Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Joy and a Delight

“Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O LORD, God of hosts.”  Jeremiah 15:16

God commanded Jeremiah to eat his words so that he might speak them to Israel.  God desires his people, and especially his preachers, to consume his Word.  When we read, study, and meditate on God’s Word, his Word becomes our joy and delight.  The meal is not delicious as it sits on the table.  It satisfies our appetites only when we begin to feast on it.  Even so the Bible will never be a joy and a delight to us as it sits on a shelf; it must be taken down from the shelf and consumed.  Too many Christians settle for a superficial reading of the Scriptures, but this is like taking a bite of a delicious meal only to spit it out.  Others may chew the meat of the Scripture for a time, but if it takes too much chewing, they will soon spit it out.  The Word will only delight the soul that consumes it fully.  This speaks of reading, studying, and meditating.  This requires time, prayer, concentration, and use of good resources.  We must seek and find God’s words, and when we find them, we must consume them.  Then and only then will his words become the joy and delight of our hearts.  The Bible is an acquired taste; rarely do people immediately and instinctively find reading it to be a joy.  But when the Spirit of God breathes life into our dead hearts, we receive the spiritual taste buds to enjoy the fine flavor of God’s eternal truth.  Jeremiah was not able to enjoy God’s Word in his natural condition.  He needed to be called by his sovereign God.  He took delight in God’s Word because he was called by God’s name.  The Lord of hosts effectively summoned him out of his dead condition in sin and into a living condition of communion with the living God.  We will never hear the voice of Jesus unless we are his sheep.  We will never come to him unless he first calls to us.  We are completely dependent on the sovereign and effective call of God in order to find his Word to be a delight.  Let us not, however, conclude that we are waiting for God to zap us with a love for his Word.  Our God is a sovereign God who is free to work without means if he chooses to do so, but he is pleased to work ordinarily through means.  We should read his Word and pray for this delight in it.  He will use the means of grace, prayer and the reading of his Word, to awaken within us a desire for and delight in his truth.  Perhaps most important of all is to sit under the pure preaching of God’s Word.  God’s ministers are best suited to preach life into dead hearts.  God loves to stir our affections through those shepherds who feed his people with wisdom and knowledge.  Preachers will work with you for you joy so that you might take delight in God and his Word.  So then let us feast on the Word of God today.  Let us not think that it is a bitter pill.  But let us come expecting to be nourished, strengthened, and satisfied.  Jesus is the joy of man’s desiring, and he walks the pages of the God-breathed book.

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