As we gather together to give thanks this holiday season, we will no doubt be seated in front of a table of delights. But, as we feast on the natural food in front of us, we cannot forget to feast on the food that feeds our souls. The Word of God is a precious gift to believers. It is a love letter from the Father to His children; it is His story of redemption for a people enslaved to sin; it is our hope in dark times and our compass to keep us on His path.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD And whose trust is the LORD. For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; but its leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit” (Jeremiah 17:7-8 NASB).
Reading the Word is vital to thriving—it is our lifeline. Jesus relied on the Word of God in the desert when tempted and proves our ultimate pattern for living an overcoming life. When we hold the Word in our hands we hold a treasure. Psalm 119 is poetic praise of God and His Word. One need only read through this psalm one time to feel the psalmist’s desire to know God and to know Him through His Word. He knew if he had God’s Word hidden in his heart, he would thrive; he would live. It did not matter what came his way, he would keep God’s Word with all his heart (see Psalms 119:34).
We live in a time where many things are vying for our attention. The culture demands that each can do what is right in his/her own eyes, which is contrary to God’s Word. Thus, the Bible is viewed as intolerant and irrelevant. It’s not easy to thrive in such a culture. But eating God’s Word—devouring it—makes it possible to bloom where you are. The Old Testament prophets Ezekiel and Jeremiah, and John the Revelator also lived in trying times, pressured to live by a different standard than the Lord of Glory’s. All three were instructed to eat the scroll containing God’s Word.
“The diet of Holy Scripture for all three of them issued in sentences of tensile strength, metaphors of blazing clarity, and a prophetic life of courageous suffering…these three rough-and-tumble prophets…responsible for the spiritual formation of God’s people in the worst of times (Babylonian exile and Roman persecution) ought to be able to convince us of their gut-level necessity: Yes, eat this book (Peterson, p. 21).
“You who know, O Lord, Remember me, take notice of me, and take vengeance for me on my persecutors. Do not, in view of Your patience, take me away; know that for Your sake I endure reproach. Your words were found and I ate them, and Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart; for I have been called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts” (Jeremiah 15:15-16 NASB).
Do you want abundant life? Eat this book. Do you want joy and peace? Eat this book. Live, breath, eat, sleep, God’s Word. It is your oxygen. Eat this book and it will cause flesh to grow on your dry bones. You will bloom and thrive through any situation. You will be filled to overflowing. You will have life and have it more abundantly. Yes, eat this book!
Peterson, Eugene. Eat This Book. Grand Rapids Michigan: Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2006.