I want you to take a sec and think about your most favorite dessert. I’m not talking about prepackaged cookies from the Keebler elves. I’m talking about real dessert. Maybe more like something from the Cheesecake Factory.
You know how it is when you’re having a really good dessert, right?
You savor every bite. Let it dissolve on your tongue as you enjoy every bit of flavor. And, then when you’re on the last bite, you feel a mixture of sadness and delight. Sadness because the whole experience is about to be over. Delight because it was rich and delicious and everything you had hoped it would be. The indulgence makes your heart happy.
That’s how I feel about Tiramasu. And Baklava. And quality dark chocolate… with fresh strawberries. And Graeter’s Rasberry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream.
And the Bible.
You see, too often we think about the Bible like we think about brussel sprouts (you may insert some other hated vegetable if you’re a lover of these tiny cabbage-like greens; I don’t mean to offend). We know it’s good for us and that we should probably have our daily dose. But, in truth, we don’t really savor it. We don’t anticipate it. Like a child at the dinner table, we pinch our noses and choke it down until the next day when we’ll have to do it all again. Usually accompanied by a heavy side of guilt.
But, I want you to know that it doesn’t have to be this way. It wasn’t for King David. For this warrior-poet, God’s Word was more like eating dessert. Here’s what he said about it in Psalm 19:
The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold, yes, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.
After reading David’s praise of God’s words, do you get the sense that he was choking them down out of duty? No way! For David, it was his delight to take them in and let them transform his life!
Why? Because they restore the soul, make wise the simple, rejoice the heart, and enlighten the eyes.
Sweet friends, stop making your Bible a symbol of guilt and obligation! It’s not. It was never meant to be. Is it good for us? Yes. Should we read it regularly and apply ourselves to studying it? Yes. Do we have to read it? Yes. Another place in scripture calls it our daily bread – so, yes, there is certainly a sense in which HAVE to have it. But, only if we want to LIVE!
What a shame that we have made it so much more like eating brussel sprouts and less like feasting on something rich and decadent.
Why do we DO that? Is it that we’ve allowed ourselves to become satisfied with a steady diet of prepackaged Keebler crap so we feel full? Is it that our tastebuds have become dull and we just don’t know good food anymore? Maybe we just don’t remember how great a good piece of Baklava can taste? Is it that we’ve busied ourselves with so much other stuff that we’re really not “alive.” Oh, we look like we’re alive. But we’re really parched and dry and malnourished because we’re wasting away inside. Is it because we don’t think the dessert will be yummy? Maybe we’ve been duped into thinking it will be gross and cardboardy.
Probably a little bit of all of the above.
Could we try feasting? Because I don’t want to have dull tastebuds or eat prepackaged cookies or settle for wasting away. Or miss the good stuff because I thought it was cardboard. None of those sound appealing. Maybe lets try David’s approach.
David says that God’s Word is sweeter than honey.
We don’t really appreciate this illustration because we have sugar. But only recently in man’s history (mid-19th century) did sugar become affordable to the average Westerner. Prior to then, it was a very expensive luxury. I know that’s hard to believe because now it’s in EVERYTHING we eat. But it was once highly valued. And honey even more so because it’s twice as sweet as sugar and has healing properties. It was often used as a form of currency or as a tribute or offering. It was something to be prized and savored.
For just a moment, I want you to imagine honey just dripping off the honeycomb. Fresh, pure honey. Imagine a kid, sitting in a meadow with it – taking a big, sloppy lick right off the honeycomb.
Now, I want you to go pick up your Bible. And ask God to help you feel the same way about it. Rehearse David’s Words. Shout them back to God with reckless abandon.
Oh God, YOUR law is perfect, converting my soul: YOUR testimony is sure, making wise the simple. YOUR statutes are right, rejoicing my heart: YOUR commandment is pure, enlightening my eyes. YOUR fear is clean, enduring for ever: YOUR judgments are true and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold, yes, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. If I keep them there is great reward.