Old Testament prophets who were receiving a divine commission to preach were often told to “eat” God’s word. Men like Jeremiah (Jer. 15:16), Ezekiel (Eze. 2:8-10), and John (Rev. 10:9-11) all “ate” God’s word before delivering God’s vital message to people. Even today, we need to realize the transforming power of the word of God (Rom. 1:16). When we “eat” all of His words, they become part of us, and our lives become living translations of His divine will (cf. Phil. 2:12-13).
“Eating” God’s word is simply a metaphor for meditating on it. We often read passages without ever really digesting their meanings and implications. Meditation is like chewing on the word of God as we prepare to make it part of us. Perhaps we don’t give enough thought to the value of spending time to know God’s will better.
Meditation, its value — “Blessed is the man… whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night” (Psalm 1:1-2). Sometimes God’s will may be difficult to see. We may find that we’re faced with decisions of great weight and import, but we may not find clear Biblical passages that address our circumstances. When it’s hard to find God’s purpose for us in life, we need to meditate more on His word. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105). “Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go; keep her for she is your life” (Prov. 4:13). Pondering and considering passages from God’s word will inevitably yield the treasures of God’s wisdom. After all, it is in Christ that all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden (Col. 2:3). Jesus saw the value of meditating on God’s word (cf. Matt. 4:4; Mk 1:35). David, a man after God’s own heart, would lay awake at night thinking about God’s word (cf. Psalm 63:6-8). How much more should we?
Meditation, its object — “Your words were found and I did eat them, Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart” (Jer. 15:16). Undisciplined and unrestrained, our minds tend to feed us a constant stream of negative and ungodly thoughts. Whatever we think upon will eventually result in action (cf. Mk. 7:15). It’s vital that we meditate on things that honor and glorify God! His word says, “Whatever things are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy, think on these things” (Phil. 4:8). When we fill our minds with the garbage of sinful thoughts and ideas, won’t sin be the result? Likewise, when we fill our minds and meditate on what is holy, just, and noble, won’t holy and righteous things result? It takes discipline and practice to, “bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5), but it’s well worth the effort! Let’s train our minds to acknowledge and appreciate the blessings of life. Then, we’ll know what it means to “eat” God’s word!
Meditation, its result — Spiritual progress cannot take place without meditation. “Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all” (1 Tim. 4:15). Growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Pet. 3:18) is a matter of meditation and application of His word to our lives. The best Bible translation available is the one seen in the life of a Christian who is growing spiritually (Matt. 5:16). When we spend time “chewing” on the word of God and contemplating His divine characteristics, our lives will be changed for good. Let’s make sure God’s word is part of our regular diet (Matt. 4:4)! — JB