Why God’s Word is Better than Food

Below are notes to a sermon preached Sunday morning, April 8, 2001, at Gospel Light Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia. 


By Michael D. O’Neal                  Pastor, Gospel Light Baptist Church                  Albany, Georgia

Scripture Reading: Job 23:1-12

Text: Job 23:12

Job 23:12 Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.

Introduction: Job was in trouble, big trouble. He was having all kinds of problems in his life, and he didn’t understand their purpose. It seemed that God was far off and would not answer his prayers. Yet, he continued to trust God, and he said that he had not gone back from the commandment of God’s lips, but that he had esteemed the words of God’s mouth more than his necessary food.

I enjoy good food! One of the highlights of this year’s preachers’ fellowship in Pascagoula was the food prepared by the ladies of Bible Baptist Church. It was delicious! We had, among other things, fried chicken, pork chops, baked chicken, ham, turkey, steak and gravy, rice, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, lasagna, baked fish, peas, green beans, and about 25 different desserts!

Shawn Major treated our family to supper in Mobile, Alabama. I have to admit that what I ate was a one-pound hamburger! It was scrumptious!

I have to admit, though, that most of that food was not what could be considered, “necessary” food. Job said that he esteemed God’s word more than his NECESSARY food.

Some of you think every meal is necessary, but it’s not. Some of you think that if you don’t get to eat your Sunday meal at 12:30, you’re going to perish. Truth is, if you missed Sunday meals for a year you probably would still be 30 pounds overweight.

Some of the same people who would moan and groan if they didn’t get a physical meal don’t seem to mind at all if they go for many hours, sometimes days, without reading a single chapter in the word of God!

Oh, my friend, if you are saved, value God’s word more than your physical food! You need it more! You should:
Start off the day with the Bible.
End the day with the Bible.
Break up the day with the Bible.

Let me give you a few reasons this morning, that God’s word is better than physical food:


1 Thessalonians 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

A. It is designed by God

  • 2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
  • There are some famous cooks in this world, and the goal of some people is to eat their food.
  • Why should not Christians have an even greater desire for the one Book that was designed by God?

B. It was developed by God

  • 2 Peter 1:20-21 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

C. It is dished out in a wonderful arrangement

  • 2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
  • 39 OT books, 3 x 13 (curse – last word is curse)
  • 27 NT books, 3 x 9 (fruitfulness, 9 fruit of the Spirit, listed in 9th book of NT, Galatians)


Proverbs 30:5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.

Psalms 119:140 Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it.
They say that honey is one of the purest foods.

Psalms 19:10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.

Psalms 119:103 How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

A. More precious

  • Nothing else like it on earth
  • You talk about a delicacy!
  • You talk about the food of kings!

B. More pleasant

  • Sweeter than honey
  • Satisfies more than milk


Psalms 12:6-7 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. 7 Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.

Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

The secret of good food, if it has been prepared some time earlier than when it is eaten, is its preservation.

A. It has the original formula

  • 100 percent accurate
  • God’s word from cover to cover

B. It has the original flavor

  • It is just as much the word of God now as it was in David’s day.
  • You and I can get the same enjoyment, pleasure, and blessing from the scriptures as the apostle Paul did when he studied them.

C. It has the original freshness

  • The Bible is the eternal word of God!
  • I say again: It is just as much the word of God today as it has EVER been!


1 Kings 19:8 And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God.

You know, that was some good food if it gave Elijah strength to travel for 40 days and nights! Yet, the word of God is able to do better than that.

A. It produces salvation

  • 1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
  • James 1:18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
  • A person needs to be able to take in physical food in order to live. Likewise, a person must receive the word of God in order to be saved.

B. It produces strength

  • Acts 20:32 And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.
  • Food will strengthen your body.
  • You will not be a good Christian if you don’t read, meditate in, memorize, and live by this Book!

C. It produces shape

  • 1 Peter 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
  • You are shaped by what you eat.
  • I said at a preachers fellowship Friday that if we are shaped by what we eat, most preachers should be shaped like a television set!
  • Physical food can only help your physical shape, and you have to be very careful with it or you will not be in the shape you desire!
  • It will shape your
    • appearance
    • attitude
    • associations
    • activities
    • amusements

The Precious Bible

Though the cover is worn
And pages are torn,
And though places bear traces of tears,
Yet more precious than gold
Is the Book, worn and old,
That can shatter and scatter my fears.

When I prayerfully look
In the precious Book
Many pleasures and treasures I see;
Many tokens of love,
From the Father above
Who is nearest and dearest to me.

This Book is my guide,
‘Tis friend by my side,
It will lighten and brighten my way;
And each promise I find,
Soothes and gladdens my mind,
As I read it and heed it today.

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