I’ve recently been enjoying verse 16 from Jeremiah chapter 15.
“Your words were found and I ate them,
And Your word became to me
The gladness and joy of my heart,
For I am called by Your name,
O Jehovah, God of hosts.”
What a wonderful verse. Did you know that such a verse existed was in the Bible?? A verse that tells us to eat God’s word?? But it does! When some of my friends in Christians on Campus first pointed out this verse, and verses like it, my concept
of the Bible completely changed. Suddenly, it went from being boring and hard to understand, to still sometimes boring and still hard to understand, but eatable as well. But not even just eatable, but joy-infusingly eatable. How in the world is this possible? Let me share with you a footnote on this verse from the translation I’m using:
“According to the entire revelation in the Holy Bible, God’s words are good for us to eat, and we need to eat them. God’s word is the divine supply as food to nourish us. Through the word as our food, God dispenses His riches into our inner being to nourish us that we may be constituted with His element. This is a crucial aspect of God’s economy. When we eat Gods words, His word becomes our heart’s gladness and joy.” For example, Psalm 119:103 says:
“How sweet are Your words to my taste!
Sweeter than honey to my mouth!”
Matthew 4:4 is a well-known verse among Christians on this topic.
“But He answered and said, It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out through the mouth of God.'”
Now, in Greek, there are two different ways to say ‘word’. Logos refers to the constant word, like the Bible. While rhema refers to the instant word, like when the Lord speaks something specific to us in our prayer. In this particular verse, the word is rhema. This means that as a Christian, we need to pay attention to God’s personal and instant speaking to us. Otherwise, we won’t make it. We can’t live the Christian life without some real contact with God.
1 Peter 2:2 is a good example of a verse using logos.
“As newborn babes, long for the guileless milk of the word in order that by it you may grow unto salvation.”
Here, we see that the constant word, or the Bible, is likened to food. This means we can eat it! However, as we grow in Christ, we should move on from milk to solid food as in 1 Corinthians 3:2.
Now that we know we can take in the Lord’s instant and constant words as spiritual nourishment, but how exactly do we go about doing it? Well, Ephesians 6:17-18 are helpful:
“And receive the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which Spirit is the word of God, by all means of prayer and petition, praying at every time in spirit and watching unto this in all perseverance and petition concerning all the saints.”
Aha! So, in order to receive the word of God into us, we need to pray over it. Martin Luther once said “It is very certain, that we cannot attain to the understanding of Scripture either by study or by the intellect. Your first duty is to begin by prayer.”
There is a wonderful little book on this topic that is almost entirely composed of quotes, including the one above, from Christians throughout the ages and across denominations who have discovered the benefits of praying over the words of the Bible. It’s called “Lord Thou saidst…” compiled by Ray Graver and I highly recommend it.
Anyway, I hope you find the joy that is hidden in the word of God and let it become “sweeter than honey” to your mouth!