"Then he said to me, ‘Son of man, eat this scroll I am giving you and fill your stomach with it.’ So I ate, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth." (Ezekiel 3:3)
"Eat up!" Parents will have said this many times to their children as they were growing up. Despite all protests, we press our demands, because we know that (no matter what they feel at that moment) they need it, and without it will become weak and will even die. This obvious truth has a spiritual parallel. Just as we need food to live physically, so we need food to live spiritually. Without a regular diet of spiritual food – especially God’s word - we will never grow up, but rather will remain weak and sickly.
This food of God’s word is described as milk. Peter says, "Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good (1 Peter 2:2–3). Just as babies need milk to grow and become strong, so the Bible helps us grow up spiritually.
But just as babies are weaned and move on to solids, so we too need to move on. Hebrews challenges its readers to go on to the "solid food" of God’s word (Hebrews 5:13-14). The writer was sad that so many were not growing up spiritually. He wanted them to start "getting their teeth into" God’s truth; to "chew it over" and take it in and make it part of themselves. That’s what would make them grow up and be useful to God in the world. (So don’t give up when you get to the "more chewy bits" of the Bible. It’s as we "chew it over" that God’s Spirit begins to speak to us through it.)
But perhaps one of the best pictures of the Bible is of it as honey. Whenever Martin feels under the weather, he loves a slice of bread and honey. It just cheers him up no end! And that’s just what God promises His word is like: it is a sheer delight, to cheer us up, as we grasp it, take it in and grow. Enjoy it for yourself today, and be blessed!
"Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who finds great delight in his commands." (Psalm 112:1)
Copyright © 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont
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