Listen to today’s devo!

I will send a famine through the land—not a famine of food . . . of hearing the words of the Lord. (Amos 8:11)

I sat silently and listened. I had politely asked a question and was now being bombarded with unwarranted accusations: “Why do you want to know? You’re focused on the wrong things. Your question implies you don’t trust me. You need to apologize.” The gaslighting response twisted my words and motives. Why even speak when your words are weaponized against you?

God was ready to go silent on his people. Generations ago, he had made a covenant with the Israelites. He would be their God, showing his love by protecting and blessing them. They would be his people, showing their love by worshiping him and living justly with their neighbors. The covenant’s purpose was for the Israelites to be a light, showing all nations how to love God and others.

But God’s people twisted his words—claiming his promises while ignoring his heart and motives. Yes, they still worshiped him, but they also longed for the Sabbath to end so they could resume cheating others in the marketplace (8:4–6). Truthfully, they loved money most. They had created systems of injustice to enrich themselves, while religious leaders falsely claimed their prosperity was a sign of God’s approval.

So, God was going silent. Only when humbled by their sin would God’s people stop twisting God’s words. Then God would resume speaking to them, restoring them, and blessing them.

Humbly evaluate if your interpretation of God’s Word justifies your favorite sin.

Tamar Eisenmann and her husband are Wesleyan pastors from Michigan. She’s a Wesley Seminary doctoral student and a fan of Transformers, her kids, and Jesus.

© 2022 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.