Enjoy Reading God’s Word

Enjoy Reading God’s Word

     There are many things to be enjoyed in life. I enjoy eating a delicious meal with family and friends, listening to relaxing music at the end of a busy day, and gazing out of a window at a multicolored sunset in the Ohio sky. However, no matter how much I enjoy doing these things, nothing compares to the enjoyment I receive when I read God’s Word. Why? Because the Word reveals God’s love for me and provides the understanding and direction that help me deal with situations that come up in life.
     I always enjoy hearing The Prevailing Word Chorus Choir sing “When I Read God’s Word.” The words in this song strike a special chord in my heart each time I hear it because it conveys some of the reasons why I enjoy reading God’s Word. The following is the chorus to the song:

When I read God’s Word
My heart is filled and sings with joy
When I read God’s Word
I desire to live and walk fearlessly
When I read God’s Word
My eyes are enlightened to His will
I sing praises to God for His love
When I read God’s Word

     Reading God’s Word can fill our hearts with great joy. As a result, our lives are refreshed. When we read God’s Word, we receive the spiritual and mental nourishment we need to have an abundant life.
     God’s Word brought great joy as well as spiritual and mental nourishment to the life of the Old Testament Prophet Jeremiah. The scrolls had been lost many years under the debris of the Temple that had been destroyed. When the scrolls were found, Jeremiah expressed his delight to God.
Jeremiah 15:16:
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, O Lord God of hosts.

     Jeremiah’s hunger for the Word was so great that when he found the words of God, he “ate” them. To “eat” is an idiom that expresses the intensity of expectation with which Jeremiah assimilated the Word. Jeremiah’s hunger for the Word was like the hunger of someone who has not eaten physical food for a long time and then is presented with a nutritious feast. The Jerusalem Bible states it this way: “When your words came, I devoured them….” Jeremiah wasted no time in reading and developing an understanding of the Word of God he found. He put the Word in his heart and mind to the end that it became a part of him. It was the constant food for his spiritual life.
     Jeremiah the prophet needed a healthy diet of God’s Word because in his day and time Judah was in a state of collapse and confusion. It was about to be conquered by the king of Babylon and his army. In these perilous times for Judah, Jeremiah prophesied contrary to political opinion, warning the people that Jerusalem would fall to the enemy, yet their lives could be spared if they heeded his words. Having a healthy diet of God’s Word would have given him the spiritual and mental nourishment he needed to take on the challenges he faced. The Word he built in his heart would have encouraged him and provided him with the strength to endure.
     In looking again at Jeremiah 15:16, we see the result of eating, digesting, and assimilating the Word: it became the joy and rejoicing of Jeremiah’s heart. Every time he read the Word it brought him great joy over and over again to the end he said it was the joy and rejoicing of the innermost part of his being. According to one dictionary, to have joy is “to experience great pleasure or delight.” Jeremiah delighted in God’s Word because he knew he could trust and rely on God to take care of him. Like Jeremiah, we can experience great pleasure and delight each time we read God’s Word. Regardless of our circumstances, we too can have joy in God’s presence through the rich nourishment of His Word. It gives us answers to life’s situations. We are also able to see our lives more clearly through the filter of God’s Word.
     David, who is called a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22), rejoiced in God’s Word as well and esteemed it very highly.
Psalms 119:162:
I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil.

     David compares his joy to that of one who has been in battle, has won the victory, and has acquired exceeding gain. To him, the profits made in searching the Scriptures were as the trophies of war. When we gain an understanding of God’s Word, it becomes very precious to us. We have for our spoil a firmer hold upon His priceless Word, because as we read God’s Word we make grand discoveries of the goodness and the grace of God….

This is an excerpt from the May/June 2009 issue of The Way Magazine.
Copyright© 2009 by The Way International. All rights reserved.
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