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Hungry for More…

Posted by Children's Ministry on with 2 Comments

A couple weeks back, our Children’s and Youth Ministry teams had the privilege of attending a Children’s Ministry conference in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and it was an absolute joy! We got to worship with a thousand other leaders – it was so uplifting and meaningful. We got to glean truths and inspiration from ministry leaders from around the country who were gifted in so many different ways. Then there was the southern hospitality – the people were SO, SO friendly!! I was called “dear,” “sweetheart,” “hon,’” and mind you they were all perfect strangers, but perfectly sweet ones at that. There were fried pickles, fried fish, fried chicken, hash brown casserole and cheese grits… oh my! Darn, now I wish it was lunch time already, but alas it’s only 9:30am….

Well anyhow, back to those gleanings… So, one of our favorite presenters began one of her workshops with teaching us a single Hebrew word: hagah. It’s found in the Hebrew translation of a passage from Joshua 1:8, and it means “meditate”:

Do not let this Book of the law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night,so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.

-Joshua 1:8

What we learned about this word was fascinating because when we read “meditate,” we think of quiet, thoughtful reflection, right?! But the English translation misses a wonderful angle of this word. This word hagah is also found in Isaiah 31:4:

This is what the LORD says to me: “As a lion growls, a great lion over his prey—and though a whole band of shepherds is called together against him,he is not frightened by their shouts or disturbed by their clamor…”

-Isaiah 31:4

So growls also translates hagah. In this case, hagah is the sound a lion makes just before it’s about to devour its prey. Can you imagine it?

So why am I bringing this up? I’m so glad you asked! Taking this word the next step further, Hebrew teacher Ray Vander Laan says this:

“To ‘meditate’ on God’s Word in the sense of these verses is to feast on God’s Word as a lion feasts on a fresh kill. We hagah God’s Word by digging in with gusto and passion. It’s food to us. We feast on the text.”

Isn’t that an inspiring picture? What if we began to see the Word as something to devour… not just a quiet wisdom for reflection, or a nice quote to look at now and again – but as THE heartiest meal… our sustenance for our every single day. Isn’t that a different picture?

Now, take it to your home and mine… What if our children saw us hagah over God’s Word without saying a single thing? What if we allowed God that time to the point that our children would see this book not only as a reference point in church or a piece of required memory work, but as our own personal guide for every day? God knows us, friends. He knows that we need Him constantly, and whatever we allow our minds to devour on a daily basis is what we ultimately speak and act out to the people we love.

Deuteronomy 6 speaks specifically to us as parents, instructing us to share God’s Word with our children all throughout our days…

Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

-Deuteronomy 6

So if we take this challenge God gives us – to hagah on God’s Word, to devour His truths and seek to pass them on to our children… in the car, as they get dropped off at school, as we’re eating a meal, as we’re saying good night. This is where God longs to be – right here among us, in our every day, helping our children to know that our God is for us and with us, in our midst, in the challenges. Yes, life is messy, and we parents are imperfect examples. We won’t do it perfectly, but if we let God into the mess, share His word with our families, forgive one another and disciple our kids with truth and gentleness, then our children will always know who they are and Who they belong to.

I don’t know anyone who gets it right all the time. If someone appears that way, don’t be fooled into comparing yourself – it’s a trap. We all have strengths and weaknesses that we bring to our families. Just imagine God’s face as you devour His Word and then share it with your own pride of lions. All I can see is His giant smile.

Prayer

Dear Lord, You are the reason we are here. You have made us parents to demonstrate Your life-changing love and truth to our children. Plant in us a deep desire to devour Your Word like nothing else. And give us the confidence to share it with our children as naturally as breathing in and out, amidst our everyday ups and downs. We thank and praise You for Your Son whose sacrifice changed our lives forever. In Your Name we pray. Amen.

Sarah Bourne
Early Childhood Director

 

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Comments

Irma February 14, 2016 6:26pm

Let us always be hungry for more of God! Amen sister!

darrell March 2, 2016 10:28pm

Another inspiring message. Some of us nibble others snack some eat with proper etiquette. Yes, I agree, individually and communally it would be an amazing experience of "Connecting and Growing" that would lead to "Sharing" should we ferociously devour God's Word. Sarah, you are appreciated