One of my favorite classes to teach at Ellerslie Discipleship Training is Bible Survey. This semester, I’ve had the privilege of walking through the Old Testament with our Practicum class. This past week we looked at Jeremiah and Ezekiel and the students were asked to write a short meditation from one of the books. As they shared, one of the meditations/devotionals captured my attention and I asked for permission to share it with you. The focus is on the delight of God’s Word found in Jeremiah 15:16.
by Elsa Dymesich
Your words were found and I ate them,
And Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart;
For I have been called by Your name,
O LORD God of hosts.
Jeremiah 15:16, HCSB
Jeremiah found something, then he must have been looking. Not only were the words of the LORD found, but he consumed them. He allowed the word to go into the innermost part of his being. It nourished his body, it strengthened him.
It is widely known that what we eat is central to our health, and that is all the more true in the spiritual.
What is my spiritual diet?
One perspective is “nutrients are the nourishing substances in food that are essential for the growth, development, and maintenance of body functions (Perspectives in Nutrition, Wardlow and Insel). This is not only true in the physical aspect of eating, but much more so spiritually.
Let me use an example to demonstrate this idea. I really enjoy peanut butter. Oh, did I say enjoy, I mean it is my favorite of nourishments. I really have to try to not eat it at every meal and with everything…but a lot of times I do. What if I was that way with the word of God?
When I wake up, do I first seek the LORD through His Word, and as I go about my day, am I meditating on what I read that morning? Does my mind dwell on what He is teaching me? What would that look like in your life—to seek Jesus and search His Word and eat of it?
The Delight of Our Heart
Jeremiah said that the word became a joy, and was the delight of his heart. I looked up the Hebrew meaning of delight. It is practically equivalent to the Israelites’ days of feasting and celebrating over their God and His blessings. This word is also used in reference to one’s wedding day. It is a feminine noun meaning joy, rejoicing, gladness, and pleasure. It refers to reality; the experience and manifestation of joy and gladness. It refers to a celebration of something with joyful and cheerful activities.
This is what Jeremiah experienced in regards to the Word of the LORD. There was a very physical gladness. Think about the face of a bride on her wedding day, or the groom on his wedding day—tThey are so delighted that their faces are beaming. Their joy and cheer are manifested upon their faces. This ought not to be a hypothetical statement. If something is truly a delight of my heart, there will be an outward expression.
The first thing mentioned in this verse is that “thy words were found and I ate them,” then the word became the delight and joy of Jeremiah’s heart. This word “became” indicated that something has occurred or come about, to come to pass. I find it interesting that the delighting in the words follows the consuming of it. Jeremiah didn’t delight in the word so he ate it, but rather he ate it and the word became unto him “a joy and the delight of his heart.”
The Word was getting into Jeremiah. How often do I get into the Word, but never allow it to get into me? That would be like if I jumped into a pool of peanut butter. I would be in it, and sticky, and would wonder what everyone is talking about. I would not feel any delight or joy about the situation I was in. But on the other hand, when I eat peanut butter and let it go into the innermost part of my being, there is a nourishment and satisfaction. It brings health and delight. Therefore, if I don’t have a delight in the Word, or a joy in it, then I must read it and eat, and the joy will come.
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Elsa Dymesich grew up in a little village populated by 79 people in Northern Wisconsin. She currently attends Ellerslie Discipleship Training and really loves Jesus (and peanut butter).