Today’s Reading: 1 Sam 14:1–52, James 3:1–12, Ps 119:97–120
Today’s Theme: Watch your mouth (what you take in and speak out)
The things we take in and the things we let out are really important. We should take in the sweet truth of God’s word and then use our mouth to encourage and bless others in light of the word we have eaten. God has provided us with his written word so there is no need to go hungry, eat your fill from God every day.
1 Samuel 14:1–52
Confess God’s ability
Jonathan said to the young man who carried his armor, “Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised. It may be that the LORD will work for us, for nothing can hinder the LORD from saving by many or by few.” 1 Samuel 14:6 (ESV)
Jonathan has real faith in God and openly declares with his mouth that nothing can stop God from saving by many or by few. His servant is spurred on by his conviction and declares that he is wholeheartedly behind Jonathan.
We should have this same sort of faith in God. Our faith shouldn’t be in our ability but in God’s ability to give us the victory even when the odds are stacked against us.
Paul encourages us in Romans 8:31 “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”
We should open our mouth today declaring that God is able and then act in faith.
But Jonathan had not heard his father charge the people with the oath, so he put out the tip of the staff that was in his hand and dipped it in the honeycomb and put his hand to his mouth, and his eyes became bright. 1 Samuel 14:27 (ESV)
We read later in our Psalm reading that God’s word is sweeter than honey and through it understanding comes (Psalm 119:103-104).
When we eat God’s word we will be filled with life and energy. Our eyes will be enlightened just like Jonathan’s became bright with life when he ate the honey.
Paul prayed for the Ephesian believers in Ephesians 1:18 “having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints” (see Ephesians 1:17–21 for fuller context).
What does it mean to eat God’s word? Well as we will read in the Psalms we should take in God’s word (listen or read) and then meditate or think about what we have read. These two things will help to fill us with the spiritual energy we need to press forward by living out the word.
Don’t just look at the word, eat it!
Don’t become ravenous
The people pounced on the spoil and took sheep and oxen and calves and slaughtered them on the ground. And the people ate them with the blood. 1 Samuel 14:32 (ESV)
The fact is we are hungry, this is true physically and spiritually. We always eat physically because we can feel the hunger and seek to satisfy it. We should do exactly the same spiritually.
In this account the people had been forced by the religiousness and rash vow of Saul to fast. This came to a breaking point where they became ravenous and ate meat in a way contrary to all of their own laws.
If we do not feed ourselves spiritually with God’s word we will become ravenous in the spirit, eating the next thing that passes and taking the life of that thing to energise our own lives. This can be dangerous because it could be at best foolish or at worst false teaching.
Jesus said blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness (Matthew 5:6).
Jesus also said in John 6:35 “…“I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.”
Turn to the Lord for satisfaction today.
Watch the things you say
From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. James 3:10 (ESV)
We need to ask the Holy Spirit to help us control our tongue because no man can do it himself. We can’t just say anything, we should use our tongue to bless others, not curse them.
What we take in is what will come out, which is why we need a steady intake of God’s word so our responses will be what God intends.
Think about God’s word
Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day. Psalm 119:97 (ESV)
We should take time to think about what we have just read in God’s word. If we love the word of God we need to go beyond reading to meditation, study and application.
Understanding from the Word
Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way. Psalm 119:104 (ESV)
We get understanding from God’s word and it is the ruler we can use to measure everything else against. It is by the truth of God’s word that we identify false ways and stand against them.
Joy in the word
Your testimonies are my heritage forever, for they are the joy of my heart. Psalm 119:111 (ESV)
The word of God should bring us great joy. We should rejoice in reading and studying the word of God. If you find the word of God a miserable duty then ask God to change your heart today, you are missing out.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
Desiring God on James 3