Recently, my daughter has picked up a habit where if I say a word or a phrase, she says, “Say that again.” I repeat it. Then I can usually hear her turning it over and over in her mouth trying to use it correctly or say it properly.
The other day, I said something, which she asked me to repeat. But it was not followed by her usual regurgitation. She sat quietly.
I said, “Do you want to try to say it?”
“No Momma. I can’t say that. I don’t have that word in my mouth.”
I was so pierced by her phrasing. “I don’t have that word in my mouth.” It was both funny and compelling.
So compelling. But have you ever felt compelled by something and yet not totally sure why you are compelled by it?
She didn’t try to say my word, but I kept her phrase right on the tip of my tongue for days, “I don’t have that word in my mouth.” Turning it over and over in my mind.
In my Bible study, I came across a story I had never heard before, or maybe just never really noticed before.
“And he said to me, “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. And he said to me, “Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak with my words to them.” [Ezekiel 3:1-4]
The Lord is calling Ezekiel and tells him to eat a scroll. To literally eat His words.
And Ezekiel obeys. He could have literally respond, “I have that Word IN MY MOUTH.” We see Ezekiel actually taste it, really taste it, and he experiences that it actually is as sweet as honey.
I love allegory and simile in scripture, but I equally love when the Lord is so concrete and so literal you could almost laugh. And I love when He gives us something that keeps poking at us, and we can’t quite shake it out but we don’t know why.
Like when He compels us with our daughter’s words, and then makes it come alive across the words of Scripture.
In scripture, the Word of God is described as “sweeter than honey” (Psalm 119:103). That it is a “lamp for our feet and a light to our path” (Psalm 119:105). That it is “living and active and sharper than any double edge sword” (2 Timothy 3:16). That it “endures forever” (Isaiah 40:8). And Jesus himself says we live off of it.
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” [Matthew 4:4]
There is a significant flow of events in Ezekiel. The Lord tells him to eat the scrolls, Ezekiel eats the scroll, has them in his mouth, says they taste “as sweet as honey”. THEN God tells him to take the words he had put in his mouth and speak them.
It got me thinking about how I hunger for the Word of God, and if I hunger for the Word of God. And if I live off it. If I live by it’s light, and am desperate for it to be living and active in me.
If I put His words in my mouth and then speak them.
It made me reply my interactions with daughter over and over again. How she asks me to say it, and say it again, and say it again, until she is comfortable enough with it to say it herself.
And I wondered when the last time was I sat at the Lord’s feet and asked Him to say it, and to say it again, and to say it again. Until I really got it. Until I was comfortable enough with it that I could own it. That I could say it with conviction. That I could live it with conviction.
How often do I sit with my Bible open, and I just search the Word until I find every which way He has answered my question. Finding passage after passage after passage that shows me what He says and how He says it so that I know it and I can own it and I can say it and live with conviction.
Sometimes it is the big questions that can only be answered in faith. And sometimes it is the very simple, “You love me? Show me, please. Show me again. Say it, please. Say it again, Say it, again. Again. Please.”
Until I reach a place where I can say, “I’ve got His word in my mouth, and man it is sweeter than honey.”
In His love,