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Biblical Famine | Starving for the Word


"Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You." Psalm 119:11

"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

"His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness." 2 Peter 1:3

"Christians used to be known as “people of one book.” Sure, they read, studied and shared other books. But the book they cared about more than all others combined was the Bible. They memorized it, meditated on it, talked about it and taught it to others. We don’t do that anymore, and in a very real sense we’re starving ourselves to death." — Kenneth Berding, Professor of New Testament, Biola University, The Crisis of Biblical Illiteracy & What We Can Do About It

We are "starving ourselves to death" via an elected famine in which scripture and Bible consumption are largely ignored; replaced with insubstantial vacant distractions that provide an illusion of fullness. Unlike the people who sought the Word of God and were denied (Amos 8:11-12) we have free unfettered access to hearing the One True Living God speak and yet our Bibles often sit unopened. We have chosen Biblical malnutrition over spiritual sustenance.

"I think I can say from experience, from history, and from the Bible: Every Christian needs more spiritual food than one meal a week. That doesn’t work physically; it doesn’t work spiritually. Temptations are too relentless. Doubt is too frequent. Satan is too active. Tribulations are too heavy. Conflicts are too many. Emotions are too volatile. Perplexities are too difficult. Faith, hope, and love are too threatened, to think I can deal with these all week long simply from one word I got on Sunday. I can’t do it. And I don’t think anybody can." — John Piper, via Tony Reinke, Desiring God | Why We Neglect Our Bibles

We are all hungry for sustenance. The Lord in His wisdom has given us what we need to assuage this hunger — to strengthen, preserve, and grow us. It's there in 66 books for us to look, taste, see, savor — literally God's Word. Where specific blood-bought promises are revealed to our parched souls crying out for this very thing. 

"...I want to be conformed to the image of God. How can I become conformed to an image that I never behold? I am not a Bible-worshipper, but I cannot truly be a God-worshipper without loving the Bible deeply and reverently. Otherwise I worship an unknown God." — Jen Wilikin, Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible With Both Our Hearts and Our Minds.

This is where we learn to taste and see God’s goodness (Psalm 34:8) as He reveals Himself to us. This is how we come to truly know Him. 

Additional resources:

Bible Literacy Quiz | Biola Magazine

Practical Helps For Bible Reading | Desiring God