Feasting in the Famine
Feasting in the Famine
by David Webster
9th April 2020
Hi! Trust you are all well and finding creative ways to deal with this period of self- isolating.
Today’s blog was mainly inspired by a few brief comments Bill Johnson made on the “Johnsons at Home” video on You Tube. Bill had looked at three famines in the Bible to see how people had responded to a time of trial. We are not in a famine as such but certainly a crisis that is impacting us all in the UK and around the world. My title is really a declaration of faith; if you know me, I am sucker for declarations. So how can we “feast in the famine?” How can we make the most of our current situation?
First of all, let me say I appreciate we are all indifferent situations. Some of us are on our own, some have more work than they had before, some have no work at all, others are home schooling or looking after their sick or isolated relatives. We are all in different situations and seasons of life. Some of you won’t have time for what I say today. For some of you it may be relevant at a later date. I hope for all it will spark off something from God for you. As Donna King said in a recent vlog, God still has plans for all of us, plans to prosper us and do us good.
So Bill looked at the responses of Isaac, Nehemiah and the church in Antioch in the book of Acts, to the famines they encounter.
In Genesis 26 it tells us that there is a famine in the land and God tells Isaac not to go down to Egypt (the great grain supplier of the region) but stay where he is. He obeys God and trusts him for the outcome. We then get the story of Isaac pretending his wife is his sister. He makes the same mistake Abraham does. However, despite this error Isaac does soon get back on track. In verse 12 it says,
“Isaac planted crops in the land and the same year reaped a hundred fold because the Lord blessed him. The man became rich, and his wealth continued to grow until he became very wealthy.”
All I want to say to you is, in this time, what are you investing in? Where are you planting your resources to see them grow? For many in families no doubt you will be investing in your children. For those able to work, think about what you are investing in or who you are investing in. What are we all doing with our time? Creative ideas are abounding on the internet at the moment.
Ask God, what can I invest in at the moment? (Pause and ask him.)
In Nehemiah 5 things were going badly during a famine which, by the way, were regular occurrences in the land; food was scarce. Things were so bad that fellow Jews were exploiting the situation and charging high interest on loans. Some were forced to mortgage their land and possessions, and some were even selling their sons and daughters into slavery. Nehemiah rebukes them and brings them back to God. The people repent and start looking out for one another again, stop exploiting one another and give back vineyards, olive groves and houses they had bought off others.
The lesson is clear: let’s look out for one another, our church family and the wider community. This is really taking off presently in the nation. Check the Internet and the church Update to see how you can get involved.
Ask God who you can look out for.
The Church at Antioch
While Paul and Barnabas are in Antioch, in Acts 11, the prophet Agabus predicts a severe famine in the land that will spread over the entire Roman world. The response of the church is godly generosity.
“The disciples, each according to his ability, decided to provide help for the brothers in Judea.”
How can we respond generously to the needs around us? Our responses will be different and according to our ability, which is very releasing.
Look out for people in need, whether it is financial or some other need.
Ask God how you should respond. (Ask him now).
So how can you make a feast out of a famine? By investing in something or someone, by working together to care for those around us, and by godly generosity.
Here’s my declaration of faith:
I declare that there will be many feasts for you in this time of famine!
Amen. Bless you.
And remember, He can do more in you than you can think or imagine.