This Thanksgiving,Are You Hungry For God’s Word?

God reveals himself to us. He takes the initiative to make himself known. The Lord speaks and commands us to hear his word. His word is recorded in Scripture. The Bible tells us who God is and what he wants of us. If the Lord has given us his word, it follows that we ought to attend to it. The word deserves our time and effort to understand it well and contemplate its meaning. This takes desire. We need to be hungry for the word of God. I recently had the privilege of traveling to Maissade, Haiti, to present Bible teaching for church leaders. There I saw hunger for the word of God. People made an effort to be there. We fought barriers to communication. I was from a different culture and had to rely on a translator to present my thoughts in Haitian Creole. The environment was hot and noisy. Our media was a small blackboard and notebooks for copying. But they sat with open Bibles and remained attentive the whole time. They wanted to learn.

I couldn’t resist comparisons with America. Whereas they feel blessed simply to have a battered copy of the Bible, we have multiple English versions with annotated editions for every demographic. We have all kinds of study aids and resources. Yet the Bible often goes unread. We could attribute this to many distractions. Might it be a simple lack of hunger for the word? When Joshua was to succeed Moses, he was told to meditate on the word of God day and night; then he would succeed (see Joshua 1:8). Psalm 1 describes a blessed man who doesn’t go the way of the crowd, but delights in the Lord’s instruction and meditates on it day and night. That person will be full of life (see Psalm 1:1-3). Hunger for the word brings spiritual vitality.

One of the earlier prophets, Amos, warned Israel about a famine—“not a famine of bread, or a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord” (Amos 8:11). The people did not lack written words of Scripture. It was available. The word was simply being disregarded. They didn’t want it. There was no hunger. So the prophet warned about famine. This spiritual hunger lesson in Haiti was emphasized on my last day. I taught part of the morning. Then our team took a few hours to pack and up and eat a meal before heading out for the long trip to Port au Prince. I was riding in the back of a pickup truck bouncing along the road for some distance when I saw one the students walking with his Bible and notebook in the midday heat. He had been walking for hours. He left me with a valuable lesson. I need to make sure that I stay hungry for the word of God.


StanleySchultzBy  Stanley W. Schultz Jr., pastor of Faith Baptist Church

Happy Thanksgiving to You and Yours!