Then he said to me, “Son of man, eat this scroll I am giving you and fill your stomach with it.” So I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth. Ezekiel 3:3
When I was growing up, I was the kid in the elementary school class who would eat anything. I would eat chalk, paper, rocks, grass, and erasers. I held the 3rd grade record for eating pencils. Some kids are good at school. Others were good at kickball. I was known for being the kid in class who would eat weird things.
I held that distinction for some time until another kid transferred into our school. When he ate a grasshopper at recess, I decided that it was time for me to find another way to distinguish myself. At that point, I decided that it was time to become the class clown instead.
One of my favorite scriptures comes from the Book of Ezekiel. In that story, God held out a scroll that had words of lamentation, mourning and woe written on both sides. God instructed Ezekiel then to eat that scroll. The Lord went further to tell him to fill his stomach with it.
Even though I used to be the kid who would eat anything, I would have had a hard time eating such a scroll. Words of lamentation, mourning and woe don’t sound all that appetizing. God was asking Ezekiel to eat a giant woe burger. Don’t think I would select that dish at a buffet.
If we are honest we would prefer to be more selective. Most of us would rather take our scripture a la carte. We might feel tempted to say “God give me the words of promise, peace and joy, but hold the woe and mourning.” We might want to latch on to certain scriptures while avoiding certain others. We want to pick through our Bible when the Lord wants us to clean our plate.
Notice Ezekiel was surprised at the end of this story. He found that when he ate the scroll that it tasted as sweet as honey in his mouth. Even the words you might think would be hard to digest were flavorful.
Like Ezekiel, we need to learn to love all of God’s words, even the ones we struggle to accept. All scripture is God breathed and meant for human consumption. Let’s feast on God’s words (whatever they are) by reading, studying, contemplating, and obeying them.
Rev. Chris Klingenfus