My favorite television show is Survivor. Currently I am watching the older seasons and this week one of the episodes brought me to tears. For those who know me well, God speaks to me often through movies and television shows. The images, videos or emotions that are stirred in me connect me to the Father in ways that reveal something about God’s character or something I can learn about obedience or love, etc. And this week was no different than other times. Bear with me as I explain a little background of the Survivor episode, before I get to the point.
The Survivor season 3 began with 16 men and women hoping to be the last survivor in the Savannah of Africa. Their only source for food is rice and kernels of corn. The water supply is a stream that they share with the animals of the Savannah, who use it for drinking, etc. You can imagine. The water must be boiled before the team drinks any of it. The camp is surrounded by acacia tree branches in the shape of a circle to keep out the lions and other wild animals. At night, 2 people must tend the fire and stay alert to any potential dangers. It is quite a feat of survival. (Much different than the current seasons of the show.)
The episode that grabbed my attention was day 36, with 5 people left on the tribe. The other 11 men and women had been voted off and these were the last five. As they sat around camp, they were sharing with one another how tired and hungry they were. The Savannah was wearing them down. Enter tree-mail. Each morning one or two of the players would go to retrieve “tree-mail” which was some sort of package that when opened gave the directions for the tribe’s next challenge (winners of challenges receive a food reward or are kept safe from being voted off the tribe). As two of the tribe members took the package out of tree-mail, they returned to the tribe to open it up, expecting their challenge directions. What they received instead was letters from home. This is where the Lord spoke to my heart.
Those five players, broken from the exhaustion and hunger, were renewed with great strength as they read letters of encouragement from those they loved. One of the men actually said, “This is my food. I can eat of their words and receive everything I need.” Another player said, “I could eat these words.” Another held the letters in his hand and mentioned that he could see the personality and essence from his family by the words written on the pages through their handwriting. Each of the tribe members, grabbed their letters and went to sit alone and read and cry through the words. They clung to the letters as if life was carried in the words. And every single person was renewed. Their strength returned. No food could bring what these letters brought. They devoured every word and treasured the letters.
As I watched and cried, the Lord spoke to me about His Word. I was immediately reminded of the words Jesus spoke to the enemy when He was in the desert with no food for 40 days, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God,” Matthew 4:4. And the Scripture that tells us that God’s Word is more “precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb,” Psalm 19:10. And Psalm 119:103, “How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth”.
I want to carry the images of those five survivors with me every time I open God’s Word. I want to devour God’s word and consume it for my daily bread and nourishment. His Words bring life and wholeness and healing and joy and hope and comfort and freedom, etc. The Word of God is not like any other book. It is alive and the essence of God is on every page. “For the Word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart,” Hebrews 4:12.
Here are 8 reasons to devour the Word:
Let your cry be like those five survivors: This is my food. As I eat the words, I receive everything I need! “Then He said to me, ‘Son of man, eat this scroll I am giving you and fill your stomach with it’. So I ate it and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth,” Ezekiel 3:3. EAT THE SCROLL!