Scripture reveals that God deals with nations and people through what we may call natural disasters.  While the first impulse of men is to view these catastrophic events as accidental or a cycle of weather patterns, it behooves us to ascertain and discern what God is permitting in these circumstances.  Wonderfully at work in the lives of His creation, God seeks to bring man’s attention to the reality of His spiritual need, particularly, that of a Savior.   Because of the nature of the human heart apart from Divine regeneration, guidance and counsel, it is through difficulties that we come to realize our need of God the focus of this life.  Preoccupation with all the many details of work, family, pleasure, health, children and innumerable other demands, often robs even believers in Christ of their primary objective to know God and His Word.  In the Old Testament, there is recorded for us the words of a shepherd, an ordinary man, used of God to deliver to Israel His call to repentance and faith in the living God.  Amos writes … “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 8:11 NIV).  Much like our own nation, the Israelites were reveling in the prosperity and abundance of wealth.  Yet they were poor – impoverished spiritually.  Speaking of the church in Laodicea, the Lord warns … ‘Because you say, "I am rich , and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing," and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked (Rev 3:17) … 'Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; be zealous therefore, and repent” (Rev 3:19 NASB).  The sin of these people as in the days of Amos was that of “hearing the words of the Lord.”  Places of worship were on every hill in Israel, as is true in this land where churches are found in practically every section of a city.  Yet there is spiritual poverty.  Hearing the Word of the Lord requires two major elements -- first, uncompromised communication of the Word of God and second, hearers who are willing to learn and apply God’s Truth in their personal lives.  Too much emphasis is given in our houses of worship to entertaining and placating the emotions and feelings of those present.  Taking the parishioners through psychological loops instead of presenting the clear teaching of Scripture have brought a dearth of nod to God living among so called believers.  As a result, the emerging generation of young people, are absorbed in fulfilling their own desires and pleasures apart from God.  Thankfully that is not true of everyone in the younger generation, but if we are honest before God, we, the older facet of society must assume responsibility for the spiritual condition of the nation.  Is there hope for this nation to return to God?  The call to repentance is always presented by a merciful God.  Once again Scripture reminds us of God’s solution to spiritual depravation and famine …  “If My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land”  (2 Chron 7:14 NASB).   May this Divine call become a reality in these United States.