The Bible It’s Symbols – Food

The Bible uses many illustrations for itself that teach us what the Word of God can do for us. And this vivid illustrations should not only help us understand why we need the Word of God but also should help us to want the Word of God in our lives and what it can do for us.  We have seen so far that the Word of God is a light to our feet and a light to our path. It gives light so we can see where we are right now in life, and it gives light to the path ahead so we can see where we are going and which way to go.
We have seen that the Bible is a mirror that shows us what we are really like.  We have seen that the Bible is like the laver, which also shows us what we look like but also provides the water to clean us. Jesus said, Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

The Word of God is a light, a mirror, a laver, and today we will see that the Word of God is food.

Job 23:12 Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.

This is a good verse to start with because it is about the attitude toward the word of God. Job put what God said above his necessary food. His food was absolutely necessary. He says so, for without food you will die. Job realized His need for the Word of God which is spiritual food was so great that on his list of priorities he put it higher than food.  What a great example for us of putting the Word of God in the proper place in our lives. We need to realize how necessary it is if we are going to grow spiritually. And we need to make a conscious decision like Job did to make what God said that important.  If you want to grow spiritually this kind of attitude is critical.

The word of God is simple and straightforward and the Word of God is deep and complex. For some things in God’s Word He uses the illustration of Milk.

1Pe 2:1 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,
1Pe 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
1Pe 2:3 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

These 3 verses do go together. A comma after verse 1 means you are in a list that continues in verse 2. Verse 2 has a colon at the end meaning that verse 3 is a connected thought.  Verse 2 is often taught alone without the connected thoughts in verse 1 and 3.

In verse 2 we see the illustration being used of milk feeding newborn babes so they may grow. That milk for that baby is critical. Without it the baby will not grow.
The milk provides everything the baby needs for growth. All the baby has to do is accept the milk. The Baby must drink it in and then the milk can do its work.
This illustrates very well the new Christian’s need for the Word of God. Just like milk for a baby, a new Christian will not grow without the Word of God. Just like milk for a baby, the Bible has everything the new Christian needs to grow. And just like a baby the new Christian must drink in the Bible and then let the Word of God do its work in their lives.  Very good. Verse 2 is very clear and easy to understand. God is making a very good comparison between babies and milk and new babes in Christ and His Word. It is a very vivid illustration.

So what does verse 1 have to do with it, why is the illustration of milk in the same list that starts in verse 1.

1Pe 2:1 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,

The Wherefore in verse 1 is referring to the verse before that says But the word of the Lord endureth for ever, and this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
Wherefore. Because of the fact that the Bible endures forever and because that Word is how you know the gospel.  Lay aside malice, guile, hypocrisies, envies, and evil speakings.  Put that stuff off, and put on drinking the Word of God. This is important. If you hold on to all of that bad stuff, the Milk of the Word will not do much for you. If you are holding on to all of that bad stuff, then you are really not drinking in the Milk.

Verse 1 is talking about what you desire. That list of fleshly desires is incompatible with the Word of God and the Spirit of God that wants to make the Milk of the word effective to grow you spiritually.  desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:  you must desire in a sincere way the milk of the word and not be desiring what the flesh wants.  This is talking about your attitude about the word of God. You are to desire it, you must actually want the Word of God to grow you. Put off those thinks that would be incompatible with the Bible doing its work in you and then put into yourself the Bible. When you drink something it gets digested and becomes a part of you. So keeping with the illustration, drink in the Bible and let it become a part of you.  Of who you are, how you think and how you act, and how you care about others.

And then the connected thought in verse 3.

1Pe 2:3 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

This is a way of saying that if you have tasted that the Lord is gracious then you will do what verse 1 and 2 say. This is not talking about getting saved. I have known many people who get saved, but they do not desire the milk of the Word and grow.  This is talking about if you have experienced that the Lord is gracious, then you will desire the milk and put off the bad. If you have seen God’s goodness, and His grace. If you then have faith that learning more and growing more will be better for you, then you will.
If you have tasted His graciousness, then you will want more. You will want a deeper relationship with Him and therefore you will do what is in verse 1 and 2.

You would think that is what everyone should do, but sadly that is not the case.

1Co 3:2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.

Paul wrote 1st Cor. To a church that had a whole lot of problems. From what Paul writes we know that they never grew much. They still could not handle the meat of God’s Word.  That church was not the only ones. We see the same issue in Hebrews.

Heb 5:11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.
Heb 5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
Heb 5:13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
Heb 5:14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

The group he is writing to also do not want to take in all of God’s Word. He says they are dull of hearing.  They also did not grow. He says when ye ought to be teachers, ye have need to be taught again the first principles. They are now such as have need of milk of the Word and not strong meat.  Verse 14 talks about how is ready to handle meat. Those who have used their senses. They have exercised their minds to discern both good and evil. It is obviously implied here that this exercise was done according to what was learned in God’s Word.  They desired God’s Word, put off the bad, took in His truth. Fed upon it, let it do its work, let it change them, then went out and lived it. Used Bible discernment in life, and that is what we call growth. They read, and heard, and learned, and grew. And that led to growing more.

Growing is a process. With the body that is not an option you will grow from being a baby to a child to a teen to an adult.  But spiritually growing is an option. And we have seen two examples in the Bible where not just one or two people but where groups of people had not grown spiritually.  If confronted with this, believe it or not, they will often put blame upon the Bible. They will say something like I can’t understand the Bible. Or it is too hard to read. Or a varity of other things.  But the problem is not with the food. The Bible is pure spiritual food. And it will never fail to do its job of feeding, if the bad is put off and the Word of God desired.

Isa 55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Isa 55:10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:
Isa 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

God uses another illustration of His Word and its ability to do the job. Just like the rain that waters the earth and brings forth and produces so that they have seed for next year and bread to eat.
Just like the rain that produces, God says His Word will be effective. It will accomplish what God wants it to. And the Bible will prosper in the purpose that God intended.
It absolutely will. God will empower that. But the heart must be open and the Milk of the Word desired, and digested for growth to happen in the heart.
Make no mistake. The Word of God is powerful, it is effective, and it is understandable. It absolutely can do amazing things in you and for you. There is nothing wrong with the Bible.

Psa 19:9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
Psa 19:10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
Psa 19:11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.
The judgements of the Lord are true and righteous. They are to be desired more than gold. His words are sweeter than honey.
Psa 119:103 How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

Again and again God’s Words are compared to food. Good food, and here sweet honey.
Jesus also used an illustration of food for God’s Words.

Mat_4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Man has a physical body and he also has an eternal soul. Man should not live by bread alone. He should not be only concerned with making decisions based on the body. The decisions of life should be made according to every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.  Every word. That is all areas of Life.
And Jesus used the food illustration about Himself and getting saved.

Joh_6:48 I am that bread of life.
Joh_6:50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.
Joh_6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

The Bible is the written Word. Jesus is the living Word. The Bible feeds our Spiritual life. Jesus is the giver of eternal life. The Bible tells us how to get saved. Jesus does the actual saving.

You cannot have eternal life without Jesus. You cannot know how to have eternal life without the Bible. The two are connected. You could not have one without the other. And once you have Jesus, you cannot grow in Him without His Word.

He has ordained it so. He has chosen to do the work of growth in His children thru His Word and of course through His Spirit, who illuminates and teaches His Word.
The Bible is pure, powerful, and very needful to the Christian as spiritual food.

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