Then he said to me, “Son of man, eat this scroll I am giving you and fill your stomach with it.” So I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth.
Do you remember the kid in kindergarten who put everything into his mouth, including paper? Were you that kid? It seemed a rather silly thing to do, even for a five-year-old. Imagine how silly it would seem for a grown adult to eat a piece of paper!
And yet, that’s exactly what God asked the prophet, Ezekiel, to do in a vision. “Eat this scroll . . . fill your stomach with it.” How strange. What was God’s point? His point was that, to be his messenger, the Lord first wants his messengers to be fed. Feed before lead.
There are at least two reasons for God’s command. One, it’s out of concern for his listeners. One of the buzzwords in church-life today is “authentic.” People aren’t looking for a “do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do” messenger. If it’s not “real” for you, they will likely have little to no interest in finding out if the message of the gospel can be of interest to them.
But it’s not just for the sake of the potential audience. It’s also for the benefit of the messenger. When digesting God’s Word with ourselves as the audience in mind, we soon realize the good news about Jesus isn’t just meant for others. It’s meant for you and me.
Whether it’s God’s righteous law or healing gospel, God’s Word will be sweet to the messenger because we know it’s his Word, which will always accomplish the purpose for which he sent it. Savor the sweetness of God’s Word.
Holy Spirit, I often read the Bible as an academic exercise or another thing on my to-do list. Help me to savor the sweetness of every word. Amen.