16 Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart.
You’ve probably heard television advertisers declare that they’ll save you money on whatever they’re selling and proudly declare that if you find a better deal elsewhere, they’ll eat their hat. Maybe they should just eat their words and make better deals for people without the hype.
Jeremiah talked about how he ate God’s Word and found it to bring joy to his heart. We talk a lot about partaking of God’s Word, reading it, and studying it. We’re really saying we need to eat God’s Word. The Hebrew word used in this verse for eat is אָכַל, ʾākal. It’s a verb so it shows action, as in eating. Strong’s Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary says it is a primitive root meaning to eat, burn up, consume, devour, dine, feed, plenty.
When you eat physical food, you are feeding your physical body so that it continues to perform as God intended. Food fuels our bodies. Jeremiah consumed God’s Word, devoured it, and dined on it as you would a five-course meal. It gave him nourishment, spiritual nourishment that also influenced his physical body.
I love the expanded meanings for the simple word, eat. Here’s what Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old Testament and New Testament Words says: The word can refer not only to “eating” but to the entire concept “room and board”.
Jeremiah found God’s Word(s) and ate it. He consumed the Word. He meditated on God’s promises. But he didn’t just read and think about the words, he stayed in the Word because it was his room and board. It was where he lived. His residence was in God’s Word. He didn’t look elsewhere in the world for sustenance to survive. He dwelt and lived in the Word of God daily.
I encourage you to eat and live in God’s Word and let His promises of blessing, approval, forgiveness, prosperity, healing direct your days. As you do, you’ll be able to proclaim as Jeremiah did—“thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart.”