TODAY’S SIGNATURE VERSE ••• 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. (Jeremiah 15:16 NKJV)
PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• I’ve been studying the book of Revelation recently — both with my Bible study group and on my own every morning. The personal study I’m doing has many reflection questions, and today, I want to share a bit about what I’m learning…
First things first, though — let’s face it. When you tell people you’re reading Revelation, you generally get that “look.” It can either mean, “Oh!” or “Oh….” It’s a confusing book, and if we’re honest, it’s sometimes downright scary and weird. Especially when we come to a verse like this one from Revelation 10:9: “So I went to the angel and said to him, ‘Give me the little book.’ And he said to me, ‘Take and eat it; and it will make your stomach bitter, but it will be as sweet as honey in your mouth.’”
Ummm…. What?!? Yeah — that wasn’t a typo. Revelation 10:8-11 is subtitled “John Eats the Little Book.”
I mean, I love books, but seriously??
I’m not going to try to get into the whole “Did John literally eat paper?” discussion. But the idea of “eating” the Word of God isn’t exclusive to Revelation. We see it in other areas of Scripture, including:
- Psalm 119:03: “How sweet are Your words to my taste, Sweeter than honey to my mouth!”
- 1 Peter 2:2-3: “As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.”
The first thing we know from John’s experience of eating the Word: it tasted sweet to Him. The Psalmist said the same thing. And so did Peter. The more I spend time in the Word, the more I agree. I love to read the Bible, but it’s not always easy. Still, there’s so much to savor.
The second thing we know from John’s experience: it was bitter in his stomach. I’ll be the first to admit — God’s Word is sometimes hard to swallow. There are passages that, when taken out of context, paint a terrible picture. We know that non-believers love to grab hold of certain verses and wave them as a banner of why we shouldn’t trust God or believe His Word. God’s Word is always bitter to those who are bitter to Him and who refuse to allow His Spirit to work in their lives.
As I’ve studied this passage in Revelation, I pondered the strangeness of “eating” God’s Word. And in reflecting, I realized it’s not such an abstract concept as it may seem at first blush. To “eat” God’s Word is to chew it thoroughly and thoughtfully. To taste every truth and find that it is good. It’s not enough to hear what others tell me of Scripture; I need to taste it myself. It’s accepting the invitation of King David’s words in Psalm 34:8, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good.”
The whole thing reminds me of my relationship with coffee. I was a late-bloomer when I started drinking coffee — 26-years old. (Lest that seem young to you, my mom started drinking coffee when she was in elementary school, so I was way behind.) When I started drinking coffee, it was pretty much in theory only. I went for the high-priced, sickly sweet designer lattes and frappuccinos that barely had any discernible taste of actual coffee.
Within a year, I switched to flavored coffees and flavored creamers. A couple of years later, to flavored coffee and plain creamer. Shortly after that, I started drinking plain coffee and plain creamer. Finally, about six years ago, I switched again — and today, I drink plain black coffee.
As I learned to drink coffee, the natural goodness of the coffee flavor wasn’t immediately apparent. At first, it was bitter and disgusting. Eww! How do people drink black coffee?!! It wasn’t until I started getting away from sugary syrups and artificial flavors that I began to fully appreciate the natural flavor of a great cup of coffee.
Eventually, those who eliminate the additions to their coffee develop an appreciation for its flavor devoid of any additions. And once that happens, you don’t want to add anything to it because it will ruin the taste of the coffee. It’s no longer bitter, but it’s good to the taste and full of flavor.
The same is true for the Word of God. Initially, it’s intimidating, scary, and hard to understand. But the more we study it, the more we invite the Holy Spirit to change us through His Word…. The more we understand the truth of 2 Timothy 3:16 – 17, the sweeter the Word of God becomes to us. (“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”)
With all that said — let’s turn to the words of Jesus, found in Matthew 4:4. “But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’” Jesus was quoting from Deuteronomy 8:3, and His words remind us — we are to feast on the Word of God. That’s how we get spiritual sustenance. Without eating the Word of God — we will be spiritually starved and malnourished.
I encourage you to embrace the words of the prophet Jeremiah, “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.” (Jeremiah 15:16 NKJV)
Today, as you pray, thank God for His Word. Thank Him that He grants us this holy book as a way to communicate with us, but just as importantly — for us to know Him. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you a hunger for the Word of God and ask Him to guide you as you read it and learn to savor the truth of Scripture.
SHARING ••• My Grace-Full Life is written by Denise Heidel. You are welcome to share anything I write, but please credit my writing and graphics accordingly. Visit www.MyGraceFullLife.com to read past blogs. Subscribe through my website to have My Grace-Full Life delivered to your email. You can unsubscribe at any time. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the NKJV translation.