Have you every experienced a famine in your life? It seemed there was no relief any place. Did you revert to Egypt – the things of the world? Did it seem everything was drying up? We usually at least think about going back to Egypt. When we do its when things go sour.
There’s A Famine In The Land
By Pastor Delbert Young
(This is not the notes. This is more a dictation of the sermon. I apologize. I didn’t have time to go back and correct the punctuation. I’m certain it’s hideous – well worse than normal)
There was a famine in the land famine in the land. We’re studying the life of Isaac. Isaac, the son of Abraham. We’re looking at his life. Last time we looked at Isaac, we saw Isaac was the first one who ever entreated the Lord. It was Isaac who entreated the Lord asking for sons. Twenty years he entreated the Lord. We saw the word entreated means to burn incense. Isaac entreated the Lord with a prayer life. He saw the Lord with a prayer life. Isaac continually in the presence of the Lord.
I explained to you about incense and how incense gets all over everything and in everything. It’s inescapable. Isaac would pray to the Lord for sons he would eventually get. He prayed to the Lord and his prayer was like incense.
We showed you Isaac’s prayer was like a prayer Jesus taught us to pray in the New Testament where the widow continuously stayed in the face of the unjust judge until she got what she wanted. This is what we want to learn to do. The particular message is pray and keep on praying until we get what we’re supposed to have.
I want to talk to you about the famine in the land. Let’s read Genesis Chapter 26 verses 1, 2, and part 3.
Genesis 26:1 And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar.
2 And the LORD appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of:
3 Sojourn in this land…
Where was Isaac to stay? Where? In the land where the Lord told him to stay. Where do you want to go? He wanted to go to Egypt. Why? Because there was a famine in the land.
What a famine in the land does is cause us to go to Egypt. Remember the first famine mentioned in the Scriptures? It was on Abraham. What did Abraham do? He went to Egypt. Later on they’ll be a famine on one of Isaac sons, Jacob. Remember that one? Joseph was involved in it. What did Joseph and Jacob do? They went to Egypt. It was a famine that drove Abraham into Egypt and from this famine is where he lied about his wife Sarah. He said Sarah is not my wife she is my sister. It was when Jacob took his family to Egypt because of a famine in the land that the whole nation became captive in servitude to Egypt.
What do you do when there’s a famine in your land? First of all let’s examine what is a famine? What is a famine? Understand that there are many famines mentioned in the Scriptures. What a famine basically is and the way I want you to understand and interpret it famine is when heaven is shut up. It’s when there is no rain from heaven. There were many, many times in the Scriptures where there are famines and the line I’ve already told you about Abraham. Heaven was shut up. Abraham went to Egypt. There was a famine in the land here with Isaac. Heaven was shut up. Isaac wants to go to Egypt. There was a famine in the land with Jacob. Jacob goes to Egypt. What I want you to understand is a famine will cause you to do something. It will cause you to either seek God or turn from God.
There was a famine in the days of Ruth. She left to the land of God. She went to another land where her husband died and her sons died.
There was a famine in the land. There was a famine in the days of Elijah. Remember that famine? Elijah said in 1 Kings chapter 17, it won’t rain until I say so. For three and a half years it didn’t rain. Why was that famine come? What was the cause of the famine? The people of God were worshipping Baal and Astarte. They were worshipping the gods of the earth. God brings a famine. God shuts up heaven. God will get our attention. You me all of us at one time or the other heaven shut up and we haven’t been able to feel, sense, or our experience the presence of God. We can’t get a word from God. Heaven is shut up. We can’t get anything from God. We’ll run around, go here and there. We will turn on the television on and try and get something from God. We will get our tapes out. We’re going to try to find us a word right. We can’t get anything. Why? There’s a famine in the land.
What people will start thinking is it’s this church. That’s what it is. It’s that preacher. That’s the problem. I’ll go to another church. They leave and go someplace else. You know what? There’s still a famine in the land because they’re going back to Egypt.
There’s a famine in the land. Elijah when he confronted the prophets of Baal and the prophets of Astarte, said you got to choose this day who you’re going to serve. If Baal be God then serve Baal but if God be God let God be God. Serve him. What families will do is bring you right to the place of deciding who we are going to serve.
There’s a famine in the land. It’s first the natural then the spiritual 1 Corinthians 15 tells us. If we can gain and understand what a famine does in the natural will also understand what it does in our spiritual well-being. You become fruitless. Nothing’s coming in so therefore nothing is growing. There’s no fruit being produced in our lives. We become dry. We become barren. We start running around looking for a word instead of looking for the God of the word.
It was a feminine in the land. Have you ever had a famine? Why. Why did you have the famine? Why did you experience it? Why all of a sudden did Church become dry? Why all of a sudden did your prayer life become dry? Why all of a sudden was it more important what time you got out of here than what you did while you were here? What happened? Why was there a famine in the land? Isaac, why is there a famine going on.
One thing you always learn about famines is God sends them or allows them. Did you know that? Why did God send you a famine? Why did God shut up heaven over your life? Why is it that all of a sudden you can’t get a word from God? It’s not fun being here. I want to be in home. Why? There’s a famine in the land.
There was a famine in David’s day. What did David do? Did David go to Egypt? He sought God. He got heaven opened up. David had gotten off of his purposes. David was looking at Bathsheba. David had something else on his mind. What is the first command? There shall be no other gods before me. What happens in our lives as we experience famine? We’ve allowed the gods of this earth to cause us to miss focus off the God of heaven. Famine comes into our life. David sought God and heaven was opened.
The book of Revelation. Chapter 18 tells us about a famine on Babylon. Babylon the great whore. God speaks to the people. He says come out of her my people. Be not partakers of her sin. And then you won’t experience her plagues. What God will do in a time of famine is speak to you and tell you to get out of that thing. Get out of that thing that’s cause you to miss focus. Get out of it. You won’t suffer then the plagues that are going to come because you stayed there.
I’m going to show you just a second or two that God’s going to famish your gods. God will bring down Baal and he will bring down Astarte. God will bring down anything that comes above him in your eyes. He’ll do it. He loves you that much. Not because he’s mean. It’s because my God is love.
There’s a famine in the land. Because of famine in Samaria. There was a famine in Jerusalem. It was a terrible famine. You know what they ate in these famines? They ate their own children. Do you know I watch people do this? I watch people, when God shuts up having on their lives, take their children out of a place where they can be minister to and into a famished land. Their children are devoured. I watch people eat donkey dung. I watch them eat dove’s heads. I watch them go back to Egypt. It’s sad.
I’m trying to help us with some understanding. If heaven is shut up over you today, if heaven is closed up over you today, I’m trying to show you why. I want you to hear me. I want you to hear the word of the Lord. If there is a famine in your land there’s a reason there’s a famine in your land.
Spiritual famines – let me show you in the book of Amos.
First of all let me show you something from Leviticus 26:19 that God will shut up heaven. God will cause your heaven to be brass. He will cause your earth to be as brass. God will do this.
Leviticus 26:19 And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass:
Who does that? The Lord God.
Understand if you can’t get through, if nothing is coming to you, if nothing is being produced in the realm of the Spirit in your life. or in the realm of the natural, it’s God doing it. Why? Because he’s mad at you, he hates you? No. Why? Because he loves you. He wants you to get on focus and on purpose to what he wants you to have what he wants you to do.
Now look at with me at the book of Amos chapter 8 verse 11. All famines aren’t natural is the point here. Understand that there will be a time, from time to time in your life, when we get off focus that God will shut up the word. God will shut the word up and you will start looking everywhere for it. You’ll not be able to find it.
Amos 8:11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:
What kind of famine is this? You won’t be able to hear the words of the Lord. So what did they do?
Amos 8:12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.
What are they looking for? The word of the Lord and not the Lord of the word. Who are you looking for? Who are you really seeking after? They shall not find it.
Amos 8:13 In that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst.
The children the young people will leave the presence of God. There will be nothing in the house of the Lord for them and their land will be dry and bare. Are you glad your children aren’t dry and barren? Hallelujah. But understand the Lord will shut up heaven and he’ll make your heaven as brass He’ll make your earth as brass. He’ll bring a famine in your life where you can’t get a word of God. Church isn’t fun, reading your bible is not fun, praise and worship is not fun, TBN is not fun, and nothing is fun. But you are looking for something. You look in here you look in there. You go to this church and that church. You go to this place and that place. But who’s really done it? Who’s really brought the famine? Why has God brought the famine?
This is what I want us to really get a hold of. Why has he brought the famine? There are spiritual famines. What’s the purpose of the famine? Why does God shut up heaven over our life sometimes? Why does he do that? Why does he put us in a famine? And the thing that we are depended upon all of a sudden begins to dry up as well. Why all of a sudden does your life in the spirit realm fade? Church gets dull and all of a sudden the stock market and stocks we have dry up. All of a sudden our business goes bonkers. All of a sudden the washing machine tears up and there goes that money that we’re going to use for vacation. Why. Why has this famine not only dried me up, but also dried up the things that I am depended upon? We say verything is going crazy.
There was a famine in the land and you know what you’ll start thinking about doing? Going to Egypt. We say, It wasn’t like this when I wasn’t in church. You start thinking about it. Isaac began to think about Egypt.
There was a famine in the land. I want you to look at a verse with me. Look at Zephaniah 2:11.
Zephaniah 2:11 The LORD will be terrible unto them: for he will famish all the gods of the earth; and men shall worship him, every one from his place, even all the isles of the heathen.
Two points I want you to see here. God will famish the gods of the earth.
Why is it that not only does church dry up in your relationship with the Lord dry up but the thing that that you are getting so much enjoyment from such as your workplace or are your stocks, or your family, or whatever it is you are drawing from? All of a sudden the person begins to get mad at you are upset with you or dry up on you. Why all of a sudden does this everything seem to start going crazy? Because there is a famine in the land. Because God is famishing our gods. When we get off focus, when he is not God above all Gods, when we allow other things to come above him, count on it. That God that has come above him in your life or my life will be famished. Why. Because you shall worship him.
You shall worship him from your place, your place your temple, your home. Wherever you are place. You will worship him because he loves you that much. He wants you that much. He is not going to let you get away. He will bring you to a place of serving Ball or serving him but you are not going to walk the line. You’re not you’re not going to walk the fence you’re going to choose this day. Is that all right? He will famish your gods. He’ll get your attention.
What are some gods we allow to exalt themselves above our God, the Godm the God of heaven? So I have seen so many.
I’ve seen so many over these years I’ve seen so many gods that have come in and caused famine in the lives of the people of God. I’ve seen wives bring famine upon their husbands as wives would become a god above the God of heaven and all of a sudden that husband was out of here. I’ve seen it the other way. I’ve seen husbands famish the wives. I’ve seen them take the wife out of here. I’ve seen famine in the land. I’ve seen children that bring famine to the parents. They can’t get a word from God. They can’t get a word from heaven. Heaven is shut up because all of a sudden that child has become in a place that is superior to God. And you know what? The child is bringing damage to the family.
That doesn’t sound good. But God will if anything comes before him. There shall be no god before me. I’ve seen money be god. I’ve seen jobs, I’ve seen pets be god. One of the funniest ones but funny’s not good. One of the strangest ones was I was a wave-runner. I watched a wave-runner take people out into famine. They would rather be wave-running than worshipping God. You know what happened. That situation ended up really bad. There was a famine on this guy.
I want you to understand when things begin to dry up, when the heavens shuts up, and all of a sudden you can’t get a word from God, and all of a sudden everything around you starts drying up, it’s God trying to tell you something. It’s God working in your life. He’ll shut up heaven. He’ll shut up the earth. He’ll cause it to be brass. And you start running here and running there. That’s not the problem. The problem is you’ve gotten off focus. There’s been some god gotten above him and he won’t handle that. He won’t handle that and you better know there’s a famine in the land.
Those are some things. All of us have gods and if we allow them to, they will exalt themselves above the Lord our God. All of us have them and we get off focus and all of a sudden the Lord will begin to get our attention as there is a famine in and land. What did Isaac do? What caused Isaac to miss focus? What was Isaac’s wave-runner? What caused him to want to go to Egypt? What caused this famine? It’s so interesting.
Do you remember why Isaac entreated the Lord? What was it he really wanted? He wanted children. Here we find in Genesis Chapter 25:23,
Genesis 25:23 And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.
He didn’t just get one kid. How many? He got a womb full of kids. He got two. And the word of the Lord came to Rebecca and Isaac and the word the Lord is clear. The younger will rule over the older. The older will serve the younger. Is that the word of the Lord? The word of the Lord came and the Bible says that the elders shall serve the younger, but which one did Isaac favor the older or the younger? Which one did Isaac want to put the birth right on and Isaac had gotten miss focused. His focus was on Esau. It would be through Jacob God would bless. But Isaac wanted a Esau to rule.
Lord, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with me going fishing on Sundays. I can go fishing and Lance can preach. That’s fine Delbert if you want a famine.
There’s a famine in the land because we allow the things that we love to do that are God’s in our life to come before him. There was a famine in the land. If you keep studying this passage and as you’re searching you’re finding out the principle of famine. Why did Isaac have this famine. Look at Genesis 25:28.
Genesis 25:28 And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob.
Isaac loved who? Esau and there was a famine in the land. Which one is supposed to rule? Jacob. Which one did Isaac want to rule? Esau. It wasn’t going to happen.
We’re going to have a famine. See, Isaac would disobey, would miss focus because he had allowed one of his own children to become a god in his life.
Somebody was making a statement last night I don’t remember maybe some of you will remember who was maybe I’ll probably will in just a second and just come to me. Somebody was making a statement I think it was Jim. He said his family had always been first for us and then he corrected it. What did he say? No. God’s always been first and then my family. You see a lot of times I we are willing to let family be a god to us. The Lord said there can be no gods before him. And if we put one up there it’s going to go into famine. I don’t care what it is – job or wife or children or automobile or money. I don’t care what it is, it’ll dry up because God loves you.
There was a famine. Go back now to Genesis Chapter 26. Read finish reading verses 3 with me. I want to read on because I want you to see when Isaac got his focus back, when Isaac understood this was causing a famine in his land, he began to see God and God appeared to him. God spoke to him. You’ll find out here what God says to him.
Genesis 26:3 Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father;
I’ve told you before about conjunctional promises. These are promises God has given to us, given to you, or me, he’s given them conjunctionally. If you read your prophecies it says if you’ll do this I’ll do that God says. This is the conjunction.
Now there are there prophecies that are that are a set time promise. Remember Isaac was a set time promise. This time next year Isaac is going to come. You don’t have to pray about it you don’t have to do nothing. This was going to happen but most of the promises God gives to you and most of the promises in the Bible are conjunctional.
Your salvation is conjunctional. “IF you believe” on the Lord Jesus Christ and the God has raised him from the dead you should be saved. Right? If you confess with your mouth if you believe with your heart. The promises of God for the most part are conjunctional. This one is conjunctional. What is the conjunction? Stay in the land. And I will bless you.
What happens if Isaac won’t stay? You see he wanted to go to Egypt. What happens when people have a famine in the land and go to Egypt? They don’t stay where God put them. They don’t function where God put them. They don’t fulfill the promises of God he put on their lives. What happens to them? They lose their blessings. The blessings are conjunctional. You stay there Isaac and I’ll do what I told Abraham I would do.
We need to learn you will go through and I will go through times of famine. Randy does a lot of gardening. Randy, when it hasn’t rained for a while what do you do in your garden? Do you let it just dry up or what do you irrigate it? You get it water right? You find some way to get water there. If there’s a famine in your land in the realm of the Spirit and you’re in your spiritual walk with the Lord and all of a sudden you’re not enjoying these things, you can let the famine continue or you can fix it. You can get that thing irrigated. You can begin to seek God and God will appear to you because he’s trying to get your attention, but don’t seek a word from God. Seek the God of the word. The Lord appeared to Isaac, not the Bible. The Lord appeared to Isaac. When we are going through a dry time, when church isn’t fun anymore, when you’re not enjoying your prayer life or you’re not enjoying praise, you can let that thing continue to dry up and everything around you will dry up. Your love for the Lord will dry up your prayer life will dry up. The god you put above him will begin to dry up. Or, you’re going to get irrigate it. You can seek him and find him while you seek him and seek him. Then the Lord will appear to you and will do what he said he will do for you. So seek the Lord when a famine time comes. It’s not me. It’s not church. It’s not that you can’t comprehend the Bible. It’s you have allowed or I have allowed a god to come above him and he’s going to bring a famine so you’ll decide who you’re going to serve but you’re not going to walk the fence. If you’re going to serve Baal, serve Baal. Those in Babylon who were destroyed didn’t come out and didn’t obey the voice of the Lord. Come out of her my people. Be not partakers of her sin. You won’t have to suffer her plagues. But those that stay, those who didn’t obey the voice of the Lord are destroyed.
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