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Feast or Famine

Feast or Famine

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03/18/2014

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Feast or Famine
A Bible Message by Bayless Conley
Copyright \u00a9 2007 Answ ers w ith Bayless Conley

Please turn to Amos, Chapter 8. He is one of the Minor Prophets, not called minor because what he has to say is of minor importance, but because there are not many chapters there. Amos 8:11,

11 \u201cBehold, the days are coming,\u201d says the Lord GOD, \u201cThat 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, seeking the word of the LORD, But shall not findit.

In the days of Eli, when young Samuel was learning the ways of the Lord, the Scripture says that the word of the Lord was rare and there was no open revelation. There can be seasons and times where there is a famine of hearing the word of the Lord; and maybe on a personal basis, you have not heard from God in a long time. Maybe there has been a real famine, a dearth, or an absence in your life of direction or of hearing God\u2019s voice. I can think back over my life at times where God very distinctly has spoken to me and impressed my heart during times of prayer or sometimes just warned me about things, and I had a sense. I knew God was talking to me, and I do not like it when God goes silent. I just do not like it. Yet I think more often, it is not that God has gone silent, it is that we have become too busy or other things have perhaps crept into our life; and there has become in our lives, even as it said here, a famine of hearing the words of the Lord.

A PROLONGED ABSENCE OF SOMETHING ESSENTIAL TO YOUR LIFE CONSTITUTES A
FAMINE

Generally when we think of famine, we think of there being no rain. Because there is no rain, there are no crops. When there are no crops, there is no food. It affects all different areas of life, and we think of famine in those terms. However, there are a lot of different kinds of famine. There can be a financial famine in your life, where there has been a real lack of finances. There can be a famine of joy in your life, where you have just been grappling with depression and struggling with issues in your life; and you really, really have not been joyful, nor happy. There can be a famine of good relationships in your life. There can be a famine of health in your life, where your body is being attacked, and you just do not have the strength and the vitality that you once had. A prolonged absence of something essential to your life would constitute a famine. Famine is whatever it might be that has had a prolonged absence, something that is essential to you living a Godly Christian life. We are going to talk about how to break the famine in your life.

Look in Second Kings 6:25,

25 And there was a great famine in Samaria; and indeed they besieged it until a donkey\u2019s head wassold for eightyshekels of silver, and one-fourth of a kab of dove droppings for fiveshekels of silver.

Now they were not eating the dove droppings. That was fuel for the fire to cook the donkey\u2019s
head. The donkey\u2019s head was the food. I think things are pretty bad when a donkey\u2019s head gets
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really expensive and the only thing you have for fuel to burn for a fire is dove droppings. Things got extremely bad. In fact, in this famine, people turned to cannibalism as things just went from bad to worse. We come to the seventh chapter; and in the first few verses Elisha, the prophet, speaks the word of the Lord and says that the famine will be broken and gives this incredible promise about flour being sold for almost nothing, just a few cents, and we come down to verse 3. It says (2 Kings 7:3)

3 Now there were four leprous men at the entrance of the gate; and they said to
one another, \u201cWhy are we sitting here until we die?

4 \u201cIf we say, \u2018We will enter the city,\u2019 the famineis in the city, and we shall die there. And if we sit here, we die also. Now therefore, come, let us surrender to the army of the Syrians. If they keep us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall only die.\u201d

5 And they rose at twilight to go to the camp of the Syrians; and when they had
come to the outskirts of the Syrian camp, to their surprise no onewas there.

6 For the LORD had caused the army of the Syrians to hear the noise of chariots and the noise of horses--the noise of a great army; so they said to one another, \u201cLook, the king of Israel has hired against us the kings of the Hittites and the kings of the Egyptians to attack us!\u201d

7 Therefore they arose and fled at twilight, and left the camp intact--their tents,
their horses, and their donkeys--and they fled for their lives.

8 And when these lepers came to the outskirts of the camp, they went into one tent and ate and drank, and carried from it silver and gold and clothing, and went and hidthem; then they came back and entered another tent, and carriedsome from therealso, and went and hidit.

FIVE THINGS YOU CAN DO TO TURN YOUR FAMINE INTO A FEAST
Now there was a great famine going on, and I like what these lepers said: \u201cWhy do we sit here
\u2018til we die?\u201d Man, that is good counsel. If there is a famine going on in your life, do not just
sit there. You need to get up and do something. They went out to the Syrian camp; and God,

of course, caused a miracle to happen. They went in, and their famine turned into a feast. They went and began to feast and started hiding things; and then, as we read the story, their conscience got the better of them. They said, \u201cthe thing we are doing is not good. This is a day of celebration. We are going to share this with everyone else.\u201d So they went into town and told everyone that the Syrian army had fled and let everyone else in on the feast, as well.

Now maybe today you are in the midst of a great famine in your life, financial or, as I mentioned, no direction for the longest time, no joy, a famine of health, whatever it might be. You can continue to sit there until you die, or you can do something. These four lepers got up and got moving. They said, \u201cLet\u2019s do something lest we do nothing.\u201d By getting up and doing something, they turned their famine into a feast.

I want to share five things with you tonight that you can get up and do if you want to turn your famine into a feast. But you know what? If we sit and do nothing, many times the famine in our life will be prolonged. Somebody might say, \u201cWell, I am just waiting on God, waiting for a breakthrough.\u201d Well that is good, and He is the Lord of the breakthrough the Scripture says. However, we also read that we are co-laborers together with God. It is not always just God doing something. It is us doing something in response to His promises, us co-laboring together with God, us trusting God, us responding to the Spirit of God. It is not a matter of just sitting

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around and saying, \u201cOkay, well, maybe God will turn up, and maybe God won\u2019t turn up.\u201d There
are things that we can do.
1. Inquire and ask God why.
Look in Second Samuel, chapter 21. We are going to look at the first thing that you can do.
Second Samuel 21:1,

21:1 Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year; and David inquired of the LORD. And the LORD answered, \u201cIt is because of Saul andhis bloodthirsty house, because he killed the Gibeonites.\u201d

Now Israel had made a covenant with the Gibeonites to protect them, but Saul in his zeal had tried to eradicate them and exterminate them. David asked God why there was famine, and God said, \u201cThis is why: You have broken your word. You have broken your covenant.\u201d Here is the first thing you can do: You can inquire and ask God why. Sometimes, it never dawns on us. We have not heard from God in the longest time, stuff has been going on in our life, and it has protracted, and we are suffering because of it. Yet we never get quiet and say, \u201cGod, is there a reason for this?\u201d It says in Proverbs, \u201cThe curse causeless shall not come.\u201d There is a reason for things. God gave David an answer, and he went out and did something about it. In fact, look at 2 Samuel 21:3,

3 Therefore David said to the Gibeonites, \u201cWhat shall I do for you? And with what
shall I make atonement, that you may bless the inheritance of the LORD?\u201d
So David responded. He inquired of God and then he went out and did something to change
things.

A while back, a friend came to me and shared how they had been battling with depression for a long time, and it suddenly dawned on them, \u201cMaybe I should ask God why. Why have I been so depressed? Why do I wake up in the morning depressed? Why am I depressed during the day? Why does the slightest little bit of bad news send me into a tailspin? Why is it so hard to get out of the tailspin once I get into it? What is going on?\u201d This person asked God, and God spoke to them immediately. He said, \u201cYour problem is about an inch below your nose. Listen to the way

you are talking.\u201d The Bible says death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those
who indulge in it will eat the fruit thereof for death or life. They had just been speaking
negatively, and they had been partaking of the things that they said. Our words are like seeds.
They changed what they were saying. Now that is about as strong as you can get.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue. That is pretty strong. Some people think, \u201cAh, some people make too much of this speaking words.\u201d Friend, do not think that. Read in the Book of Genesis: God said, \u201cLet there be light,\u201d and there was light. God said, \u201cLet there be a firmament above the heavens,\u201d and it was so. God said, \u201cLet there be the creatures in the sea,\u201d and it was so. God said, and it was so. God made man in His own image and His own likeness. Do you get it? That is exactly how it came to pass. God gave us the ability to speak words\u2026 words filled with life. We are translated from death into life by speaking words. If you believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead and confess Him with your mouth as Lord, you will be saved. Now if that can change your eternal destination from hell to heaven, do you not think your words can maybe do some other things in your life? Some lesser things like maybe getting you out of depression? If your words can get you out of hell, certainly

they can get you out of depression.

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