For What Are You Hungry?

December 9, 2011 at 10:49 am | Posted in Bible Studies, Jeremiah | 9 Comments
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Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.

Jeremiah 15:16

I enjoy eating. I like the taste of delicious food in my mouth. I like the act of tasting and chewing and swallowing. I like the feeling of satisfaction that comes with hunger being satiated. But the real benefit of eating is what happens to the food after I consume it. It goes down to the innermost parts of me. It gives me strength and energy and helps to keep me healthy. When I was younger it even helped me to grow.

How is the Bible like food? Like eating, Bible reading is something that can be observed externally, but the real benefits of it happen on the inside – when what we read goes down into our innermost parts. The nutrients in the food we eat actually become a part of who we are. In the same way, earnest and diligent Bible study causes God’s Word to become a part of who you are.

Whether you enjoy the food you eat usually depends on two factors:

1. How hungry are you? People that think they already have all the answers typically do not enjoy reading the Bible all that much. Those who realize they need help from someone wiser than themselves have a hunger for God’s Word.

2. How does it taste? Some food tastes good, so obviously it is enjoyable to eat. Some food tastes bad, but it’s still good for you. There are passages of Scripture containing comforting promises from the Lord that can be downright delicious. We savor them and read them over and over again. There are some passages that taste like your most-hated vegetable casserole or a bottle of liquid antibiotics because they speak directly to your sin and they tell you the unpleasant truth about yourself. The “enjoyment” in these types of verses derives from their ultimate benefits, not their current “taste.”

Just as food can satisfy physical hunger, Bible-reading can bring great joy. Just as food gives you energy, the Holy Scriptures motivate us to service. Proper nutrition keeps us physically healthy; Bible study helps keep us spiritually healthy. Food makes children grow. The Bible helps God’s children (along with the “spiritual exercise” of ministry) to grow into spiritual maturity. It is good for a Christian to “fast” once in a while by abstaining from physical food in order to concentrate on prayer and devotion to God, but we need to make sure that we are sitting down each and every day to a balanced meal of Biblical promises, encouragements, exhortations, rebukes, instructions, admonitions, and commands.

And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.

Luke 4:4

O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

Psalm 34:8

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