Dream word – DRINK
1 Peter 1:10-12
“Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the Gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven - things which angels desire to look into.” NKJV
When your stomach feels dismal
Eugene Peterson is correct when he says that we cannot get rid of the puzzling and unpleasant difficulties of the Bible and that these are the “belly aches” that come with eating this most sweetest of books. Indeed, it is Peterson that encourages us to keep a well-stocked cupboard of Alka Seltzer and Pepto-Bismal at hand whenever we read the Bible!
I do of course believe in the verbal plenary inspiration of The Bible, nevertheless, the Word of God does have its challenges. For me, it is not so much the textual challenges sometimes present but rather the narrative challenge. It is the very stories contained in the Bible that are often most nakedly astonishing to me! Many of them leave me speechless and indeed, even embarrassed for God, I mean, did He edit some of this copy before it was admitted? Surely not! Surely some sub-editor slipped it past His nose and the embarrassing account, the naughty story, the mad murderous escapade gained its place on the page by subtle subterfuge without His knowledge and editorial affirmation? Of course, that is not the case. Every word, every word was delicately chosen by Him. That thought alone gives me a belly ache, I mean, what was He thinking? For there a quite a number of stories I would straight away remove because I preach this stuff, I teach this stuff, I eat this stuff, drink it, gulp it down and swim in this stuff, and some of it, is a real belly ache!
I wonder if the colour of God the Holy Spirit is Pepto-Bismol pink? For I have found that when the aching comes upon me that it is only He who can alleviate the belly aches of my soul and the churnings of my spirit. Our text for tonight tells us of the alimentary ailments of the prophets of the past who struggled with what they were writing. It was the spirit of Christ in them, I like that, it was God the holy Spirit who comforted them, calmed them, caressed their grumbling bowels and said, “You don’t need to know, you cannot know for now, this is not for you, what you write is for those yet to come, for those upon whom the end of the ages have fallen. Shhhhhhh... be still, relax, then write on.”
The reading of Scripture can never be an isolated task for when we open the Bible, for when we sit to eat, it is always at a table for two, with a crowd of angelic waiters looking on! Please be then assured that our Helper is always wearing pink and we cannot miss Him, so that when we eat this sweetest of meals, we shall be sure to drink Him up with it as well. Ask God the Holy Spirit to help you digest the Scriptures.
Listen: “So I went to the angel and said to him, ‘Give me the little book.’ And he said to me,’Take and eat it; and it will make your stomach bitter, but it will be as sweet as honey in your mouth.’” Revelation 10:9 NKJV
Pray: Blessed are You, O Lord! Teach me Your statutes. With my lips I have declared all the judgements of Your mouth. I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, as much as in all riches. I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways. I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word. (Psalms 119:12-16 NKJV)
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