Being a school administrator, I thought I had heard all the classic “The Dog Ate It” stories. But not too long ago I saw a brief article that told of a 3 year old Great Dane that was hospitalized in Portland, Oregon. It seems that when they opened up the dog, they found 43 and a half socks in his stomach!
That is a lot of missing tube socks!
After I stopped laughing, it got me to thinking about all the New Year’s resolutions folks have made regarding spending more time in God’s Word.
Did you know that on three different occasions in the Bible, we are told about “eating God’s Word.” In Jeremiah (15:16) and Ezekiel 2 (2:8-3:3), the result of internalizing God’s Word was pleasant. Jeremiah remarked, “They were my joy and my heart’s delight.” And Ezekiel said, “So I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth.” John had a different experience in Revelation 10, but in all three cases the emphasis is clear-devouring God’s Word makes a difference in our lives.
The first step towards enjoying the internalizing of the scripture is disciplining ourselves to do so. It’s like working out on a treadmill. The benefits come weeks after we set the pattern and hold ourselves accountable.
The true blessing comes when discipline gives way to desire. And a few steps down the “desire lane” and we can all find real delight in His Word. That’s when it becomes sweet!
Obviously, I am suggesting that this week we all reflect on that dumb dog and start consuming something that really matters. And for a practical help, may I recommend reading Eugene Peterson’s 2006 book entitled, Eat This Book?
I really enjoy his writing and in this book (which has a companion study guide) Peterson helps us move beyond the subjective response: “This is what this passage means to me.” Instead, he encourages us to focus our attention on the historical or cultural context of a passage and the language in which it was written.
That kind of “eating” takes a little work, but will be so worth it. Soon we too can state,
“I ate it and it was as sweet as honey.”