God’s Word provides STRENGTH for our life journey
April 13 Bible Reading: 1 Kings Chapters 19-22
Then as he (Elijah) lay and slept under a broom tree, suddenly an angel touched him, and said to him, "Arise and eat." Then he looked, and there by his head was a cake baked on coals, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank, and lay down again. And the angel of the Lord came back the second time, and touched him, and said, "Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you." So he arose, and ate and drank; and he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights as far as Horeb, the mountain of God. (1 Kings 19:5-8)
God had displayed his tremendous power for Elijah on Mount Carmel by sending down fire from heaven, as he triumphed over the prophets of Baal. However, soon after the mountain top experience, Elijah became afraid and discouraged as he ran away unable to challenge the death threat from Queen Jezebel. He travelled a day’s journey into the wilderness, and sat down under a broom tree giving up and praying that he might die (1 Kings 19:4). It is at this time that God send His angel and fed Elijah twice with food (cake), drink (water) and rest (sleep). The sustaining power of that food from heaven was remarkable – with the strength that he received from God, Elijah travelled for forty days and nights (without any food, drink or sleep) and reached Mount Horeb where he could position himself to hear the “still small voice” of God and move forward in his ministry.
God’s Word is compared to food in Psalm 119:103: "How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!" This symbol is repeated in Jeremiah 15:16 and 1 Peter 2:2. Both Prophet Ezekiel and Apostle John are described as "eating" a book (Ezek. 3:1-3; Rev. 10:9, 10). This is a powerful symbol of God’s servants literally eating and digesting God’s Word. Food gives us strength to do our daily activities. If we neglect food, we will become weak and tired. In the same way, when we neglect God’s Word we will become spiritually under-developed, and consequently unable to resist temptation and to withstand the Devil's onslaughts.
Only those who regularly meditate on God's Word grow into strong virile Christians (1 John 2:14) who get strength for their onward spiritual journey. We need to read, meditate and hide God’s Word in our hearts by memorizing it (Psa.119:11). Job said that he esteemed the words of God's mouth more even than his necessary daily food (Job 23:12) as he truly understood the importance of God’s Word that sustained him during his difficult days of trial and pain.