent are taught to memorize Scripture.
  • It is the means He uses to impart faith to our souls so we can believe and increase our faith as believers. (Romans 10:17)
  • It teaches, reproves, corrects, and trains us for righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16).
  • It's living, active, and pierces the deepest parts of our soul. (Hebrews 4:12).
  • It gives us encouragement and hope. (Romans 15:4).
  • It is eternally written in the heavenly places, so it can never be eradicated by man. (Psalm 119:89). This means it withstands every effort to destroy it, minimize it, or doubt it.
  • When it is taught by pastor, teacher, evangelist, prophet, or apostle, it builds up the church. (Ephesians 4:11-16). Embraced by enough people, it has the power to transform a society.
  • Wherever it is proclaimed, it goes forth with power - even if the proclaimer utters the verses with disbelief, sarcasm, or wrong interpretations. It never returns empty. (Isaiah 55:11).
Scripture contains everything God knew we needed to know until His return. It points us to Jesus so we can have a relationship with Him to guide us in those areas that aren't specifically spelled out in Scripture (which job to take, whom to marry, etc.).

Even when we don't realize it, we have an underlying hunger for God's Word. A famine of His Word would leave us searching, even if we didn't realize specifically what was missing. The absence of God's Word, therefore, is more devastating to a believer than persecution could ever be. We absolutely do not want to know where we would be without Word of God as revealed in the Bible.

We have to hear from Him through His Word.

Let us pray to be people immersed in Scripture. Let us commit to read every word God has revealed in the Bible - not in any certain time frame, but in an ongoing way, consistently reading through the Bible and being reminded of passages we had forgotten were in there.

And let us pray that those who are being persecuted will recall passages they have read or heard even one time. Let's pray for all those without Scripture in their language, so that when they find themselves facing persecution they will have been infused with its faith-giving words.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Appreciated all of your "Worse than
Persecution" vignettes. Thank you for sharing your keen insights. I
try to pray for our persecuted brethren every day. Voices of the
Martyrs reveals some of the horrible things done to our bro. &
sis. in too many parts of the world. Yet I agree that there are
worst things happening here is the US!