Soul Food

Bread of life

In the Book of Amos, after seven chapters of naming and condemning the sins of Israel, the prophet writes this:

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.

Amos 8: 13

This moment called to mind the 400-year gap between the last book of the Old Testament, Malachi, and the dawn of the New Testament. I often wonder why the gap exists and what happened then.

Just as our bodies need food and water to survive, our souls need the nourishment of hearing from God to live. Jesus himself said,

Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.

Matthew 4:4

This passage from Amos tied some ideas together for me in a fresh way. Because:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.

John 1: 1-3

And when he met the woman at the well in Samaria Jesus told her pretty directly he was the source of living water, water that would forever satisfy her thirst, not just her physical thirst, but the thirst for meaning in her soul, the same one that led her to seek that satisfaction in sinful relationship after sinful relationship:

If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.

John 4:4

And soon after he tells a crowd of followers:

I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

John 6:35

God began his relationship with humanity by speaking through prophets. People listened occasionally, but ultimately preferred their own voices, doing as they saw fit in their own eyes (Judges 21:25). They had the ability to satisfy their human hungers, indulging in food, drink and pleasures of the flesh, but it could not touch the longing of their souls.

My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.

Psalm 42:2

Until God made the word flesh in the person of Jesus. When we accept Jesus as our Savior, we are permanently connected to the source of nourishment our souls need to live. Our souls long for connection with the Lord. They long to praise him. They long to meditate on his Word and be led by his Spirit in the ways that lead to righteousness.

Just as we make it a priority to nourish our temporal bodies to enjoy wellness now, we must also nourish our souls to enjoy wellness now and forever. So my question for my own soul and yours this morning is:

Are you satisfied?

My soul yearns, even faints,
    for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh cry out
    for the living God.

Psalm 84:2

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