All kidding aside, chewing our food is important. It is the essential first step of digestion. Food must be chewed so it can be swallowed easily and, when it arrives into the stomach, be appropriately digested. Chewing leaves food small enough for the gastric juices in the stomach to degrade it further and reduce it to microscopic size. When we chew our food, it sends messages to the gastrointestinal system that food is on its way so that it triggers hydrochloric acid production, helping our food move through our digestive tract. When we don’t chew our food enough, our digestive system becomes confused. As a result, our body may not produce enough of the enzymes needed to break down the food thoroughly. This could lead to digestive problems, which prevent the food from benefiting our body as intended.
Spiritually speaking, God’s Word is like food. Jesus said that man does not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God. In other words, God’s Word is food for our soul. But like physical food, God’s Word must be chewed. This is the ancient practice of meditation. Meditation is when we fill our mind with God’s Word and give it the attention needed to understand it and allow it to speak to us. It is when we rehearse it and allow it to become personal to us and gain insight into how to apply its wisdom to the circumstances of our lives. Solomon, here in Proverbs, makes it clear in the above passage the need to give God’s Word the proper attention so that it penetrates deep into our hearts. Like the nutrients of food, when absorbed into the body provide strength, energy, and health to our bodies, so God’s Word, when digested, gives us the confidence to act upon it.
When we take the time to chew on God’s Word, it sends the signal to our soul that not only is this information important but something that requires a response. We need to allow our soul to see God’s Word as wisdom that becomes a way of life when applied. Solomon tells us that it promotes a way of life that brings health to our whole being when we do. That is why the Apostle James urges us not just to hear God’s Word but do it because the doer experiences the blessing. Yet digesting God’s Word requires chewing on it. That might be the best exercise you start this year!
PRAYER: Father, thank you for your Word. May it become my delight and the meal that I look forward to chewing on long after I hear it. Help me learn the practice of meditating on your Word so that it makes my way prosperous and brings me success. I want my life to glorify You, so help me make the time and priority that Your Word deserves so that I learn to live by every Word that proceeds from Your mouth. In Jesus’ name, Amen!