Behold, the days come, said the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water…
There are many blessings which are not suitably valued until they are withdrawn and missed. It is so with bodily health, with political liberty, with domestic happiness. And the prophet assumes that it will be found the same with the Word of God. When it is possessed - when the Scriptures are read and the Gospel is heard - it is too often the ease that the privilege is unappreciated. But what must it be to be shut off from all communication with Heaven! And such, it was foretold, was to be the lot of Israel in the days of retribution and calamity which were about to overtake Israel
I. THE WORDS OF GOD ARE TO THE SOUL AS BREAD AND WATER TO THE BODY. Man's bodily constitution is such that food and drink are a necessity to health and even to life; to be even partially starved is to be disabled and to be rendered wretched. Even so, the truth, the righteousness, the love of God, are the necessary aliment of the spiritual nature. "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." Fellowship with God by his Word is indispensably necessary in order that a high, holy, and acceptable service may be rendered.
II. A FAMINE OF THE WORD OF GOD IS TO BE DREADED AS DETRIMENTAL TO SPIRITUAL LIFE AND WELL BEING.
1. If the knowledge of God himself be withheld, there is for man no solution of all the mysteries of the universe, the mysteries of his being.
2. If the Law of God be concealed, there is no sufficient guide through human life.
3. If the gospel of Christ be withheld, there is no peace for the conscience, no sufficient inspiration for duty, no assurance of immortality.
4. If revelation be denied, there is no power, no principle sufficient to guide and to govern human society. (Vide 'The Eclipse of Faith,' by the late Henry Rogers, where a chapter "The Blank Bible," sets forth the consequences which may be supposed to follow upon the disappearance of the Holy Scriptures.)
III. THOSE WHO POSSES THE WORD OF GOD SHOULD BY THESE CONSIDERATIONS BE INDUCED TO STUDY IT AND TO USE IT ARIGHT. Neglect of the Divine Word may not in our case entail the actual deprivation foretold in the text. But it certainly will entail an indifference and insensibility to the truth, which will be equally injurious and disastrous. Now the Word is ours; let us listen to it with reverence and faith; let us obey it with alacrity and diligence. "Walk in the light while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you." - T.
Parallel VersesKJV: Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: