Chewing the Cud
Within the pages of the Bible there are many secrets/treasures found that brings us great joy and peace to our lives. There are secrets that bring healing to our troubled souls. There is great wisdom that gives us answers to the issues that present themselves in our daily lives. These secrets reveal to us who God really is in our lives and who we are in Him. As we get to know Abba Father better, peace settles on us and in us that nothing will be able to disturb us because we know without a doubt, He has us. Recently I was listening to a radio talk show, I do not remember the name of person on the show. While I was listening the moderator asked why people that read the bible and went to church on a regular basis continued living lives of bondage. The answer given by the guest was these people had been in the Word, but the Word was not in them. They were just going through the motions of reading the Word and going to church, but they were not really growing in relationship with God. This is for sure a profound statement. James 1:21, 22: “Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” Many followers of Christ are forever hearing the word, but seldom apply the word to their lives, thus they continue in the same old rut. Many times, crying out to God to change the situations in their lives when the individual needs to change first and then the situations will begin to change. James talks about receiving the “implanted word” with humility. By humbling ourselves before God we die to self and allow the Holy Spirit to do a work in us. We read and then we read again. We study and then we study again until the Word of God is implanted within us changing us and freeing us from the oppression that enemy has implanted within us from past experiences. We need to do like the cow in the pasture does, we need to chew the cud. When we chose to chew on the word of God repeatedly, the word becomes more digestible, and we get in our happy places just as the cow does in the pasture. So today I will be talking about how we get the word within us. When the word is in us, the joy of the Lord and His strength will rise in us and no matter what comes our way we are able to stand strong with confidence that He will never leave or forsake us.
Just a little info of how cows and other ruminants chew the cud. Ruminants are animals such as cows, sheep, goats, and deer. These animals have chambers in their stomach to help them properly digest their foods to reap the nutrients in the foods they eat and to become healthy animals. According to a dairy cow nutritionist on usdairycows.com, a cow chewing their cud is a sign that she is comfortable and is eating a good diet. Cows are ruminants which means there is one compartment in their stomachs that ferments the food that they eat so that the feed that cow eats will be converted into energy and protein. First the cows chew their food to moisten it and she then swallows it. The softened food is called a cud and is sent back to the cow’s mouth to be re-chewed before going to the stomach to finish the digestion process. As you ride down the road you may see cows lying down. They are not just taking a break to sleep. They are in their happy place chewing the cud. They need to be relaxed laying comfortably chewing their cud.
In Joshua 1:8 “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” God was instructing Joshua on the importance of meditating on the word day and night. By doing so he had the promise that all that He did from that day forward would prosperous and blessed, he would have good success leading the people of God into the promise land.
Psalm 119:9: 9 “Beth How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.10 With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! 11 I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” Many people are trying to do things the way God wants them to do yet they keep failing over and over again. Simply storing His Word in your heart daily is the answer for living the life of holiness. Strength for the day, strength for the battle, strength to fight temptation are found in the Word. In the Word are found instructions, comfort, strength or whatever is needed in our daily walk.
Job knew what it took to live a life pleasing to God. He had suffered greatly, but in that suffering he learned a great lesson. Job 22:21-2: “Agree with God, and be at peace; thereby good will come to you. 22 Receive instruction from his mouth, and lay up his words in your heart.” He found the importance of listening to the instruction of the Lord and never to let go of that instruction. The Bible is our instruction! Any other word that does not measure up to the standard found between its covers is false doctrine or false information. Job goes on to say, Job 23:10-12: “10 But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold. 11 My foot has held fast to his steps; I have kept his way and have not turned aside. 12 I have not departed from the commandment of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my portion of food.” He made it through the hard times and was a better man for it. He had chewed on the cud of the instructions of the Lord and did not let go of all he had learned. As a result, he received a double portion of all that he had lost.
Psalm 1:1-3: 1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; 2 “but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law, he meditates day and night. 3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.” What a great secret of the garden is found in this Psalm. The promise is that when take time out to meditate on His Word day and night we will be like a tree planted by streams of water that produce fruit in its season. When we need supply or resources, we can walk in confidence that whatever we need we will be available. This has spiritual meaning too. The fruit of the Spirit will be produced in our lives. When need patience, we will find patience. When we need to show mercy, mercy will well up in us. When we need to show love, His love will be abundant in us. The list can go on and on. The Father promises that all we place our hand will prosper because He will be with us.
Jesus reminds us in John 15, that as His words abide in us, we will bear much fruit. John 15:7-8: 7“If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.” Jesus tells us as we live in Him and His words abide in us whatever we ask, will be done. The purpose of answered prayers is not that we receive glory, but instead for the Father to be glorified. Many are praying and the prayers that they are praying are not being answered because they do not choose to walk in the ways of the Lord. Jesus said that if His Words abide in us, we can ask and will receive an answer. When His Words abide in us, we will understand what the will of God is and will not ask for something that is amiss from His will.
Let us look again at the cow lying in pasture chewing her cud she is a peace, receiving her needed nourishment, she is happy and contented. As we chew on the cud of the Word of God, we receive the spiritual nourishment that we need to live in peace and joy of the Lord will settle on us and strengthen us to live out this life we have been given.
A final word
As I was studying and comparing the cud to meditating on the Word day and night and allowing it to be planted within us so that we may prosper in everything we do, I was reminded of a very familiar scripture.
The 23rd Psalm
- A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
- He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still
- He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
- Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
- You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
- Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
This Psalm is an image of how our lives would look like as we implant His word in our hearts, living His word out daily. He will make us lay down in green pastures chewing on His word just like the cow chews on the cud. We will find that place of confidence and joy that is unexplainable. He will lead us by the still waters that make us like that tree planted by waters that causes us to produce healthy abundant fruit. He will restore us even in times of trouble. He will keep us on a righteous path even though we are tempted to stray from His way and make our own way. As we walk in places of difficulty whether it is a death loved one, a terminal illness, a chronic illness, place of ministry that people do not understand, or tough decisions that need to be made, you will walk in confidence that He has a plan for good and not evil. You will always find comfort in Him. In the midst of adversity, you will be blessed with His anointing right in front of those that have not supported you or doubted your motives during challenging times. His promise is His goodness and mercy will follow you all the days of your life and you will abide in Him right here on earth and in your heavenly home forever.