Eating the Word?
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 YaHWeH Elohim of hosts. (Jer.15:16)
A recent article of David Newton, whose writing I really enjoy, inspired me to write this article. David spoke of the necessity of Christians memorizing His Word. I couldnít agree more.
Hiding His Word in the heart has become a lost art in contemporary Christianity. The result is a weak, joyless Church with very little to offer the world out there. I see children from 5 to 10 and even older, being kept busy in church with all sorts of activities while the Word is being preached. Usually the parents of those children do not even have a Bible with them.
I believe it grieves our Father, because those children will grow up without respect for and a love of the Scriptures, which is the source of life.
Hear, O Israel: YaHWeH our Elohim, YaHWeH is one!
And you shall love YaHWeH your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your being, and with all your might.
And these Words which I am commanding you today shall be in your heart,
And you shall impress them upon your children, and shall speak of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up.
And you shall bind them for a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.
And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Deut.6:4-9 The Scriptures)
I think that the greatest gift parents can give their children is a love for the Word. I grew up in a Christian home. My grandfather was a missionary in the central African country of Rhodesia (Zimbabwe now). I can still clearly remember when I was about 4 or 5 years old, before I could read or write, the awe I had for the family Bible as I held it in my little hands. I had no inkling what all those words meant, but I knew that it was the Word of God, which I held. I could not wait to grow up so that I could learn to read it in order to find out what He said in that great Book. That love, and desire for the Word was instilled into my young mind by my parents as well as my grandparents. I pray that I will pass on the same heritage to my children and grandchildren.
The prophet Jeremiah says that when he found the Words of God, he ate them. That speaks to me of memorizing the words. How do you eat a piece of bread? You take a bite, chew and then swallow. The process of eating is not complete until the swallowing has taken place. In the same way, the process of eating the Word is not complete until it has been memorized. The Word has to be hidden in the heart (swallowed) before its spiritual nutritional value can be taken up into the spirit or heart of man.
Yahshua (Jesus) said; Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of Elohim. (Mat.4:4)
The Word is spiritual bread. It is food for the spirit. In western countries very few people suffer from physical malnutrition. However, I believe that most Christians in the western world suffer from spiritual malnutrition. The reason? They are not eating the Word. Maybe they are getting a few titbits once a week, but itís not enough to give them the spiritual energy they need.
Jeremiah goes on to say that when he had eaten the Word, it became unto him the joy and rejoicing of his heart. Does that ring a bell somewhere? Of course it does. Nehemiah 8:10 says; The joy of YaHWeH is my strength.
Every Christian knows that, and then tries to work up a sort of outward joy in order to get some much needed spiritual energy. It never works. Itís a false joy. Why? Because real joy, a joy which is the fruit of the Spirit. A joy which will sustain you through all the difficult circumstances of life, can only be obtained from the spiritual nutrients contained in the Word of YaHWeH. Those nutrients can only be taken up into your spirit when you eat (memorize) His Word.
I want to encourage you dear reader to develop a taste for the Word. The more you eat, the more you will grow to love this essential Bread of life. The wonderful thing is that you can eat as much as you want, and never overdo it.
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Johann, this was wonderful! I loved the thought of you as a small child with such reverence and awe for the Word. This same attitude has followed you through life. With love, Deb