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Day 36: Famine in the LandMarch 21, 2018When you look through the bible you will see a lot of famine. The thought of famine seems strange as God says very clearly Malachi 3:10 “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” Genesis 1:27 “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” 29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food. And it was so.” Deuteronomy 28:11 “The Lord will grant you abundant prosperity—in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground—in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you.” Psalm 31:19 “How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you, that you bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in you.” 2 Corinthians 9:8 “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” Jesus said John 10:10 “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”So when there is talk of famine something has gone terribly wrong. Genesis 12:10 “Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while because the famine was severe.” Genesis 26:1 “Now there was a famine in the land—besides the previous famine in Abraham’s time—and Isaac went to Abimelek king of the Philistines in Gerar.” Genesis 41:30 “Then all the abundance in Egypt will be forgotten, and the famine will ravage the land. 31 The abundance in the land will not be remembered, because the famine that follows it will be so severe. 32 The reason the dream was given to Pharaoh in two forms is that the matter has been firmly decided by God, and God will do it soon.” 56 When the famine had spread over the whole country, Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold grain to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe throughout Egypt. 57 And all the world came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe everywhere.” Psalm 105:16 “He called down famine on the land and destroyed all their supplies of food; 17 and he sent a man before them— Joseph, sold as a slave. 18 They bruised his feet with shackles, his neck was put in irons, 19 till what he foretold came to pass, till the word of the LORD proved him true. 20 The king sent and released him, the ruler of peoples set him free. 21 He made him master of his household, ruler over all he possessed.” Stephen said in, Acts 7:11 “Then a famine struck all Egypt and Canaan, bringing great suffering, and our ancestors could not find food. 12 When Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent our forefathers on their first visit. 13 On their second visit, Joseph told his brothers who he was, and Pharaoh learned about Joseph’s family. 14 After this, Joseph sent for his father Jacob and his whole family, seventy-five in all.” Ruth 1:1 [ Naomi Loses Her Husband and Sons ] “In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land.” Judges 21:25 “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.” Jeremiah 14:1 “This is the word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah concerning the drought: 2 “Judah mourns, her cities languish; they wail for the land, and a cry goes up from Jerusalem. 3 The nobles send their servants for water; they go to the cisterns but find no water. They return with their jars unfilled; dismayed and despairing, they cover their heads. 4 The ground is cracked because there is no rain in the land; the farmers are dismayed and cover their heads. 5 Even the doe in the field deserts her newborn fawn because there is no grass. 6 Wild donkeys stand on the barren heights and pant like jackals; their eyes fail for lack of food.” 15 Therefore this is what the Lord says about the prophets who are prophesying in my name: I did not send them, yet they are saying, ‘No sword or famine will touch this land.’ Those same prophets will perish by sword and famine.” Jeremiah 24:10 “I will send the sword, famine and plague against them until they are destroyed from the land I gave to them and their ancestors.’” 1 Kings 17:1 “Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word. Now the famine was severe in Samaria.” Luke 4:25 “I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land.”We also saw this with Elisha. 2 Kings 8:1 “Now Elisha had said to the woman whose son he had restored to life, “Go away with your family and stay for a while wherever you can, because the Lord has decreed a famine in the land that will last seven years.” 2 Kings 6:24 “Some time later, Ben-Hadad king of Aram mobilized his entire army and marched up and laid siege to Samaria. 25 There was a great famine in the city; the siege lasted so long that a donkey’s head sold for eighty shekels of silver, and a quarter of a cab of seed pods for five shekels.” I will let you read the passage about how bad it actually was. (2 Kings 6:26-31) The king was furious with Elisha. 2 Kings 6:33 “The king said, “This disaster is from the Lord. Why should I wait for the Lord any longer.” 2 Kings 25:1 “So in the ninth year of Zedekiah’s reign, on the tenth day of the tenth month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon marched against Jerusalem with his whole army. He encamped outside the city and built siege works all around it. 2 The city was kept under siege until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah. 3 By the ninth day of the fourth month the famine in the city had become so severe that there was no food for the people to eat.” Acts 11:27 “During this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. (The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.) 28 One of them, named Agabus, stood up and through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world. (This happened during the reign of Claudius.)” satan has done a good job deceiving the church when it comes to their knowledge about prophets. The have changed the passage in Ephesians to read Ephesians 4:11 “So Christ himself gave the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” That is not actually what it says. In order for that to happen you have to read the verse it states. Ephesians 4:11 “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” If the church would acknowledge once again true apostles and prophets, “14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.” But I digress!Famine as described in scripture is brutal. Lamentations 4:9 “Those killed by the sword are better off than those who die of famine; racked with hunger, they waste away for lack of food from the field.” Nehemiah 9:36 “But see, we are slaves today, slaves in the land you gave our ancestors so they could eat its fruit and the other good things it produces. 37 Because of our sins, its abundant harvest goes to the kings you have placed over us. They rule over our bodies and our cattle as they please. We are in great distress.” Isaiah 51:19 “These double calamities have come upon you— who can comfort you? —ruin and destruction, famine and sword—who can console you? 20 Your children have fainted; they lie at every street corner, like antelope caught in a net. They are filled with the wrath of the Lord, with the rebuke of your God.” Ezekiel 6:11 “‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Strike your hands together and stamp your feet and cry out “Alas!” because of all the wicked and detestable practices of the people of Israel, for they will fall by the sword, famine and plague.Yes I am going to leave you hanging, as tomorrow we will look at the famine that has ravaged our land, the church. Yes the church should be floodgates of blessings but it is not. The garden was perfect, the Promised Land was perfect and Jesus was perfect. To teach that we cannot turn away no matter what from the perfecter of our faith is not accurate. What happened in the garden and the Promised Land show us that we must remain faithful and obedient to God’s word just as we have to with the words of Jesus. Jesus himself said in Matthew 28:19 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” If we want God’s presence, we must obey, otherwise we are out of the garden, out of the Promised Land and out of the blessings Jesus has for us. We no longer have the power of the Holy Spirit that is available to us. Revelation 3:5 “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. 19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” Listen carefully as Jesus is calling.