8:1 This is what the Sovereign LORD showed me: a basket of ripe fruit [symbolized a completed harvest; summer fruit included grapes, dates, and figs; signaled the end of the growing season].
8:2 “What do you see, Amos?” he asked. “A basket of ripe fruit [Heb. word qayis],” I answered. Then the LORD said to me, “The time is ripe [Heb. word qes (sounds like Heb. qayis) and means here “the end has come;” the season for repentance was now over] for my people Israel; I will spare them no longer.
8:11 “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 [God would give the people what they wanted: no preaching or word from Him (cf. 2:11-12; 7:12-13,16); the prophets would be silent; God would leave the people alone].
8:12 Men will stagger [describes the anxious and unsteady gait of a person in search of a message from God] from sea to sea [possibly Dead Sea to Mediterranean Sea] and wander from north to east [along with “sea to sea” probably meant “everywhere” or “from one end of the world to the other” or may refer to the length and breadth of their own land], searching for the word [a message of hope, direction, instruction] of the LORD, but they will not find it [the people would find only silence].
• What makes people indifferent to the words of the Lord?
• What makes people eager for His words?
• Why is Bible reading and study so important?
• How well do you take advantage of opportunities to hear from God?
• How would your life be different if you did not have access to God’s Word?
• Would you find it more difficult to live with a famine of watching TV or a famine of hearing the words of the Lord?