How to Feed on His Faithfulness | A Devotion on Psalm 37:3-4
“Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. 4 Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.” – Psalm 37: 3-4
The phrase that King David used in this Psalm struck me, he says, “dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness” to end verse three. It is not uncommon for the king to use agriculture references to illustrate God and His behavior towards us. One need look no further than Psalm 23 to see this clearly demonstrated. However here, David sets up what looks like it will be another agricultural picture with the phrase “dwell in the land, and feed” which creates images of livestock grazing on the land and being nourished by it. But when he uses the word “feed” and connects it to the faithfulness of God rather than the grass and flowers of the field which would seem consistent with the implied picture, a world of possibility opens before us.
Now let us seek to plumb this savory phrase for glorious truth which is life to the soul. The verb feed or to feed is a loaded word. What are we to understand we are to do based on this loaded phrase “feed on His faithfulness?” Certainly, many applications could be offered as plausible actions but I would like to suggest three things that “feed” must mean:
First, it must mean search. In keeping with the agricultural starting point, once an animal eats the food in their immediate surroundings, they must search for food elsewhere lest they starve. So, to “feed” on God’s faithfulness is to search for it [intently] like an animal does good grazing pasture. There is no geographical limit to this search, it reaches into every crevice of our existence and lives
Second, it must mean recognize. In order for an animal to feed properly, it must be able to recognize its food. Also, it must be able to differentiate its food from that which offers them no sustenance. Recognizing the object of the search makes the search achievable. Feeding on God’s faithfulness in this sense means that we attribute the happenings in our lives [the sovereign and providential care of the Father] to God.
Thirdly, to feed means to Chew. We might also use synonyms for chew such as think, contemplate, meditate, or ponder. This is a process that is best enjoyed slowly. The more we think, analyze and meditate on the workings of God and His faithfulness, the more nutrients we receive. O How many verses read in devotional settings are left “half-chewed” or “half-considered”?
Why is this so important? Because in the next line of verse four David ties this process directly to our ability to DELIGHT IN GOD. There can be no higher devotion for the Christian than to joy in God. The joy of the believer in God proclaims God’s reign, all-sufficiency, and goodness in their hearts which is the source of their desire to glorify God as beautiful, as faithful, as wonderful, as valuable in the world.
Let us feed on the ever-present faithfulness of our God by searching for it, recognizing it, and meditating upon it to the glory of God!