July 31, 2013
Jeremiah 15:15, 16; Job 23:10-12; John 6:51-57
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
So how hungry are you? No, not for food you regularly eat at the table – three meals a day, plus snacks. And some of us eat a few more meals and snacks than are good for us! I am talking about taking in another kind of nourishment. Are You Hungry for the Word of God? Let’s consider three scriptures on the subject and see what we can learn. First let’s look at Jeremiah 15:15 and 16:
O LORD, You know; remember me, and visit me, and take vengeance for me
on my persecutors. Do not take me away in Your longsuffering. Know that
for Your sake I have suffered rebuke. Your words were found, and I ate
them; and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; for I am
called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts.
In verse 15 Jeremiah is relating to God that because of proclaiming His Word to Jeremiah’s fellow Israelites, he has been persecuted and suffered rebuke. In Jeremiah 38, those who opposed the prophet even arrested him and threw him into imprisonment in what seems to be an old cistern. There was no water in the cistern, only mud. And Jeremiah was left to die, sinking in the mud! Remember, Jeremiah’s severe troubles were because he was faithfully proclaiming God’s Word to the people!
But then we come to verse 16 – “Your words were found, and I ate them; and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; for I am called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts.” The very thing that was causing Jeremiah’s troubles – being called by the Lord’s name and preaching His Word – was also that which gave him so much joy and rejoicing, he ate them as he might eat physical food – regularly and abundantly!
Now look at Job 23:10 through 12:
But He 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 necessary food.
Again, here was a man who was going through horrible troubles, being tried by God. But Job’s testimony of his pious life included loyal obedience to and love of God’s Word. As he said in verse 12, “ I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.” Here also, as in Jeremiah 15, the Word of God is likened to physical food. Job says it is more valuable than necessary food – the food we need to stay alive and keep healthy!
Jesus expanded on this Old Testament idea. Since He is the Word of God (Revelation 19:13), we are to consume Him! This is what He says in John 6:51 through 57:
I am the living bread which came down from heaven. if anyone eats of this
bread, he will live for ever; the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall
give for the life of the world….Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the
flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever
eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at
the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He
who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the
living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me,
will live because of Me.
Do you have the appetite of Jeremiah and Job? Do you want to obey what Jesus has told us we must do? Do you desire to take in – to consume – God’s Word? You should! More than that, you must! When God’s Holy Spirit comes into your heart and life, He brings with Himself an appetite for the Word! If you don’t have an appetite for the Word, then something is wrong! Eat regularly! Eat heartily! Your spiritual life depends on it!
Over the next several blogs, I will be showing what the Bible – God’s Word – can and will do in your Christian life.