1 Peter 2:1-5
Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord. And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
The word, “long” in this context, means to “strongly desire something” to “pursue something with passion”. It is like physical hunger and thirst. It is a desire which compels you to action and is ever present in the front of your mind to fulfill its craving.
Peter compares it to, “new born babies” craving milk. New born babies are hungry and need no encouragement to feed from their mother’s milk. If they don’t get fed and go hungry for too long, they will cry and make a big fuss until their carving is fulfilled.
God’s command to us in verse 2, is to, “long for the pure milk of the word”, to have a strong desire, a hunger and thirst for knowing God. We do this by reading and thinking deeply on His word. If we are born again, we will be hungry to know God and we will have a strong desire to read the bible, and seek to know and please God. As Paul says, “Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him” (2 Corinthians 5:9).
But our sinful nature and our spiritual enemies are always ready to distract us, and provide us with reasons why something else in our life is more important than reading the bible or spending quality time with God. So God encourages us; because of His great mercy, because of the precious blood of Christ, we are to strongly desire His word, so we may be nourished and have the food our souls need to grow spiritually healthy and strong in our salvation.
Throughout the Old and the New Testament, the command is given to God’s people to feed, drink, meditate, remember, apply, honor, trust and live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
Jesus is the “Word made flesh” (John 1:1-14) and in His temptation in the wilderness with the devil, Jesus affirms the eternal reality God taught Israel - “MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD” (Deuteronomy 8:3).
In chapter 1, Peter talks about God’s great mercy and in verse 3, he states that we are be born again by the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Then in verse 23, he affirms that we have been born again through the living and enduring word of God.
This shows a strong emphasis on the word of God as the means the Holy Spirit uses for people to be born again, and the way God has ordained to bring about our salvation. “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17).
At the end of verse 2, “so that by it (by longing for the word of God) you may grow in respect to salvation”. Reading and hearing the word of Christ is not only for salvation, but the ongoing method God uses to mold and shape us into the image of Christ.
Verse 4, continues the thought process but now compares longing for the word of God as, “coming to Him”. Reading the word of God is coming to Christ. Jesus is the Word become flesh, and coming to Christ through the bible is the way God builds us up to become the people He has called us to be.
We are born again by the word of Christ and we are no longer fleshly beings. We have now become spiritual beings, children of God. We have been transformed, called out of darkness into His marvelous light and we are a new creation.
The word of God is food for our souls and there is no reason in heaven or earth that should stop us from feasting and being nourished by His word.
“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work”
(2 timothy 3:16-17).
“Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You” (Psalm 119:11).
“Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. "Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and delight yourself in abundance. "Incline your ear and come to Me. Listen, that you may live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, according to the faithful mercies shown to David."Behold, I have made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander for the peoples. "Behold, you will call a nation you do not know, and a nation which knows you not will run to you, because of the LORD your God, even the Holy One of Israel; for He has glorified you." Seek the LORD while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the LORD, and He will have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways," declares the LORD. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts. "For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55: 1-11).
We are privileged to have an abundance of Biblical resources which earlier generations could only dream of, and the opportunity to feast on a banquet of spiritual truth which angels long to look into. For us not to gorge ourselves at God’s glorious table, would be like trying to run a marathon after weeks of fasting. God has set His table and called us to eat of His Word because He knows the race that is set before us, and we need food for our souls to sustain us for the journey ahead.
“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every hindrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1-2).