Text: Matthew 4:4

We are often told that Christians should “feed” on God’s Word. This
exhortation is drawn from Matthew 4:4 – “But he answered and said, It is
written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Bread may be vital in ensuring that
our bodily functions are maintained, but the Word of God is essential for man to have spiritual life and vitality. Just like how man must feed on bread to survive physically, so man must feed on God’s Word in order to live

Now comes the question – is there a difference between studying and feeding on God’s Word? Yes, there is! It is possible for one to read and study God’s Word, and yet to emerge none the wiser should he approach the study of the Scriptures without humility and faith. Thus, there be many who may emerge with their high-flying degrees in “theology”, and yet remain spiritually bankrupt and none the wiser. There is little profit for the Bible student if he is just studies the Bible like a textbook. It is knowledge that remains in the head and it does not sink into the heart.

On the other hand, one who feeds on the Bible ensures that every Word of
God is fully digested. He approaches the Scriptures humbly in faith. He is
able to understand the Bible with the help of the Holy Spirit and to grow in
heavenly wisdom. This wisdom will be manifested in a life that bears much
fruit for Christ. Herein, is the difference between one who merely studies the Scriptures and one who feeds on God’s Word.

To clarify matters, the way one feeds on God’s Word is through a faithful
study of the Scriptures. However, one must never treat the reading or hearing of the Scriptures like a perfunctory exercise or ritual. Such a study of the Scriptures only serves to tickle the mind and does little good for the
individual. He may even end up being puffed-up with his head knowledge,
but in reality is far away from the Lord. He will end up a self-deluded

Rev. Timothy Tow used to teach that men must have a “digested faith”. This
is a good way to refer to how a Christian must always feed on God’s Word.
Are you therefore feeding avidly on God’s Word?

(Edited by Pastor)
Among the renowned works of Charles Bridges is his commentary on Proverbs. It is full of devotional thoughts and pastoral insights. Here is a sample of his work – a commentary on Proverbs 21:2.

Proverbs 21:2
“Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.”

Let me be thankful for the repetition (see Prov. 16:2) of this weighty Proverb; most valuable for the close probing of my heart, and the testing of the vital spirituality of my profession. So “deceitful is the heart above all things” (Jer. 17:9) that it deceives, not just others, but also itself. Every intelligent Christian bears painful witness to this self-deception. How differently do we judge of the same action in others, and in ourselves! Often do we palliate, if not justify, in ourselves the very habits, which we condemn in others. Never therefore is the prayer out of season – “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts”(Ps. 139:23). There are no persons in the world, of whom we make so many mistakes as ourselves. To be approved of God in heart, and in sincerity, is no common mercy!

For the self-deluded and complacent professor, his way is right in his own eyes. But is it right in God’s eyes? The LORD pondereth the heart. Solemn and awakening recollection! And what defilement He sees in those ways of a man that are most right in his own eyes! Saul thought that he was serving God acceptably. But the all-searching eye discovered pride, covetousness, disobedient rejection of his God. What more self-satisfying than the soul’s strict fast and humiliation. But the defective motive marred the sacrifice. “Did ye at all fast to me, even to me?” (Zech 7:5) Little did the self-complacent ruler suspect the spiritual pride, false confidence, and
worldliness, which this heart-searching God brought to view. And how much base alloy is hidden even in a sound-hearted profession! See how the disciples covered their own spirit under the vehement zeal for their own master. (Luke 9:54)

The Lord pondereth the heart. He weighteth the spirits (Prov. 16:2), proving exactly what is of himself, and what is of a baser kind; what, and how much, there is of God, what of man. The principles of the heart lie deep. The work may be good in itself. But what are the ends? The same work, according to its end, may be accepted or be cast away. Self-distrust is therefore the wisdom of true godliness (Prov. 28:26); daily hourly trembling in ourselves; yet boldly grounding our confidence in God! But for the covering of the High Priest, how could we stand one moment under the piercing eye of our Judge? Did our dearest earthly friend know what was passing in our thoughts at any one hour, could he ever deem us worthy of confidence? Must not his heart revolt from contact with us vileness? Yet does our gracious LORD, while pondering our hearts, and privy to all their hidden corruptions, forgive, accept, yea – rejoice in us as his people.

Yours affectionately,
Pastor Clement Chew