Wednesday, September 19, 2012

"Eat this scroll"

God's word is sweet - Ezekiel 3:3
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Ezekiel 1:28-3:11

TO CHEW ON:
"Moreover He said to me, 'Son of man, eat what you find; eat this scroll, and go speak to the house of Israel.' ... Moreover He said to me: 'Son of man, receive into your heart all My words that I speak to you, and hear with your ears.'" Ezekiel 3:1,10

I love this food/eating metaphor of how we are to relate to God's word. I think of many ways it applies:

  • We eat by taking a bite of something.
Similarly we assimilate God's word in small portions.

  • We chew our food, mixing it with a part of us (saliva) to make it digestible.
In the same way we think about and meditate on Bible words, mixing them with aspects of our lives to make them our own.

  • We swallow food, taking it into our inner beings. In the stomach the assimilation continues, unseen, unfelt but but very real as our bodies change the food  we have eaten into energy, body parts, and fat.
Hopefully God's word gets into us energizing, restoring, and changing us in the same DNA-changing way. As God told Ezekiel, "...receive into your heart all my words..."

  • Physically we fill our stomachs, eating until our hunger is assuaged. God tells Ezekiel here "...fill your stomach with this scroll..."
[Fill - male - means fill, fill up, be full. Male is the source of Hebrew words relating to fullness and fulfillment: filling something to the brim, causing something to be thoroughly saturated... Dick Mills, Word Wealth, New Spirit-Filled Life Bible p. 992]
Would this filling imply that there is room for nothing else in Ezekiel's stomach / heart? Maybe part of why we're spiritually malnourished is because we view God's word as a snack or appetizer instead of the main course.

  • Of course our appetite and eating is not an end in itself but a means to an end. We eat so we have energy to live, work, and raise families.
Spiritually our eating has a similar purpose. God told Ezekiel, "eat this scroll and go speak to the house of Israel."  How do we use the spiritual energy we get from Bible study?  Is it just to satisfy ourselves? Or does it fuel testimony, witness, and kingdom work?

PRAYER: Dear God, help me to ingest Your words into my life so that my very self is changed. Then help me to use that stored word as the energy for testimony, witness, and work. Amen.

MORE: More eating of God's words

Ezekiel wasn't the only person told to eat God's word.
An angel told John: "Take and eat it" of the little book. For John, like Ezekiel, it tasted sweet though later it gave him stomach troubles (Revelation 10:9,10).

David speaks of eating God's words (statues, commandments, judgments): "More to be desired are they than gold... Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb" - Psalm 19:10.

and

"How sweet are Your words to my taste
Sweeter than honey in my mouth"
- Psalm 119:103.

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