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, Oh Lord God of hosts. Jeremiah 15:16
Jeremiah, Ezekiel and the Apostle John all had the experience of eating a scroll containing the words of God. Jeremiah said it was joyful; Ezekiel and John said it was sweet as honey. At face value, the stories seem a little bizarre, but it’s not at all. I have eaten the Word of God; I have experienced its honey sweet nourishment. I used to read the Bible as a discipline. I followed the rules, and didn’t leave anything out—even the long list of begats.
But I’ve given up on reading the Bible. Now I eat it. I ask God what he wants to feed me, and I feast. I remember two years ago when my food for many months was the book of Colossians. I memorized every word. I read Barclays notes, and Adam Clarke, and others. I spoke the words aloud in the morning, and prayed them in the night. Paul prayed for me to walk worthy. I sat in awe of the Christ, for by Him are all things, and He is before all things, and by Him all things hold together. I prayed to be grounded and settled in Christ, to understand the riches of the glory of His mystery, and so much more. I ate the words because they got inside of me, and their message became nourishing and transformational.
I have a few chapters memorized that have radically changed who I am—these are my desserts. John 14, Luke 15, Isaiah 53, Psalm 34. I can say with the prophet Jeremiah that their words are the joy and rejoicing of my heart! When I speak them, I hear Him calling me by name, and I see His mighty power as the Lord God of Hosts.
I spent the entire month of December in Luke 1, mostly thinking about Mary’s song. I memorized her words. She taught me to have great joy in adversity, to see beyond my circumstances to generations ahead, to rest in God’s might, and to glory in His mercy. I recited the words on my way to work, and thought about them as our family enjoyed the great blessing of Florida sunshine. Mary’s song was my December food.
I love it when the pastor announces his text on Sunday morning, and he is on my turf. I am flooded with memories of how God fed me in that passage, and renewed my mind to understand Him more. Those are my verses! And the Holy Spirit whispers, “eat them again,” and they are fresh and sweeter than honey as I hear the Word preached.
I’m afraid I sound as peculiar as poor Jeremiah. After all, he and Ezekiel and John sound pretty weird when they talk about eating scrolls. God told Ezekiel to get his belly full (Ezekiel 3:3). Try it. You’ll like it.