The Hearing of Faith
The central thought of God revealed in the Scriptures is that God desires that we take Him as our enjoyment. Throughout the Bible, God has unveiled His heart’s desire that man would enjoy Him. The Old Testament is filled with types depicting God in Christ to be man’s enjoyment: a flowing river, a tree of life, the Passover lamb not only as a sacrifice for sin but also as a strengthening supply of life, the manna as the bread from heaven, and water gushing from a smitten rock, to name a few. In the Word of God we can see that to enjoy Christ is to take Him as our complete provision and rich satisfaction in all things.
God has given Christ to us as our all-inclusive portion (1 Cor. 1:9; Col. 1:12-13). But the Bible also reveals how Satan, God’s adversary, has done his best to frustrate God’s purpose and to defraud us of Christ as our enjoyment. First, in the garden of Eden, the serpent, Satan, distracted man from the tree of life, a type of Christ, and seduced him to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Man lost God as his joy and satisfaction and had to replace the God he lost with other things. Later, God called Abraham and the children of Israel to be His people and to take pleasure uniquely in Him. But eventually they lost God as their enjoyment and plunged into bondage in Egypt.
The central thought of God revealed in the Scriptures is that God desires that we take Him as our enjoyment.
When God delivered the children of Israel from slavery in Egypt, He saved them through the blood of the Passover lamb, fed them with its flesh, and commanded them to feast on unleavened bread. Then, in the wilderness, He gave them manna as their food to supply them and water from the rock to satisfy them. The New Testament tells us clearly that these were all types of Christ as our enjoyment (1 Cor. 5:7; 10:3-4).
David praised God as the unique source for man’s satisfaction by exulting in the fatness of God’s house, the river of His pleasures, and God Himself as the fountain of life (Psalm 36:7-9). Surely these are words speaking of David’s enjoyment of God. Yet God’s people were again deceived and turned away from their God. Therefore Jehovah lamented through the prophet Jeremiah, “For My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, to hew out for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, which hold no water” (Jer. 2:13).
In the New Testament age, God in Christ came to the earth and presented Himself as living water (John 4:10, 14; 7:37-39) and the bread of life for us to enjoy forever (John 6:53-58). The Lord Jesus shows us in John 4:24 that we render true worship to God when we drink of Him as the living water. Yet, we also may be distracted from Him as our source of supply, exchanging the enjoyment of Christ for culture, teachings, observances, works, formalities, or religious rituals. All these things are like broken cisterns that hold no water. Only when we enjoy Christ Himself as our rich portion can both we and God be satisfied. The deep need and longing within our being are met, and God’s desire to be everything to us is fulfilled.
From Issue No. 60, April 2003