Verses 5-6 - The Calamity
There are natural consequences, if we don't set the right priorities. Can
you think of any? But, there are also God-given consequences, which is what
these people had been experiencing. God identifies a number of ways in which
the people have been suffering deprivation. The question is; Should we understand
these literally, or as referring to something of greater significance? God
seems to be speaking about the inadequacies of their basic needs.
They plant, but the harvests are poor. They don't get enough to eat or to
drink. They dress but aren't warm. They work, but their resources are inadequate.
He has withheld blessings of abundance because of their sin. On the other
hand, we do not have to take this literally, because we've already been told
the people have worked on their homes, to the extent they were quite fancy.
Therefore they didn't seem to be hurting materially. Consequently, some believe
a better way of understanding this verse is as it relates to the lack of
satisfaction things bring to people. They aren't satisfied with anything
they have. And why is this? Because true satisfaction can only come in obedience
to, and service of, the Lord. And actually either or both explanations can