Feeding on the Word

And he said to me, "Son of man, eat what is before you, eat this scroll; then go and speak to the house of Israel." So I opened my mouth, and he gave me the scroll to eat. Then he said to me, "Son of man, eat this scroll I am giving you and fill your stomach with it." So I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth. He then said to me: "Son of man, go now to the house of Israel and speak my words to them." (Eze 3:1-4)

So I went to the angel and asked him to give me the little scroll. He said to me, "Take it and eat it. It will turn your stomach sour, but in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey." I took the little scroll from the angel's hand and ate it. It tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour. Then I was told, "You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages and kings." (Rev 10:9-11)

The Bible has a lot to say about many things, including itself. However we should not expect to find prophetic imagery of leather bound books with crosses on the front. The book form of the Bible only existed after the printing-press. In biblical times the word of God was recorded on scrolls. So when we see a scroll in prophetic language, especially if that scroll is coming from the Lord, what we are seeing are the Scriptures referring to themselves: we are seeing the recorded word of God.

It is interesting that in these two cases where the prophets are commanded to eat the scroll we are told it tasted like honey. This is of course what the manna tasted like. The manna was another demonstration to God's people that they needed to feed, not just on bread alone, but on every word that comes from God.

The people of Israel called the bread manna. It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey. (Ex 16:31),

He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. (Dt 8:3)

It is also interesting and highly significant that in both cases the prophets had to feed on the word before they were commanded to prophesy. It is a rather obvious statement, but a valuable truth nevertheless, that you cannot bring the word of God out of you, if it is not in you to begin with. The scriptures are prophet food. If we are to be God's prophetic people we must make sure we are getting a good diet of the word of God. God doesn't speak into empty heads, but into hearts that are full of his word.

Bon Appetit!


Anna Sacha said...

wow! that was really good.

Kev C said...

Plenty of food for thought here Chris, just glad I've always had a big appetite!