Full Text for CTM Homiletics 21-12 (Text)

• J f'+.). (l1;~. . 11. _ L~ ., • -.. Concou()io Theological Monthly DECEMBER • 1950 ARCHIVE HOMILETICS Sermon Study on Amos 8.11-12 for Sexagesima EISENACH OLD TESTAMENT SELECTIONS Jan. 1 Jan. 7 Jan. 14 Jan. 21 Jan. 28 N.Y. Day 1 S. a. Ep. 2 S. a. Ep. Sept. Sex. Ps.121 Ps.122 Ex. 3:1-6 Jer.9:23-24 Amos 8: 11-12 (The Lord Our Protector) (God's Help for Witness) (Christ's Glory Revealed) (God's Deliverance from Sin) (Our Helplessness Without God) THE MESSAGE OF AMOS The words of Amos, and this text in particular, may not attract the Gospel preacher as a basis for his pulpit message. The Law and the curses of the Law are all that this text seems to contain. Why preach from Sinai when our message comes from Calvary? A look into the causes that provoked these prophetic utterances in the eighth century B. C. should, however, convince the conscien­tious pastor that he ought to preach from the Book of Amos. And as he does so, he may be overwhelmed by the staggering weight of what it has to say to him and to his hearers. The burden of the message will crush him to his knees to exclaim with Amos: "0 Lord God, forgive, I beseech Thee! 0 Lord God, cease, I beseech Thee!" (7:2,5.) The people of Amos' time had a different culture; they lived in a different social and political setting; they were entangled in dif­ferent international relationships. But the basic reasons for the announcement of God's judgment upon His people of old can be found in strikingly similar conditions and attitudes today. After understanding why the thunder of God's judgment echoes and re-echoes through the passages of Amos, the preacher of 1951 cannot but see the same storm closing in upon his own day, and there will be born within him the same urgency to sound the alarm that caused Amos to say: "The lion hath roared, who will not fear? The Lord God hath spoken, who can but prophesy?" (3:8.) But the Gospel minister need not hesitate to preach from Amos 924 HOMILETICS 925 because this prophetic book has only a negative message. There is a rainbow of hope and comfort even in the dark skies of Amos. To see it, we must relearn some lessons from Amos that belong to the ABC's of Christian faith and conviction. He teaches us that the world is not a checkerboard of fate or caprice. The pieces, big or small, on the board are not moved by a chance interaction of accidents. Thus, for example, the time for each event is in the hands of the Creator of time, who "turneth the shadow of death into the morning and maketh the day dark with night" (5:8). The trains of earth's events always are on time-God's time-they do not leave too early, and they do not arrive too late. Nor is man autonomous among men and human events. There is a cause and effect that utterly ignores the most sacred laws in man's textbook on economics, politics, sociology, war, and peace, because He that "buildeth his stories in the heavens" (9: 6) has His own "because" (2: 6 etc.) and "therefore" (2: 14 etc.) for each succeeding development in the destiny of the individual or the nation. -This is indeed a rock to which to cling in the seething seas of Amos' and our own national and international situation. Therefore Amos can assure us that there always are bright rays on the distant horizon, in the ultimate purposes of God, even when the sky overhead for the moment be dark with judgment. As strong as God's power, as unyielding as His justice, so unbending is always His loving purpose for men. Whatever it is, everything must serve His good and gracious will. His chosen people will be decimated and carried away into all the corners of the earth that "the remnant of Joseph" (5: 15) may survive to bring forth the Redeemer of Israel in the fullness of time. The house of David, his earthly kingdom, must be leveled to the ground in order that "the taber­nacleofDavid" (9:11 and Acts 15:16-17) may arise to new glory. There will be a sifting of judgment, but not one piece of wheat will fall to the ground. There will be locusts and fire, and body and soul will hunger (7: 1; 7: 4; 8: 11) in order that the bounties of His Church may supply the needs of men in abundance (9: 13-14) . He will cause Israel "to go into captivity beyond Damascus" (5: 27 ) so that His people "shall no more be pulled up out of their land" (9:15). 926 HOMILETICS Why God must use such violent means to make His good and gracious will be done -that is the message of Amos. He had to awaken Israel to the realization that every earthly institution is not an end in itself: the nation that God had chosen has no special privilege, but is "as the children of the Ethiopians ... the Philis­tines . . . the Syrians" (9: 7) as soon as it no longer serves His purpose of grace. The Temple of stone that He Himself had ordered built must be demolished when it becomes a stone of offense and is abused as a source of false confidence. His congregation must be scattered when the outward organization stands in the way of His will and becomes a cause for self-glorification. His sacrifices will cease when they become idolatry or a ritual of rote and an excuse for unholy living. Nation, form of government, Temple, altar, all must go down when they obstruct the path of His gracious purpose. The "tabernacle of David" must survive at all costs. In enunciating this fundamental axiom of God's government Amos speaks to us: to our nation, a chosen nation in many respects like Israel when we think of the lavish blessings that God has poured out upon us to enable us to spread His kingdom; to our form of government, democratic and free, so conducive to the building of the Kingdom that many have identified it with God's kingdom and believe that it must continue if the Gospel is to have success; to our Western culture which many feel cannot be replaced as a means of expressing Gospel truths; to our Church, the Church pure in doctrine and practice, which has been such a blessed vehicle for spreading His kingdom. In so many respects we are like God's chosen people of old, of whom Amos said: "I led you," and "1 brought you up from the land of Egypt" (2: 10) . To us Amos says: "Yes, God will use all this to accomplish His will; but God must destroy it from its roots that the 'tabernacle of David' may be raised and sustained." America, Western culture, the democratic form of government, the Lutheran Church -all this is not too costly in God's economy of salvation if it obstructs His purpose of grace. Amos proclaims that God is going to use a means to destroy His people in order to preserve His People that seemed utterly unworthy of Him. The Assyrians, the most cruel and bloody war HOMILETICS 927 machine of the time, guilty itself of every crime against man and God, this nation, says Amos, God is going to use as His instru­ment. What Amos said must have appeared as unthinkable and insane to this smug and self-satisfied Israel, and yet "God, for the time being, would be on the Assyrian side" (Pulpit Commentary, p. 123). Does it seem as impossible to us that God should use atheistic Communism, this rule of terror, to destroy nations that call themselves Christian in order to preserve a "remnant of Jo­seph" and to tear down the church that claims His name in order to build "the tabernacle of David"? Therefore Amos calls on us not only to be spectators of what happened to Israel as a people and a church when it crossed God's plan for His People and His Church. When Amos lays down this axiom of cause and effect in history, he does not encase it in a vacuum of past political theory. He marshals facts and figures to show how this dispensation of God is working out in the concrete realities of Israel's everyday life. With scalpel sharpness He cuts deeply into the body of Israel and lays bare the malignancy that has eaten away the vitals of the nation. What He bares to view as the cause of Israel's decay cannot merely be interesting reading for us. The rottenness of State and Church that he finds has the same putrid odor among us. And it can only be an odor of death if something drastic is not done. For the God of Amos is always the same; He does not change from New Deal to Fair Deal or to any other expediency in His government; His "because" and His "therefore" remain immutable. This similarity of the causes of Israel's doom with conditions of today and the imminence of judgment that Amos foresees must make us fear and tremble as we preach from this prophetic book. They (the prophets) are almost as much our contemporaries as they were contemporaries of their own generation ... it is possible that the utterances of these leaders of Israel are even more per­tinent today than at the time their voices thundered through the cities and across the hills of Ephraim .... It must be remembered that the writings of these Israelite prophets display a unique time­lessness. They deal with those fundamental problems of life which are eternally present in every generation. (Rolland E. Wolfe, Meet Amos and Hosea, 1945.) 928 HOMILETICS How does Amos preach this difficult message? First of all, he does preach the message. He does not withdraw from the raw facts of life into a mysticism of a suprahistorical indifference. He does not remain on the desert heights of Tekoah and from the quiet solitude of its mountaintop commune with the stars of God over­head while the earth quakes underfoot. His call is not away from the earthly occupations of sheep and figs to the supramundane of speculation and contemplation. He finds his topic in the realities of sin on the board of trade, in the courtroom, in the cocktail parties, in the false and hypocritical worship. He does not shirk from letting God's Word apply to every area of man's relation to man and to God: upon social injustice, moral decay, pious cant-in whatever form these show themselves, he pronounces the woe of the righteous God. But he is not a revolutionary fanatic. Many see in Amos a heartless preacher of earthquake and doom and darkness. "Ihm fehlt die Liebe" (Cornill). Not a spark of sympathy, they say, warms his cold heart. However, is it not true in general that men will never find in God's Word what suits their taste? What concerns Amos is that he serve as the mouthpiece of Him "who took me from following the sheep." Others of his time may have shrugged their shoulders about the conditions of the day; some may have expressed regrets that they were what they were, and let the matter rest. But here we have a man whose soul burns from inner wounds and who must speak because "the Lord hath showed me." Hence he is not the wild agitator; not the uncouth peasant who fulminates against urban culture; not the "has not" who is jealous of "them as has"; not the revolutionary who only wants to destroy. Again and again he does indeed say: "The palaces shall be burned with fire," how­ever, not because they are an accomplishment of man's skill and ingenuity, but because when men feel that they are secure in the work of their hands and when culture builds its towers of Babel to defy God, then a man like Amos must let God's earthquake shake the foundation of man's pride and his faith in his self­sufficiency. And this message does not come from an unsympathetic heart. "0 Lord God, forgive, I beseech Thee" (7:2). These are not the HOMILETICS 929 words of a fanatic agitator. An intercessory prayer like this comes from a heart that is touched to the point of melting by the sin and hardness of the people. Again "his denunciation becomes a dirge" in chapter five. In plaintive tones he bemoans the fallen virgin Israel. Thus he identifies himself with his people; the hurt of his people is his pain. He still pleads with them as "my people." Even where Amos does not put it into words, we feel it in the overtones of his preaching that he does not delight in the doom that he proclaims merely for destruction's sake. At the same time Amos did not preach in the name of a social reform. He is not the spokesman of some political or social move­ment. He is not aiming at establishing a new setup in the political or social world. To be sure, he deals concretely with every phase of man's living together. He hales before the judgment bar the business sharper, the venial official, the drunken dames of wealth, and the slave-labor magnate. But he presents no program for the control of the political, social, economic, and educational life of his nation. His cure for all this is: "Hear the Word of the Lord." "Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate" (5: 15 ). "Let judgment run down as waters and righteousness as a mighty stream" (5: 24). "The contents of the book lie between the expressions: 'Thus saith the Lord' (1: 3) and 'Saith the Lord thy God'" (9:15). (Pulpit Commentary, p. 7.) Amos also proclaims that there is a connection between sin and national calamities in Israel as well as among the heathen nations. Here again we are not standing before the scene of this book as spectators, but have reason to look about us for similar situations. "The connection between sin and suffering does indeed abound in mysteries; yet it is a reality not to be denied. It is dangerous for us confidently to interpret the plans of divine providence. Yet God Most High is the supreme Ruler of the nations, and in His own Word His 'dealings' with the nations are interpreted with unerring justice and truth. The several disasters recounted in this passage as having befallen Israel are declared to have been in the nature of chastisements designed to awaken reflection and to call to repentance and to newness of life. 'The voice of the rod' is sometimes effectual, and always morally authoritative. . . . The power of man to resist the appeals and the entreaties, the commands, and the chastise-59 930 HOMILETICS ments of a righteous God is one of the most surprising and awful facts of the moral universe." (PttZpit Commentary, p. 76.) How to preach on Amos? The answer is: Like Amos: obedient to the responsibility of a watchman; fearless in naming sin; sym­pathetic in heart; believing that we may ask in prayer to the last moment; trusting in the Redeemer of Israel, who atoned for every sin. THE MESSAGE OF THE TEXT The central words of the text are "famine" and "thirst." In other words, it speaks about basic human needs that crave for satisfaction and that must be met if men are to eixst. Two kinds of hunger and thirst are mentioned. The first is a "famine of bread" and "thirst for water." We need not demonstrate the necessity of bread and water as an ab­solute need for the physical existence of man; everyone knows it. But not all people are willing to admit what is intimated in the text, namely, that it is God who also supplies these necessities (Is. 48:21; Ps.104:10-11) and can withdraw them: "l will send." (4:6-9; Ps.105:16; Ezek.4:16.) The second hunger and thirst is that "of hearing the words of the Lord." Amos does not set out to prove that man needs this want supplied if he is not to shrivel up, starve, and die in the fullest sense of temporal dissolution and eternal destruction. It is one of the unargued axioms of his message that man has more than physical wants which God must supply and which are here sum­marized by the general term "bread." God gives man bread to feed his body; and He has so made man that his organs can draw the necessary nourishment from proteins and carbohydrates and fats. The digestive juices can draw sus­tenance from bread, while rock or iron cannot be assimilated into strength. God gave man a mind. It, too, seeks satisfaction. But it cannot digest meat and potatoes; it needs a diet of mental things to satisfy the hunger of his thinking. God also gave man a soul. The soul has an appetite, a craving for satisfaction. And God made it so that it cannot still its hunger with bread of wheat nor with a diet of mental food. If it is to live and not starve, it needs soul food: God and His Word. Man is a famished creature no matter how much he stuffs his HOMILETICS 931 body with bread and no matter how much thought he funnels into his mind. Whether he admits it or not, this famine is real, and its effects are enervating and end in death. Not only does he remain unhappy because the basic need of his being is not satisfied; but starving spiritually, he lacks the energizing power to organize life into a satisfying and workable pattern. Cut off from the proper diet for his soul, man remains completely helpless: his sociology remains a chaos of conflicting ideologies, his ethics does not rise above the jungle law of the survival of the fittest, his political science does every violence to the dignity of man, his economy ends in the exploitation of the weak. Witness what men have done to each other in recent years (and throughout history) when they thought they could ignore this prime need of mankind. And then we have not mentioned the famine that sets in when man bids farewell forever to the bread that filled his stomach and the things with which he filled his mind, and enters that world where, cut off from God, an eternal famine reigns. The text does not only mention two kinds of famines, it also suggests the comparison of the two that has just been touched upon. When God withdraws bread for the body, that is bad (EzelL 4:16; 14:13), but He will send "not (merely) a famine nor (merely) a thirst for water," but (what is worse) of "hearing the words of the Lord." This famine is judgment in its fullest form. When this doom comes upon man, "his strength shall be hunger­bitten, and destruction shall be ready at his side" (Job 18:12). Then the sun goes down on his brightest day, then the earth quakes under his feet, and then "the horns of the altar shall be cut off," and the "songs of the Temple shall be howlings" (3: 14; 8: 3). "Such is ever the end of departing from God -songs palsied into silence are turned into wailing . . . death stalking supreme and silence brooding over all" (Alexander Maclaren, Expositions of Scripture, VI, 171). The first thing that such a famine of hearing the Word of the Lord does is to show how inadequate for man's needs all the things were that man had used as "Ersatz" for the Bread of Life. Such a substitution is always idolatry. Man makes to himself gods who, he thinks, will provide his needs but whom he can control. But whether the idols be set up like the calves of Bethel (4:4; 5:5) or 932 HOMILETICS whether they be established in the temples of money and man's pride and self-sufficiency, they will tumble from their pedestals as absolutely worthless. Men will realize that they have "rejoiced in a thing of nought," when they said: "Have we not taken to us horns by our own strength?" (6: 13.) And the remarkable thing about this famine is that it sets in when men think that the idols are supplying them in abundance with their needs. When the palaces seem stronger and bigger than ever, when the "king's chapel" (7: 13) drew large crowds, when men were "at ease in Samaria," when they were lying "upon beds of ivory" and "eating the lambs out of the flock and the calves out of the midst of the stall" and "chanting to the sound of the viol" ( 6: 4-5 ), when they had "put far away the evil day" (6: 3) -then suddenly the famine will come. This is not only Old Testament doctrine; Jesus Himself said: "Woe unto you that are full! For ye shall hunger" (Luke 6: 25 ) . Though full of bread, supplied by his idols (as he thought), "it shall even be as when an hungry man dreameth, and, behold, he eateth; but he awaketh, and his soul is empty; or as when a thirsty man dreameth, and, behold, he drinketh; but he awaketh, and, behold, he is faint, and his soul hath appetite: so shall the multitude of all the nations be that fight against Mount Zion" (Is. 29: 8 ). When men say, like Gomer of old: "I will go after my lovers that give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, mine oil and my drink" (Hos. 2: 5 ), they always end where Gomer ended, in slavery and starvation, and where the younger son landed in the far country with only the remembrance: "How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!" (Luke 15: 17.) This famine is bad because all man-made devices to escape its ravages are in vain. Wherever man turns, he meets only new pains: "As if a man did flee from a lion and a bear met him; or went into the house and leaned his hand on the wall and a serpent bit him" (5 : 19) . That is the fearful mystery of this famine. When man sees that one idol failed to supply his needs, he quickly manufactures other idols which are just as inane. Idolatry always is polytheism. Men today may admit that the future is hopeless and may speak about the Untergang des Westens, and yet under-HOMILETICS 933 neath there is always the hope that in some idol of natural evolu­tion things will develop into a stable situation. This famine cannot be avoided, says the text. "The days are coming," coming as surely as any effect follows a cause. Amos sees these days of famine on the march and nothing able to block their advance. How does he know this? Answer: "Thus saith the Lord." No prating about love, no protesting about culture will deflect these marching days of doom. The citizens of Samaria have feasted and sit surfeited, they have drunk and are singing in revelry, there seems to be an unlimited supply of everything for the future; yet they are going to starve in all this superabundance, yea, be­cause of it. Why does God impose this doom? The answer is: because men bring it upon themselves. He had given this word in abundance to Israel in the past by prophetic utterance and by deeds of provi­dence (2:11; 2:10). But they "gave the Nazarites wine to drink and commanded the prophets, saying: 'Prophesy not''' (2:12). To Amos, who bore the Word of God to them, they said: "0 thou seer, go, flee thee away into the land of Judah, and there eat bread, and prophesy there; but prophesy not again any more at Bethel; for itis the king's chapel, and itis the king's court" (7: 12-13 ). But will God withhold His sustaining Word even when the famine is upon men and they seek to allay their hunger? Yes, even then: "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" (8: 12). All strength gone, men reel in all directions for sustenance and do not find it. Not only will the Word of the Lord be "precious in those days" (1 Sam. 3: 1 ), it will cease entirely. There comes a time when God says to His Prophet: "Thou shalt be dumb and shalt not be to them a reprover" (Ezek. 3:26). Then the cry will go up from many a Saul in a witch's hovel: "God is departed from me and answereth me no more" (I Sam. 28: 15 ). God is not mocked. Because I have called and ye refused; I have stretched out My hand and no man regarded; but ye have set at nought all My counsel and would none of My reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; when your fear cometh as desolation and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; 934 HOMILETICS when distress and anguish cometh upon you. Then shall they call upon Me, but I will not answer; they shall seek Me early, but they shall not find Me. (Prov.1:24-28.) Furthermore, in so many instances their desire for God is not genuine, but "made in abject fear, in which there is no element of loyalty or love" (Pulpit Commentary, p.168). "Men hunger and thirst for it ( the Word), but indeed in many instances not in the right spirit. They desire to hear promises and comfort as quickly as possible" (Lange's Commentary, p.57). "Wer Gottes Wort nicht will, dem solI es so fern genug kommen, dass er's nimmer­mehr finden mag, wenn er's gern haette" (Luther in Daechsel's Bibelwerk ). That is another mystery of this doom. Starving, they refuse to let go of that which brought on the famine. Even when the "fair virgins and young men [the sturdiest} faint for thirst" (8: 13), they still continue to "swear by the sin of Samaria and say: Thy god, 0 Dan, liveth" (8:14). G. also Is.8:12. The need of God and His Word to supply the need of man is expressed in a positive way in many parts of Scripture. "As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after Thee, o God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God; when shall I come and appear before God?" (Ps.42:1-2.) Cf. also Ps.143:6. Scriptures also promise positively that God will fill this need. "For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit upon thy seed and My bless­ing upon thine offspring" (ls.44:3). Cf. also Is.49: 10 and 55: 1-3. God can and does supply this need because His Son cried out: "In My thirst they gave Me vinegar to drink" (Ps. 69: 21 ). Cf. also Rev. 21:6. The blessings of God in His Word really satisfy man's need. "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled" (Matt. 5 : 6). Cf. also Ps. 34: 9-11; 63: 1-5 ; Rev. 7:16-17; John 4:14-15; 7:37; Luke 1:53; 6:21. THE MESSAGE OF THE TEXT IN THE CONTEXT The larger context of the time of Amos' activity has already been touched upon. A few historical facts are necessary to round out the picture. HOMILETICS 935 When Amos was called from Tekoah in Judah (near Beth­lehem), the kingdom of David and of Solomon had been divided for about 200 years. After both sections of the nation had for the most part of this period gone through a rather inglorious era, suf­fering invasion and humiliation from one another and from for­eigners, now a period of prosperity had come. The territory of the northern and southern kingdoms combined once again ap­proached the extent of David's and Solomon's empire. Amos'mes­sage is directed mainly to the northern part, Israel, and its capital, Samaria. These were boom days in Israel. There are many refer­ences in the book to the great amount of wealth that was flowing into the nation. As always, prosperity put the hardest strain on the nation. Amos says: It won't last. And it didn't. Thirty years after the death of Jeroboam II, the occupant of the throne at that time, Samaria was in ruins, and the people had gone into captivity "be_ yond Damascus" into Assyrian hands. The prosperous era was an "Indian summer"; the killing frost of winter was close at hand. The context of the doom pronounced by Amos in these verses can readily be gained from the few chapters of this book. There was a "because" for this terrible "therefore" of the Lord. The famine for the Word imposed by the Lord came because men had rejected the Word. And the results of this rejection became apparent in three main areas: 1. The false worship of Bethel and the formal religious cant (2:7-13; 4:4-5; 5:4-6; 5:21-27; 6:10; 7:13); 2. Immorality of every kind (2:7-8; 4:1; 6:1-14; 9:10); 3. Social evils (2:6-7; 3:15; 4:1-3; 5:7-15; 8:48). The counterpart of the situation in our day is not hard to find. The immediate context of the text makes these verses the climax of Amos' preaching of doom. After he had pronounced judgment upon Israel and Judah as well as upon some foreign nations and had given a description and the reasons for this visitation in the first six chapters, he tells us of five visions that the Lord had showed him (7: 1-9: 1 0 ). These visions deal with the same topic in a more graphic and vivid manner. They are in climactic order. The destruction in the form of locusts (7:1-3) and the drought (7:4-6) was averted by the inter-936 HOMILETICS cession of the Prophet. The next two visions, that of the plumb line and that of the basket of figs, portray and emphasize the unalterable decision of the Lord to let justice take its course (7: 7 -17; 8: 1-3 ) . The fifth vision (9: 1-10) no longer portrays the doom in figures of speech; here Amos sees the Lord Himself wielding the sword over altar and people. The text itself is part of the elaboration of the fourth vision: "The end is come." Israel is ripe for judgment. When the fruit is ripe, there is nothing more for God to do than to "put in the sickle, for the harvest is come." To explain to what extent this judgment of doom will overtake his people, i\ . .mos adds the words of the text: not only physical deprivations, but even spiritual famine. The question whether Amos received these visions before or after his appearance in the northern kingdom is not important. Although the closing words of promise (9: 11-15) are regarded by many as a later addition to the authentic words of Amos, the reasons for this conclusion are purely speculative. A man of faith like Amos must have hope. TEXTUAL NOTES There are no serious linguistic problems in the text. A lexicon will clear up any language difficulty. Although the sophisticated officialdom dismissed Amos with the sneer: "Can any good thing come from Tekoah?" his language is considered some of the purest in the Old Testament. V.11. "Days are coming": this participle indicates the steady, uninterrupted flow of these deluge days. To discard the first six words because they disturb the poetic structure is a precarious procedure, to say the least. -"I will send a famine into the land." The LXX adds "and a thirst" after the word "famine." The Greek likewise adds the word "famine" before the words "to hear the words of the Lord." "Words" is given as a singular noun by the LXX and other versions as well as by some manuscripts. V.12. The verb "wander" has the connotation of wavering, reeling, staggering. "To run to and fro" has the overtones of haste, urgency, also that of frantic indecision. Cf. Jer. 5: 1. -"From sea to sea" is interpreted by some: From the Dead Sea to the Medi­terranean Sea, as in Joel 2:20 and Zech.14:8. Perhaps better: HOMILETICS 937 "Beginning at a sea until at the other end of the world they come again to a sea, as in Ps.72:8 and Zech. 9: 10" (Keil). -"From the north even to the east" is evidently a shorter form for: from the north to the south, and from the west to the east. SUGGESTED OUTLINES Our Helplessness Without God is 1. Full-because of our needs 1. of body and soul 2. as individuals and in our living together II. Fatal-because there is no other source of supply for our needs III. Foolish -because it is brought on by man "Graciously Defend Us from ... Famine" by teaching us to I. "Seek not the meat that perisheth," because "man does not live by bread alone" II. "Seek the meat that endureth," because it alone satisfies every need The Hunger of Man 1. is not stilled by bread: do not be misled by all appearances to the contrary! II. can be satisfied only with the Bread of Life: do not reject it! WALTER R. ROEHRS