You won’t learn to sweetly savor the Word of God by randomly opening up to Bible passages. Do that and you might find that the first verse you come across is Job 7:16. Instead, learn to savor the sweetness of God’s Word by being under Christ-centered preaching.
The central thought of today’s sermon was that the preaching of the Word helps people sweetly savor the truth. When Paul tells Timothy that all Scripture is God-breathed, his immediate application of that truth is that pastors (and by extension other leaders) should rebuke, correct, and train in righteousness. Hearing the Word proclaimed is indispensable.
We cannot savor the Word on our own. Those who do not hear the Word clearly proclaimed will not savor the truth. Sitting under Word-centered preaching is essential.
This does not mean that we do not believe in the doctrine of the perspicuity or clarity of Scripture. The Bible is accessible for all who read it. Yet, even then, we must be under the preaching of the Word so that we can learn to savor the Truth. We need to be like the Bereans who were more noble because they eagerly received biblical teaching, yet examined the Scriptures for themselves to see if the Word was accurately proclaimed (Acts 17:11).
In church this morning, to make the point that it does not work to just open the Bible and read the first passage we encounter, I “randomly” opened up to a passage of Scripture. The first verse that caught my attention was Job 7:16 which reads:
I loathe my life; I would not live forever.
Leave me alone, for my days are a breath.
Obviously, that verse, taken out of context, is not going to seem sweet to the soul. And yet it is in the midst of an incredibly important segment of God’s Word (and all Scripture is important!). I am looking forward to preaching from Job in the fall, and I know God will use the preaching of Job to encourage suffering people.
Again, the point is that if you want to savor the Word of God even more — do yourself a favor and watch or listen to the this sermon by Kevin DeYoung. I also highly recommend Kevin’s excellent new book Taking God At His Word: Why the Bible Is Knowable, Necessary, and Enough, and What That Means for You and Me.