The word of God is easier to swallow than to digest. Revelation 10:9 says, “So I went to the angel, telling him to give me the little book. And he said to me, “Take it and eat it; it will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey.” NASB
I can speak the words of the Bible with eloquence and say I love God with all my heart without letting His Word become part of who I am. It truly does make my stomach bitter if I allow it to go deeply into my heart and soul. It’s the same premise as talking the talk but not walking the walk.
Speaking and reading are important when it comes to getting a taste of God’s Word, but like the food I eat to nourish my body, it must be digested if I am to get the nourishment God has in mind for me. My will often counteracts His, and that’s where the bitterness comes in to play. Food must be absorbed before it can be used by my body. The same is true for God’s Word.
I can take the scriptures and pick out the verses that please me, and I can even take them and use them to prove my point and justify my will. No one knows the scriptures better than Satan, and he helps me find what I need and use it to suit my purposes if I yield to the easier path and keep God’s words in my mouth. God asks that I take His Word as a whole meal which isn’t meant to satisfy my needs but to grow me into the disciple He wants me to be.
I love the scriptures, and they do sound sweet on my lips, but I prefer to swallow and let them settle deeply in my heart. There is nothing better for healing the body than bitter herbs which stimulate everything from my liver to my mind. The same is true for God’s Word. Bitter isn’t bad when it comes to healing; it’s necessary. The sweet taste in the mouth is important too. I have to swallow God’s Word and those bitter herbs before they can begin to heal what ails me.
I love God’s Word, but it goes deeply and tastes bitter when my heart and soul are ailing. There is no greater medicine, and Christ’s precious love sweetens it enough for me to get it past my lips and into my heart. The Holy Spirit helps me digest and discern it in a way that heals and prepares my heart for God’s will. It’s an amazing process that heals as no other medicine in this world.