A Famine in the Land

A Famine in the Land

Scripture: Matthew 24:8, Genesis 41:1-57, Deuteronomy 28:1-68
Date: 08/17/2013 
The Bible tells us there will be famines in the last days, cultural and spiritual famines. If we are prepared, we can weather the famines and storms with God's help. We need to be storing the Word of God in our minds now.

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Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the live broadcast. It is presented as spoken.

Once again, Happy Sabbath! This has already been a rich Sabbath day. If we just had the benediction and went home, I think everyone has been blessed. But you know me better than that. But I do think it’ll be a shorter than normal message so that I don’t want to take advantage of your time or whatever plans you might have for later. Probably is appropriate that the sermon today is called “A Famine in the Land” because you may be feeling famished by the time the sermon is over.

I was doing some fasting and praying this week. It had been a little while since I’ve done that, and I forgot how hungry you get when you fast. What’s the longest you’ve gone without eating? When you get hungry enough, you’ll do just about anything, and you can even get hungry enough where tofu tastes good after a while, by itself. But that would take a few days.

The Bible tells us that there are going to be famines in the last days. Our world, since sin, has seen famines all over the planet. Jesus told us it’s one of the signs of the end. Matthew 24:7,8, “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.”

You can read, even from the very beginning of the Bible, in the book of Genesis the nation of Israel was born out of a great famine—you remember, when Joseph was there. You can read in Genesis 41 he had predicted the dream of the Pharaoh, and the Pharaoh put him in charge of his affairs, a dream telling that there was a great famine coming and God was going to give them a chance to prepare before the famine. If you know a famine’s coming and you can prepare, then that’s very important. Don’t forget that. In Genesis 41:54, “And the seven years of famine began to come, as Joseph had said. The famine was in all lands, but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. So when all the land of Egypt was famished…” You ever said, “I’m famished”? Of course, that comes from the word famine. “When all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread. Then Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, ‘Go to Joseph; whatever he says to you, do.’ The famine was over all the face of the earth, and Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold to the Egyptians. And the famine became severe in the land of Egypt. So all countries came to Joseph in Egypt to buy grain, because the famine was severe in all lands.”

I can remember even when I was young in New York City, during Halloween, we’d go out trick-or-treating, and they gave us these milk cartons, and we would trick-or-treat for UNICEF. Any of you remember UNICEF? It’s because back then there was an especially severe famine in Biafra, and you’ve probably seen the images and pictures of what famine can do. It often starts with a lack of water. Famines can be caused by the weather. It could be because the locusts go through and they eat everything, and because there’s no vegetation, gradually the animals begin to die, and people that have the domestic animals begin to butcher them to have something to eat, and then when that’s gone, people start getting really hungry. And then they begin to just maraud around the land to look for anything they can eat. Pretty soon they cluster together and they go in groups because of rumors that there’s a little food here or there’s a little food there, and situations can become very desperate in lands where there is famine. All you can think about is food.

You can read in the Bible where God foretold through Moses, Deuteronomy chapter 28. He said, “If you obey Me and keep My commandments, you’ll be blessed if you go out and you’ll be blessed if you come in, and I’ll bless your crops and your children and your land.” But He said, “If you do not obey Me and keep My commandments, I will withdraw My blessing, and the rain will not come in its season, and the land will be famished, and it’ll get so severe that you will resort to cannibalism.” That’s a loose paraphrase. And that actually happened. I won’t read those stories because it’s always disturbing, and there are some stories you can read in 2 Kings chapter 6 about a famine in Samaria that got about as bad as it can get. All they could think about was food. If you read in Deuteronomy chapter 28, you’ll see what I’m talking about.

The definition for famine, it’s a widespread scarcity of food caused by several factors including crop failure, overpopulation, war, or government policies. That ought to make us sit up and pay attention. I read somewhere—it was on the internet; it must be true, right? No, but it makes sense to me that if there was some kind of catastrophe that cut off the fuel supply in America for a couple of weeks, that because most of the groceries are bought, and most of this people now don’t live on farms, they live in cities, that the shelves in the average grocery store would be stripped in just a matter of a few days, and within two weeks there would be shortages of food. Because we depend so heavily on the trucks to deliver on a regular, very carefully synchronized basis, the food that you and I take for granted. Hopefully you have a couple of zucchini in your backyard this time of year, but that won’t last long because your neighbors know it. And I’ve often heard people say that—how many of you know the Mormons store food? All right, so you know who your Mormon neighbors are? It’s probably not a bad idea to have a little storage, but we’re not just talking about that kind of famine, though that’s part of it. National famines are not a new thing, and we’re not immune, believe it or not.

You can read that Abraham, still in the book of Genesis, it tells us in Genesis 12:10, God seems to always choose His people in the context of a famine. Think about that for a minute. God seems to choose His people in the context of a famine. Genesis 12:10, “There was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to dwell there, for the famine was severe in the land.” Abraham is introduced early on, and it happens there’s a famine. Now you go to Isaac, second of the great patriarchs. Genesis 26:1, “There was a famine in the land, besides the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines, in Gerar.” So Abraham goes to Egypt, Isaac goes to the land of Philistia. Famine in the land of Isaac. How about Jacob? Genesis 47:4, “And they said to Pharaoh, ‘We have come to dwell in the land, because your servants have no pasture for their flocks, for the famine is severe in the land of Canaan. Now therefore, please let your servants dwell in the land of Goshen.’” Again. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob. Famine. These were the ancestors of the Messiah.

Even when you get to David, who is the next one… The Bible tells sequentially who the Messiah would come through—would come through Abraham, and then through his son Isaac, not Ishmael. Famine. And then it would come through Jacob, not Esau. There’s a famine. And it would come through the tribe of Judah (there’s a famine during the time of Judah), and it would come through the house of David. You know how David is first introduced? David is not first introduced in the book of David. There is no book of David. David is introduced in the book of Ruth. How does the book of Ruth begin? Famine. Famine in Bethlehem. You know what Bethlehem means? “House of bread.” Doesn’t that sound like an oxymoron that there would be a famine in the house of bread? Could there be a famine in the church for the word of God? A famine in the house of bread—that just sounds like a real conflict of terms. Read in Ruth, “…it came to pass, in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem, Judah, went to dwell in the country of Moab” (there must have been food in Moab), “he and his wife [Naomi] and his two sons.”

There have been national famines all through history. I went online and just looked at some of the great famines, and it would make you shudder. Most of them I bet most of us don’t know about. For instance, there was a famine in East Prussia in 1708-1711; 250,000 people, or 41% of its population, died. Can you imagine what would happen? We would only have half the membership if we had that kind of famine here in Sacramento. These are just a few of the great famines of history. In 1845-1849, a great famine in Ireland killed more than 1 million people; 1.5 to 2 million immigrated out. That’s when you get the great immigration that came to Chicago and New York. That’s why all the policemen there are Irish. They came because of the famine. In 1888-1892, there was a great Ethiopian famine; one third of the population died. There have been others since then.

Just in the last century, 1959-1961, because of the Communist policies and bad weather combined, there was a great famine in China. According to government statistics, 15 million people died. But that was the public relations figures that were shared. Some estimates go up to as high as 30 million people died from a famine. That has to be pretty severe, when people are starving on that scale. Just in the last few years, you’ve heard about famines in North Korea—again, combination of bad weather, bad government policies. They estimate that somewhere between 600,000 and 3 million people died from the famine in North Korea.

You can have government famines, and you can also have a cultural famine, because in a minute we’re going to be talking about spiritual famines. What does a cultural famine look like? Cultures are healthy when they have morals and values and truth and policies that support growth and good relationships. I wonder if we’re having a cultural famine now. This last week Governor Brown signed a new law, AB 1266. It’s a landmark decision for transgender Americans. It gives students the right to participate in sex-segregated programs, activities, and facilities, based on their self perception, regardless of their birth gender. A loose translation is now that if young people in school feel more like a girl than a boy, even though they may be a boy or girl, they can use either restroom. And if they’re feeling like being more like a girl than a boy or being more like a boy than a girl, they can join either team—soccer team… I had a friend, doctor, called me this week; he said, “Doug, I’m just wondering, how long is it going to be before the teenage boys realize that they can just pretend they’re feeling like a girl and go into the girls’ locker room?” I don’t know if they have to say, “This is how I feel this month,” or if you have to feel a certain way for a certain period of time. Is it just me, or is there a famine in the land? That to me is—I just don’t know what to think.

The Bible says, Deuteronomy 22:5, “A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman’s garment, for all who do so are an abomination to the Lord.” In other words, you have a healthy culture when they recognize, support, and encourage, that there is a distinction between a boy and a girl, a man and a woman, and we ought to act that way because it really does create a difference. The Bible says, “Honor your father and your mother.” It mentions them separately because they are separate and they are to remain separate, and when we begin to blur and amalgamate, the foundation of the society is the family, so that the government is encouraging people to be its instead of a man or a woman, a boy or a girl, it causes no limit of confusion that can lead to a real cultural famine. I could go on and on and talk about what’s happening with same-sex marriage and all these other policies that are encouraging just, I think, a real breakdown of definitions in our culture, in our society.

And then I heard congressmen now are lobbying that the military should have atheist chaplains. That’s right! Check on it. If you haven’t heard that yet, I’m surprised. But the idea being, you can understand the logic—don’t agree with it, but you can understand the logic. The chaplains are there to nurture the spiritual needs of the servicemen and -women, and because there may be a rabbi chaplain or a Protestant or a Catholic chaplain—there are even some Buddhist chaplains to minister to the Buddhist believers, but on that same theme, a lot of atheists are in the military, and so congressmen are saying, “Look, if we’re going to be fair, we need to have atheist chaplains” to pray with the soldiers that are believing in nothing. Do you know the chaplains were started by George Washington for the idea—the chaplaincy actually was started by Washington, bringing God to the soldiers and the soldiers to God. And the motto of the chaplains is “For God and Country.” So what would the motto for an atheist chaplain be? “For Nothing and Country”? Is it my idea, or is it possible that there’s a famine in the land?

We go so far in trying to be sensitive and politically correct for everybody, that we end up being incorrect for everybody, and you get where nothing matters. By the way, if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything. And you put that together with some other facts. Public schools won’t allow the reading of the Bible in the school, but prisons require that the State buys Bibles for all the inmates. So the idea is, if you don’t give them Bibles when they’re students, the State can make money off of them later. Wouldn’t it be better to let them read the Bible while they’re students?

You can be arrested if you disrupt or harm the nest of a spotted owl. You could actually get thrown in jail for bothering some endangered species, but you can execute an unborn child, and you’ll be protected by the government. Is it just me, or could there be a famine in the land? In some states you can actually go to a doctor who will help you kill yourself. Is it me, or does it seem like there’s a conflict of terms, that—“Call the doctor, I think I’m living, and I want to die”? But it’s come to that.

You can be a politician and you can cheat on your wife and you can send obscene pictures around, and you can run for a second term and get elected. So you can break your marriage vows, but you can still run on a platform of truth. Is there something wrong with that? Is it me, or is there maybe a famine in the land?

Really, the important thing I wanted to talk about was the spiritual famine, because I don’t know that you and I are going to solve all the political problems, and I probably already got more political this morning than I should have. But there is a spiritual famine in the land. You can live in a country where the average family in America has four or five Bibles. Show of hands, how many of you have at least three Bibles in your home? Well, I guess the surveys are right, then. I don’t know how many we have. We must have 20 Bibles in our house, and that’s a conservative estimate, not to mention about 50 different Bibles on our computers, different translations. There are two conflicting axioms. One is, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder,” meaning that when you’re away from something, you’ll start to really long for it. And then the other axiom is that “familiarity breeds contempt.” When you have something around all the time, you just get tired of it or you take it for granted, and could it be that we have so many Bibles that we could be having a famine in Bethlehem, a famine in the house of bread?

I didn’t hear it, but I read that Jay Leno does these man-on-the-street interviews, and he was asking people about the Ten Commandments and the Bible, and one question I remember is he asked, “Who does the Bible say was swallowed by a whale?” And a young college student said, “Pinocchio” with a straight face. I don’t know that this generation is getting even more biblically literate—could be getting worse. Can’t be saved without faith, and what do you need for faith? “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” That’s Romans 10:17. If we’re going to have saving faith, then we need to know our Bibles. This is the bread of life. Jesus is called the Bread of Life. He is the Word, and the Word incarnate is the Bible, and if we don’t know our Bibles—.

Can you prepare for a famine if you know it’s coming? How did Joseph know the famine was coming? God supernaturally revealed that a famine was coming. Did Jesus tell us there were going to be famines in the last days? I won’t ask for a show of hands, but I’ll bet some of you have a little food squirreled away, just in case. They say it’s a good idea. I’m not going to tell you if we do, because you’ll all show up at our house when the famine comes. But if I told you a spiritual famine was coming, would you store some food? “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin.” How was it that Noah survived the Flood? Well, he built an ark, but that’s not all. He built an ark, and he put all the animals on board. But he did more than that. He needed to store food for himself and the animals. If Noah had built the ark and put the animals on the ark and had not stored food for that year—it rained 40 days and 40 nights, but they were on the ark for a year approximately—there would be a whole lot of extinct species. But the point being, in order to get through the Flood, he had to store. Is there a storm coming? Did Jesus say the wise man builds on the rock, the foolish man builds on the sand, and the storm comes to the wise man and to the fool? God said there’s a storm coming, and if your ark is going to make it through, we need to be storing now the Word of God in our minds.

The average young person on the street, if you were to ask them about American Idol or The Voice or Who’s Got Talent, or a number of other popular shows, they could tell you the names and tell you the songs, and if you ask them who was swallowed by a whale, they’d say, “Pinocchio,” because they watch Disney but they don’t read their Bibles. There’s a famine. The Bible says that famine would be for the Word of God.

When there’s a famine, if people are not eating what’s good, they’ll eat what’s bad. I read about the famine in China that I was telling you about earlier, that one in 1959. People got so hungry they would eat anything just to take away the pain from the vacuum within. I planned on fasting longer this week when I was fasting and praying, but I got so hungry I caved in, and I started thinking about this. I thought, “You just get hungry! It’s all you can think about!” They were eating clay in China, and the clay wouldn’t kill them. It would give them a sensation of being filled, but it had no nutritional value, so they were starving. They’ve got a plant in Australia called the nardoo plant, and the spores of that plant can be made into a porridge or a bread, and you can eat it and it’ll have a taste, and it’ll give you the sense of being fulfilled, but it has no carbohydrates or nutrition or vitamins in it, and so you can eat that and be starving at the same time and not know you’re starving. A lot of people are eating what the media feeds them, and they don’t realize that they’re spiritually malnourished. They have the sensation of being entertained and filled, but they have a vitamin deficiency. The Bible says we need to eat that which is good.

They have this pyramid about foods, and the most important foods they say are your grains and your carbohydrates, and you have your fruits and your nuts on the second layer, and this is not what we believe, I’m just telling you what the federal agency that tells us what we’re supposed to eat and drink. They have this pyramid of nutrition, and then they have the meats and the dairy and the cheese. In the top they have the candy and the other things—just supposed to be a little bit on the top like the dessert. I think it’s like 85% or 90% of the advertising dollars in North America are spent on the most useless food. You don’t see a lot of advertising being spent on bread and vegetables. You ever see a commercial lately on vegetables? You see all the advertising on the junk food, at the top, and people also want the spiritual junk food.

It just made me think—I don’t know how to weave this into the sermon, but this last week I was at the ASI meeting, and they had really good food during the convention there in Orlando, and thousands of people, literally, came. I remember after eating the food, I went and I saw there was some dessert—blueberry cobbler, some kind of berry cobbler—and I thought, “Oh, that’s good,” and as I picked up the dessert, they also had peanut butter there. You can ask my family, but I love peanut butter. I put peanut butter in my cereal every morning. When I was in the cave, my basics were peanut butter and whatever else I happened to have. I love peanut butter. So, I thought, “I’ll bet peanut butter would be very good with berry cobbler.” Doesn’t that sound good? I was almost embarrassed because I looked around, and I put a big old gob of this peanut butter on my berry cobbler, and I went back and sat down with some delightful people in this conversation, and we’re all dressed—, it was Sabbath meal, and I took my first bite, and I thought, “Oh, this—what is this?” And I was trying to think, “Do I have to swallow it, or can I just spit it out without looking really vulgar?” I chewed it, and I choked it down, and the next day, I went back, and they had that peanut butter again, and I looked, and they had a little sign in front of it. It said, “Vegan Tofu Cheese Spread,” and I thought that might have been okay on crackers, but it wasn’t good on that berry cobbler—vegan tofu cheese spread!

Let me read you a scripture. Isaiah 55:1, “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat…. Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance.” Jesus said that for us to be in heaven we need to be a people that hunger and thirst. How many of you want to say, “I want to be a hungry, thirsty person?” No one wants to be hungry and thirsty right now physically, do you? Who says, “Oh, I can’t wait to start another day and be hungry and thirsty?” But Jesus says you have to be hungry and thirsty for righteousness. Some of you have gone to someone’s house, and they offer you a bite, and you’re not really hungry, but to be polite you eat it. Or they might say, “Let me get you something to drink,” and you’re not really thirsty, but to be polite, you say, “Well, sure, thank you,” and you take a little bit. But you have to want to be hungry and thirsty for the Word of God and for truth.

David, being a shepherd out on the fields, knowing what it’s like to chase a sheep and get hot and dry and hungry and thirsty, he said, “As the hart”—as the deer—“panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee.” In a famine, people get really hungry. All they can think about is finding food. Every day they wake up—find food, find water! Every day. Can God supply it? Deuteronomy 8:3 (Jesus quotes this, by the way), “He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.” So now is when we need to be storing up this food.

Here’s the big question. God has told us a famine is coming. There is probably going to be a real, physical famine. I believe we’re going to have famine in America. I don’t know when, but historically… We’ve already had famines in America, did you know that? The biggest locust plague in the world was recorded in North America, and those locusts are now extinct. They’re the Rocky Mountain locusts. They had one stream of locusts that stretched from the Rocky Mountains 1800 miles, a cloud of locusts. It was measured. That’s longer than California. A cloud of locusts, you can read about it. Within a few years those locusts became extinct. But following those years of those locusts, there was a famine in the Midwest, and it was the first time the U.S. Military was used to bring food to people. Famine here in America, we don’t think about that now because it seems like it’s just so impossible—so many supermarkets, so much abundance. I think there’s going to be famine in our country someday—physical famine. You know another reason I believe that? Because I believe the Bible, and the Bible says—God says—that “if My people turn away and cease to obey Me, I’ll withdraw, I’ll withhold the blessings of heaven.” God is patient, and He puts up with a lot, but finally someday He’s going to show us that He is the One who supplies everything, and people turn to God when they get hungry enough.

But I think there’s also a spiritual famine. I think we’re in the midst of it right now. It’s not a famine for food or a thirst for water but for the Word of God, and people are going to go from north to south and east to west and seek the Word of God and not hear it. You can go from church to church, and you can hear all kinds of pablum. People will quote a fragment of one verse, and then they’ll talk about all kinds of other interesting illustrations and anecdotes, and not really feeding people with the bread of God, with the Word of God. I think we need to learn to feed ourselves. We can’t always depend on fast food. People want fast food at church, too. We can’t always depend on the pastor to spoon feed us. We have to learn to feed ourselves.

The good news is that the Bible teaches consistently God can feed His people even during a time of famine. Did He do it for Elijah? You remember that story where Elijah said, “Because you are not trusting in the Lord, He is withdrawing the blessings of heaven. You’re giving Baal credit for the rain, and there’s going to be a famine.” And God sent ravens that fed Elijah during this time of famine. There was a brook where he drank, and the ravens brought food twice a day. And then a little later, when the brook dried up, he went and he stayed with a widow, and God worked a miracle where He multiplied the oil and the flour, and He fed Elijah during that time of famine when he was with the widow.

And then, even after God brought down the fire and the rain on Mount Carmel, Elijah had to run for his life because Jezebel was trying to kill him. There’s no time in the Bible—I challenge you to find one—there’s no time in the Bible when any individual was in a more famished environment than when Elijah, during a famine, went out into the wilderness. Now, a wilderness is a famished area anyway. Don’t forget—could God feed Israel in the wilderness with bread? A desert is pretty famished in the best of times. Elijah went into the desert after three and a half years of famine in the best part of the land. The best part of the land—land that used to be milk and honey, they’re starving, then he goes into a desert. Lays down under a broom tree, and an angel feeds him there when he wakes up with some kind of miraculous—. We’d love to patent this, because he drank what the angel gave him, he ate what the angel gave him, and he went in the strength of that one meal 40 days and 40 nights.

So can God sustain His people during a time of famine? So even though people may not be hearing or studying the Word of God in the world around us, and even though our culture might be going to Hades in a hand basket with its policies, and even though there can be a national famine, you don’t have to be hungry, you don’t have to be thirsty. You know why? Jesus said, “I am that bread that came down from heaven.” He said unless we eat His flesh and drink His blood, that’s what we’re to hunger and thirst for. “I am the bread who comes down from heaven.” John 6:35, you’ll “never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.” If you have Jesus, you don’t have to ever be afraid.

I think about that verse that you can read in Isaiah. It’s one of my favorite. Isaiah 40:29, “He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”

Are you hungry and are you thirsty for God? Are you feeding your soul now? We need to be storing away that bread of life. The Holy Spirit promises that when you need it, He will bring it back to you, but He’s not going to bring it back to you if you don’t store it first. You cannot pray that God will help you remember something you’ve never read. You cannot pray that God will remind you of an experience you’ve never had. You need to be reading the Word now and having those experiences now and storing away, because I think that there’s a famine in the church, a famine for the Word of God. There’s a famine in our culture. There may be a famine physically in the land someday, but God can feed His people. Your bread and water will be sure. Isn’t that the promise? But we have to do our part to feed on His Word now and come to Jesus. How many of you would like to say, “Lord, I want to hunger and thirst for Your righteousness”? Is that your prayer?

Let’s turn to that beautiful hymn, “Fill My Cup,” 493, and we’ll stand together as we sing.

[Hymn]

We’re going to sing all three verses, but before we sing the second verse, I just am always afraid I’ll miss an opportunity for someone who may be visiting today or might be one of our regular family, and the Holy Spirit is speaking to you and you recognize that you’ve not been satisfying that hunger and that thirst for Jesus and righteousness, or maybe you’ve been trying to fill that void with the bread that will not satisfy, and you have some special need or there’s a burden you’re carrying, and you’d just like to bring it to the Lord and before we close ask the church family to join you in prayer for that. As we sing the second verse, if that describes you, or if you just have never accepted Jesus and you want to do that today, you can come and do that publicly right now. As we sing verse 2, come, and we’ll pray with you.

[Hymn]

Father, we come before You today, and we pray You’ll forgive us for the futile efforts we make, trying to eat the sawdust that the world has offered. Lord, we know that storing that up, it will only breed worms and stink, that it’ll never satisfy. Help us, Lord, to recognize how crucial it is to feed and feast on the Word that You’ve provided—Your own body, Your own blood, to be nourished with Your own self. I pray right now in these years and weeks of grace that linger, that we’ll first and foremost store up Your Word in our hearts, that we’ll store up our experience with You and our faith, so that when those trying times of famine come, we have something to draw upon. I pray that we’ll fortify our minds with Your truth.

And also, Lord, we know that though we can be surrounded with a world, a culture, and policies where we just see that we’re bankrupt—there’s a famine in the land, help us to have a revival in our country and return to some of the principles that made us great. And if it means that we need to pray like Elijah that You withhold the blessings of heaven to bring Your people back to God, then do it, Lord, whatever it takes. But help us to know that You can feed us during this time. Bless us. You’ve told us that we can go to Jesus just like the Israelites went to Joseph, and He’ll feed us. We’re coming to You today, Lord. Fill our souls. Be with those who have come forward. Whatever the burdens are, whatever the needs are—the healing, the bread from heaven, please fill us, Lord. We’ve come asking. We believe that You’ll answer because we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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