No, I wasn’t hungry when I titled this entry. Ok, maybe I was but in all fairness, I’m never not hungry. I’ve used this concept in posts and casual conversations but only recently did it occur me that “swallowing whole books of the Bible” demands explanation.
The phrase first stuck in my craw from the image in Revelation. The origins however are not the objective of this post but reading that chapter, like most of Revelation, will baffle you in the most positive way.
This series is for you, if you relate with any of these questions:
- How do you swallow a book?
- What does that even mean?
- Why a book, why not a chapter?
“Swallowing whole books of the Bible” begins with tasting.
As we read a book of the Bible in its entirety, we get an overall flavor. We start to pick up on recurring themes and blended spices. Just like eating, we have peconcieved notions of how we think it will taste.
To our surprise, we are often gifted with an altogether different taste, texture, and aroma than expected.
Reading a whole book has an initial effect akin to multiple taste buds smarting simultaneously. Sometimes the new reality takes a while to settle in and delight to take over. Reading, as with most forms of communication, sparks all the various emotions. Therefore, I do not mean to imply that reading a full book or letter will make us feel happy and warm inside.
The delight I’m speaking of is taking in and appreciating the deliciousness of a full menu item by devouring it’s smaller parts together. Devouring a book in one sitting can, especially in the case of narrative passages, increase our delight in the gratefulness of each morsel. Taste is just an added benefit in the process of eating. Do we ever stop and ponder that?
God could have made this while process completely mechanical. We could chew, swallow, and digest food without taste buds. Instead, omniscient God decidedly chose an interestingly intricate design which allows for the partaker to experience indescribable pleasures.
He chose to make even eating a means of worship, a “worship service” even.
Well for many people, they only have a bite of God’s Word to sustain them. I am thinking mostly of persecuted Christians worldwide right now. However, beyond that, there are so many Bibleless people groups out there who have none of God’s Word on which to meditate. We as Bible gluttons have a mandate to do something about Bible shortages. This is something we can do about it.
Even for those who are being reached with God’s Word through organizations such as Wycliffe and The Seed Company, many still only have portions. Imagine the way these believers savor every morsel.
It is a beautiful privilege we have to freely and openly own a Bible, let us do with it what we ought.