Necessary Food

June 8, 2016

Job 23:10-12

(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)

What is Necessary Food?  I would think it would be the food necessary to sustain life!  That really isn’t as much food as you might think.  I found this statement on a website called

      You can survive without food and water from eight to 21 days, and without food
      for up to two months, according to an article published in 2009 in the German
      journal Archives of Criminology.  This would not be pleasant, however, and you
      potentially can do a lot of damage to your body and your health.  A fast this long
      means that first your body loses any extra water weight; then it uses up its glyco-
      gen – sugars stored in the muscles.  Afterwards, a combination of fat and muscle
      breaks down to meet your energy needs….

In 1981, Bobby Sands, an Irish Republican Army activist, went on a hunger strike to protest prison conditions where he was incarcerated – Her Majesty’s Prison Maze outside of Belfast.  Sands survived 66 days on nothing but water.  In the final days before his death on May 5th, 1981, his body was in such deteriorated condition that he lay on a water bed to protect his physical fragility.

Necessary Food:  Job mentions it during his severe trials – a great moment of faith for this suffering man!  And his statement in Job 23:10 through 12 should be a challenge to us!

      But He [God] knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I shall
      come forth as gold.  My foot has held fast to His steps; I have kept His
      way and not turned aside.  I have not departed from the commandment
      of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my neces-
      sary food.

There are conservative scholars who set a very early date for the book of Job – as early as the time of Abraham (circa 2,000 BC); and as late as the time of Solomon (950 BC).  Some say it may have been the first book set down in writing that comprises our Old Testament!  If so, to what words of His mouth would Job be referring?  There were certainly oral stories and traditions that were passed down from generation to generation before they were written in the form we have in our Bibles today.  And there were written documents no longer existing that were incorporated into the Bible as we have it.  Several are mentioned in the Old Testament.  For instance, the Book of the Covenant – Exodus 24:7; the Book of the Wars of the LORD – Numbers 21:14; the Book of Jasher – Joshua 10:13; II Samuel 1:18; and the book of Shemaiah the prophet, and…Iddo the seer – II Chronicles 12:15.

So Job had some sort of record and knowledge of God’s words and actions upon which he based his faith!  And he held fast to those words passed down to him!  He…treasured the words of His mouth more than…[his] necessary food…” – more than the food it took to keep him alive!

How does Necessary Food relate to us and our view of the words of His mouth?  First, we have a lot more to feed on spiritually than what was available to Job!

•      We have the complete canon of the Holy Scripture!  I do not think it a coincidence that the following words appear in the last chapter of the last book of the New Testament – Revelation 22:18 and 19:

      For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: 
      If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are
      written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book
      of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from
      the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

No one must add to Scripture or take away from it! It is complete – just what God wants us now to know!

•      We have the complete revelation of God through Jesus Christ!  In Luke 10:22 Jesus told His disciples, “…no one knows who the Son is but the Father, and who the Father is but the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.”  And in John 14:9 the Savior said, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father….”  Saint Paul writes in Colossians 2:9 that in Jesus “…dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily….”  The author of Hebrews adds in Hebrews 1:3 that Jesus is…the brightness of…[God’s] glory and the express image of His person….

•      We have the indwelling Holy Spirit to teach us the revealed truths of God!  For we are told in I John 2:27, “…the anointing [the Holy Spirit]…abides in you…teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie….

The banquet table before us today is much more abundant than it was in Job’s day!  If it was Necessary Food back then, how much more do we today need to take in God’s Word regularly to sustain our spiritual life and health? (See also Psalm 119:9, 11, 28, 41, 50, 89, 105, 133; Jeremiah 15:16; John 17:17; Colossians 3:16; II Timothy 3:15-17).

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