Something to Chew On
Bible Reading: Psalm 1:1-6
His delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. Psalm 1:2, NIV
We butter our toast. We peel gooey pizza cheese off our chin. We gulp milk straight out of the carton-well, maybe not. But answer this: Do we ever think about the brave cow who so kindly provided the raw material for all that good dairy stuff? Do we appreciate all the work old Bessie went through?
Believe it or not, milk doesn’t magically appear in the grocery store. So here’s far more than you might want to know about how milk and other dairy products make their way from moo to you.
Dairy products start out as hay or grass. When Bessie eats, she chews her food just enough to swallow it—like we do when we’re in a hurry. That blob of soggy grass travels into the first two of her four stomachs. The larger stomach holds fifty gallons of food-like a huge shelf stacked full of milk at the supermarket. When Bessie is full, she rests. But the four-stage milk factory inside her keeps working. Undigested food from the stomachs, called cud, burps back up into the cow’s mouth so she can chew it again thoroughly.
When Bessie swallows again, the cud passes into stomachs three and four, where some of it is digested to nourish the cow. The rest is transformed into the makings for butter, cheese, eggnog, ice cream, and all that good stuff.
Bessie’s digestion is so important to her that she spends one-third of her entire life-about eight hours a day-chewing cud. This process is called ruminating. It’s the amazing way God designed cows to receive nourishment and to produce the dairy products we love.
God designed us to “ruminate” too—on his Word. When we spend time in the Bible, we fill our mind with God’s truth, turning it over in our thoughts and “chewing” on it. That’s the kind of “rumination” or “meditation” on the law of the Lord that David wrote about (see Psalm 1:2). When you think about the Bible in this way, God will make your life fruitful (see verse 3).
If we want to get the most out of the Bible, we can’t hurry when we read it. Like Bessie, we need to allow time to chew on each word. As we do, we can tell God what we are thinking about. Ruminating on God’s Word is one great way we can feel close to God. And as his Word grows in our heart, we will grow and be fruitful.
TALK: When you read the Bible, do you rush—or ruminate? What do you want to do differently?
PRAY: God, help us to slow down and truly focus on what you want to teach us about yourself through your Word.
ACT: Chew on God’s Word today by memorizing a favorite verse as a family.