Feeding on the Word

“Your words were found, and I ate them, And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; For I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts..”  Jeremiah 15:16

When I first became aware of these precious words through a Bible memory program, I devoured them immediately. As Matthew Henry says, “[I] received them entirely, conversed with them intimately; they were welcome to me, as food to one that is hungry; I entertained them, digested them. God’s Word truly was the joy and rejoicing of my heart. What could bring more joy than to know that ‘I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.

In looking at the context around this verse, however, I was almost shocked to see it from an entirely different perspective. Judah was in a bad way, having repeatedly turned her back on God and His prophet, Jeremiah. They were suffering a drought which should have been a warning to them to turn from their sin. Instead of heeding the warning, however, they listened to the smooth, ear tickling words of false prophets while persecuting and tormenting Jeremiah. Poor Jeremiah “sat alone.” (verse 17) and fretted about the people’s stubbornness and his own lack of success among them.  I can almost hear him saying, “But Lord, after I have been so faithful to You, how can You allow them to treat me so harshly?”  And yet, when he did turn again to God’s Word, he found the “joy and rejoicing” of his heart.  God needed to correct some of his wrong thinking and expression before he would be fit to utter His “precious words.” again (verse 19).

How thankful we should be for God’s long suffering toward us and for the deep comfort and joy His Word brings, no matter what our situation may be. Warren Wiersbe has written: “but God encouraged him [Jeremiah] as he fed on the Word. God may not take away the pain in your heart, but He is there with His comfort.”

by Violet Tse
Used by Permission

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Further Reading

Where to Start Reading the Bible

Enjoying God’s Word by Brigitte Straub

Listening by Rod Marshall