Ripe, But Not Sweet

As summer wends its way toward fall, we anticipate the fruits of a harvest kissed by rain, and warmed by the sun. We watch our gardens for ripening fruit and vegetables, tasting the joy almost before it becomes reality.

Ripe is good—or so I thought until this morning's devotional.

Amos is having a vision. God shows him a basket of ripe fruit. But there is nothing sweet here. The Lord says: "The time is ripe for my people, Israel; I will spare them no longer" —Amos 8:2, NIV.

He then goes on to describe the depths to which He will drive his people because of their persistent rebellion. It's not the kind of harvest anyone eagerly waits for.

But there is worse to come.

"'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. Men 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'" —Amos 8:11, 12, NIV.

I am of the generation that is familiar with the term: "sermonettes for Christianettes." Christianity "light" accompanied by Bible study "light" which has morphed into very little, if any, Bible study at all while we fill our hearts and minds with good things that barely parallel the best things. We are all about "inner healing" and dealing with our dysfunctions. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with most of this—except where it replaces, or is given more weight and importance, than knowing God through His revealed word. (The Bible is actually the best book around on healing those dysfunctions, by the way.)

We certainly have lots of disasters, dangers, and dilemmas all around us—symptoms of a world tearing itself apart because of sin. But how close are we to a complete spiritual dearth in our churches and in our lives? Will we wake up one morning starving for a good slice of God's Word to feast on and not be able to find it anywhere?

Now THAT is one scary thought.

I have a pile of good books to read over the summer. While most of them have a nodding acquaintance with Scripture, none ARE the study of Scripture. I think I need to change that—and fast. How about you?


  1. His word MUST be central to everything we do and embrace, or we won't even notice the drought. And that is a TRULY scary thought. Thanks for this thought-provoking piece.


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