1 Peter 2:1-3 (NKJV)
1 Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, 2 as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
Last week we considered the words of David, acknowledging the wonder of God in little babies. Today we learn that there is more to babies than their incredible design. Not only do their mouths reveal the glory of their Master Craftsman, they also reveal the hunger that is to characterize us as the people of God. For no truth is more manifest in the lives of infants than that they like to be fed and are quite adept at letting others know their need.
When God by His grace converts us and adopts us as His children, it is as infants that we begin our journey. The word of God comes, convicts us of sin, enlightens our minds in the knowledge of Christ, and we are born again. Peter notes earlier in his epistle that his hearers have “been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever.” In general, when Scripture speaks of this new birth it then exhorts us to grow from that point. We are not to remain infants, to remain immature, but are to grow into a full grown man, able to discern between good and evil.
However, in one respect, we are to retain the quality of infants. Peter urges us, “as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby.” Even as a newborn infant cries out for milk, we are to cry out for instruction from our Lord throughout our lives.
Infants know when they’re hungry and know what to do in order to let others know as well. The time of day doesn’t matter. The location doesn’t matter. The inconvenience to others doesn’t matter. When that baby is hungry, he cries out. So what of us? Are we disturbing God’s rest to obtain from him instruction and direction? Are we hungering and thirsting for righteousness, pushing and pulling and grabbing everything else out of the way so long as we get that food? I fear not. After all, who wants to be seen screaming in the check-out aisle?
So what does this mean practically? First, are we preparing to receive the preaching of God’s Word every Lord’s Day? Every Lord’s Day God meets with us, instructs us, directs us from His Word. Do we come eager to hear? Rested and refreshed, alert and eager to hear the voice of Christ and to have His Word change us and transform us? Or do we simply come each week out of habit? Perhaps to stroke our ego and make us feel like righteous people? Do we come worn out and frazzled from failing to prepare ahead of time? Peter reminds us – long for the pure milk of the word. Do everything and anything you can to get the full benefit from the food.
Second, are we reading and studying the Word of God on our own? Do we take the Word preached and discuss it as families? Do we read other portions of the Word of God and let them shape and mold us. I’ll guarantee you that an infant wouldn’t be content being fed for one hour once a week. So why are we?
Reminded that we are to imitate the littlest members of our community by hungering for the pure milk of the Word, let us kneel and confess our lack of passion to the Lord.