TFTW | Digesting God’s Word
February 5, 2013
“Then He said to me, “Son of man, eat what you find; eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel.” So I opened my mouth, and He fed me this scroll. He said to me, “Son of man, feed your stomach and fill your body with this scroll which I am giving you.” Then I ate it, and it was sweet as honey in my mouth.” — Ezekiel 3:1-3 (NASB)
While interacting with some of my students the other day, one of them told me that she was being consumed by the language she was learning. They had to spend so much time revising and studying the language that I jokingly said they must be seeing, eating, breathing and dreaming that language.
Unfortunately, it is not always a sweet dream or “yummy food”. Learning a new language is just too much for some, and an overdose of it has left a bitter-sweet taste in some instances. Yet, there are those who really enjoy it.
This brought my mind to a very unusual commission in the Old Testament. In the appointment of one prophet, God said “Son of man eat what you find; eat this scroll.”
Yikes! A scroll, perhaps made of papyrus or of leather? But the obedient servant, Ezekiel “…opened my mouth, and He fed me this scroll… Then I ate it, and it was sweet as honey in my mouth.”
Ezekiel had been called by God to speak His Word to the people of Israel. And before he did it, the prophet had to incorporate God’s Word into his life. He had to know for himself that God’s Word was meaningful, applicable, comforting and even a rebuke when needed. He had to experience the value of God’s Word first before he could speak it to others.
In Psalm 19, the psalmist described what the Word of God is and what it does. Depending on one’s need, it has an answer for us. We are called to teach it, so that it can speak to other people.
But like Ezekiel who had to eat it, we must incorporate God’s Word into our lives. Thankfully, there are no instructions for us to literally do the same as what Ezekiel did. But a scribe gave us some principles for living and teaching God’s Word.
Ezra “…set his heart to study the law of the Lord, and to practice it, and to teach….” (Ezra 7:10)
He recognised that unless one practices what one has learnt, the teaching will not be as effective.
When you read and study God’s Word, what do you do to retain what you have learned? Remembering it is important. But that is the easy part. We need to apply God’s Word into our Christian walk, as He speaks to us.
God’s Word could be to encourage, exhort, implore or rebuke us. How have you responded? How will you respond to it?
Ezekiel ate God’s Word. Ezra practiced God’s Word. What about you? Ask God to help you to be obedient like His servants of old who heeded His Word.
Thought For The Week (TFTW) is contributed by Dr Koh Siang Kiang, Associate Professor (Christian Education) at the Singapore Bible College (SBC). She graduated from SBC and Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS), USA, and has served in various ministries for more than 35 years, including teaching at DTS. Dr Koh has been with SBC for the last 10 years, and has a passion for people and teaching the Word of God. She also loves to make the Bible come alive by leading tours to the Holy Land, and has led 12 such trips. To help her relax, Dr Koh likes to cook and cross-stitch.