May 2 I Thursday
1 Kings 12-13
“How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” —Psalm 119:103
The Bible uses a number of edible metaphors about itself, such as milk for newborn Christians or meat for those who need the tough stuff. We are also told that the Word of God is like bread, which feeds and sustains us, and like honey that is sweet to the taste. It is no coincidence that the Bible would use food metaphors, because as human beings, we all need to eat to live.
The activity of the Word of God is to become food, and not just information for the intellect, but food for the soul. We are encouraged not just to read, learn and memorize the Bible, but also to eat it so that it becomes a part of us.
After cows have been milked in the morning, they will go into the field, drop their heads down, and start to move slowly across the field, biting off great chunks of grass that they swallow whole. After a while, they will lie down on all fours, cough up a bit of grass, chew it over, swallow it, and then cough it up, chew it over and swallow it again. The milking cow goes through this cycle over and over until they have fully digested the grass.
The example of milking cows perfectly illustrates how we should view and digest Scripture. When we read the Bible, we may only read a chapter or two at a time. While we read, it is good to look for something that we can tuck away in the back of our minds. As we go about our day, we can cough it up, chew it over and swallow it. When we read something obscure that makes us wonder, “What in the world does that mean?” We could go for a long walk to chew it over, swallow it, cough it up, chew it over, until suddenly the Word comes alive and starts to make sense. This process is called meditating on the Word of God.
The Book of Psalms talks a lot about meditation, especially in Psalm 119: “Oh, how I love Your law! I meditate on it all day long” (Psalm 119:97). We tend to associate meditation with Eastern mysticism, but when we look up the definition, it simply means, “to exercise the mind in contemplation.” It is to think and take time to chew, then chew again. If we just read the Word of God and do not stop to think about it, we will probably lose what we read. But when we feed on the Word of God and meditate on it, we allow it to become a part of us.
Prayer: Dear God, Your Word is food for my soul. Help me to chew and meditate on Your Word daily so that it becomes a part of me. Thank You, Lord.