No matter how healthy you are, stomach trouble can debilitate you, in sometimes embarrassing ways, and it is almost always affected by what we eat. I remember introducing my first baby to sweet potatoes. His little tummy rumbled and grumbled in such an alarming way that I was sure any second that child would launch out of the infant seat and orbit the kitchen. He certainly had enough propulsion to do so. At least that experience benefited his little brother. I mixed his sweet potatoes with other mashed veggies the first time, like carrots or peas, though I would never recommend the color that peas and sweet potatoes make when mixed together for any painting project.
As many times as the metaphor of eating is applied to the Word of God, those memories made me sit back and think a bit.
God once told Ezekiel, “Son of man, eat whatever you find here. Eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel. "So I opened my mouth, and he gave me this scroll to eat. And he said to me, “Son of man, feed your belly with this scroll that I give you and fill your stomach with it.” Then I ate it, and it was in my mouth as sweet as honey. Ezek 3:1-3
John had a similar experience. So I went to the angel and told him to give me the little scroll. And he said to me, “Take and eat it; it will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey." And I took the little scroll from the hand of the angel and ate it. It was sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it my stomach was made bitter. Rev 10:9-10
Both of those prophets had a great respect and love for the Word of God. That's where the "sweet as honey" comes in. But neither one of them loved the message they had to deliver; John, one of an upcoming persecution greater than God's people had ever experienced, and Ezekiel, trying to convince a hardheaded people that Jerusalem would indeed be destroyed in a most horrible way and that they were the true remnant, the only hope for God's people and the World. Yet both of those men, because of their devotion to God, fulfilled their missions. Their abiding love for God made their prophecies palatable.
I have heard both preachers and elders, lately, beg a congregation full of God's people to "get into the Word." When we have to beg, when we have to bargain like a parent with a toddler—"Eat just one bite and you can have some dessert"—how much love for the Word are we exhibiting? How much commitment to our Savior do we really have?
If we are what we claim, we should long to fill ourselves with those words. We should clamor for more. If nothing else, like an adult we should understand that eating our vegetables is better for us than eating French fries, desserts, or candy, and do it without needing a bribe. At least one has a hope of developing a taste for the profound, the spiritual, the Truth if he tries it once in a while.
My mother used to mash the carrots and potatoes from the pot roast and mix them together so I would eat the carrots. Now I have matured and do just fine, thank you. What won't you eat, even for the sake of saving your soul?
How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Ps 119:103