The imagery of feasting sets an important backdrop for the Scriptures. The Old Testament tells of ceremonies and celebrations packed with significance, and numerous times in the New Testament we see Jesus feasting with His followers. There is a constant returning to the table, all in the name of seeking God’s presence.
In a similar sense, we are called to feast daily on the Word of God. It is an invitation to gather at the table and enjoy the nearness of our Savior. His Word is our welcome. We see it in the lives of the Berean Jews in Acts 17:11, “They received the Word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.”
What a beautiful image this is, a stopover on Paul’s missionary journey, a sharing of the Word met with great eagerness. Do we come as hungry as the Bereans did? When we physically feast on good foods they nourish our bodies, strengthening us through and through. The same is found with God’s Word. Every time we take in the Scriptures, our hearts are strengthened. Our faith grows. Our minds are cleansed. Our desires are aligned. Our purpose becomes clearer. His is the greatest feast, and we’re welcomed each and every day to partake.
As we prepare to partake of God’s Word, there are three important things to remember. When we come to God’s Word, we must come hungry, searching, and expectant.
There is a preparation that readies us for God’s truth, a growing need making space for His promises to fill. We come hungry as the Bereans did, receiving the Word “with great eagerness.” Or, as we read in 1 Peter 2:2, “Like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the Word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation.” Consider a baby craving milk — their very sustenance. Is God’s Word our lifeline? Do we come in the depths of need, hungering after the truth which upholds our lives? “Man does not live by bread alone,” Deuteronomy 8:3 tells us, “but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord.” When we come famished — ready for the filling of the fullness of Christ — our hearts are prepared to receive the most abundant life there is.
In their eagerness, the Bereans set straight to “examining the Scriptures daily.” They did not lay God’s Word aside, uninterested, and they did not pick and choose the pieces they wanted. This word, “eagerness,” in its Greek roots communicates “searching” or “discerning.” The Bereans were on a hunt. Does our searching bring us not to our own agendas, but to God’s unchangeable truth? When we come to the table curious about all He says, and ready to receive His Word for what it is, He grants wisdom. When we come prayerfully, ready to receive what He is offering, He gives us exactly what we need. We come knowing the truth of 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” Setting aside our own notions, we search out His intentions. We come praying along with Hebrews 13:20-21, “Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”
As we approach God’s Word hungry and searching, we begin to glimpse the richness of the feast He has set before us. For the Bereans, this was their salvation. As Paul and Barnabas served them the Word, “Many of them therefore believed.” The same is true for us. God’s precious Word leads us to salvation — eternity in His presence, along with everything we need for daily living.
We glimpse how His Word guides us in Psalm 119:105, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” We discover the everlasting nature of His Word in Isaiah 40:8, “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.” We find wisdom for everyday life, as promised in Proverbs 2:6, “For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” We find the promise of a purposeful, fruitful life in John 15:7-8, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.”
Finally, when we feast on God’s Word, we find freedom that only comes from Him, as in John 8:31-32, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”
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