Behold: the Famine in the Land

Atlen McDonald

Webster defines a famine as "an extreme scarcity of food; a great shortage." We are all familiar with the different famines in countries such as Cambodia. Our hearts go out to the starving people. When possible we send money to help buy the needed food.

The great famine of the Old Testament caused people to have to travel many days to get food for their families. If they had no money to buy the food, we are told, they sold themselves as slaves just to have food to eat.

All of this is heart-rending. However, there is another famine throughout our land today. This famine causes greater destruction to mankind than the ones mentioned. This famine is a spiritual famine. People are dying spiritually because of a lack of spiritual food. Unlike the physical famine, when there is no food, the spiritual famine is in the midst of the greatest food supply imaginable, but people choose not to eat of it. Instead, many had rather let the food lay on the table top, untouched. Others allow someone else to feed them spiritual plastic food, with no nutrients to nurture their spiritual bodies (their spirits).

What is wrong with us today? Are we lazy? Why do we neglect to eat of God's spiritual food? It is difficult to know just where all the blame lies.

Take the average "Christian" for example. Why is the spiritual food so distasteful to him (the one who claims to belong to Christ)? Difficulty in finding the food is not the problem. The food, many times, costs no money. If money is needed to purchase the food it is a very small amount. In fact, if one would ask, he would be given unused food by almost anyone. Of course, this person is to blame and he will be rejected by God at Judgment just as he rejected the spiritual food (and the foodgiver) by his lack of interest.

Again, let us look at the average "Christian." Why does he have so little interest in the food that he will accept plastic food (tradition and doctrines of men) as if it were food from Heaven? Is it because he is convinced that others are more qualified to do the selection of food and the actual feeding of him than he is? Just let a man say he has been to some school for preachers, or that he has such and such a degree, and all of a sudden, regardless of how young he is, he becomes the spiritual feeder. How sad, how sad! One becomes the feeder, many times, who has not lived long enough to be well-fed himself, yet he is considered the feeder for the "group."

One who is not well grounded in the Word must present food that he "copied" (many times) from someone he admires. He teaches and studies others so much he hasn't time to feed on the pure spiritual food from His heavenly Father.

One who begins feeding (preaching) at an early age, who fills his mind with the traditions and doctrines of those whom he admires, seldom will give up such teaching later in life. As he matures in years, pride usually will not allow him to change his position even when shown God's position.

Is this the feeder you receive your food from? No wonder there is a famine in the land. No wonder the average "Christian" is either dead or dying.

Wake up, people. Who is supplying your spiritual food? Where are the Lord-directed shepherds? I am not speaking here about the preacher who has gotten himself "put in" as shepherd to retain his job and secure his retirement; and who then claims the shepherd is feeding the flock. This is foreign to God's plan. We are told to "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." Who believes this statement was placed in the Book of books just to take up space?

Do you know what is happening today? People are allowing, yea encouraging, someone else to work out their salvation for them. Whether it is the Catholic priest, the T.V. preachers, or yes, unqualified people in the "church" today, they all fit into the same pot of destruction.

Ask yourselves, "Why can we get so few people (Christians) to meet in home Bible study, or on a one to one basis to study the Word of God?" I feel the answer, mainly, is a complete lack of interest in spiritual food, or maybe just from pure laziness, or the belief that the job of feeding falls to a certain group (who have "been to school"), and not to the individual himself.

If you still have breath in your body you can still delve into the Word and become spiritually whole. Will you? You had better.