Milk vs. Meat
When was the last time you read your Bible? …just your Bible? How long has it been since you shut out the sounds and writings of so many “teachers” and expounders of the Word and just read your Bible? For far too many of us, we make a farce of Bible reading by keeping the Book nearby—yet spiritually closed—as we engage with and open up our minds to others’ “revelations,” hidden nuggets, and “lost” truths of the Word. We have exchanged the proper use of the Bible for being entertained by the use of the Bible, and we have done so in the name of craving meat—the solid food of the Scriptures. But how unfed we truly are!
Somewhere along the way, someone convinced a great number of us that the plain, simple Word of Scripture just wasn’t deep enough—that once we have been nourished by the “milk” of the Word, we are supposed to move on to the “meat.” In other words, we think that the fundamentals of the faith are not meant for mature believers, but for the immature. Mature believers, we are told, are to pursue God—to understand and know Him—in deeper, more meaningful ways… and to discover these, we must seek out and explore the exotic and mysterious minutiae under the Word’s surface.
Well… that’s simply not true.
The Scriptural concepts of “milk” and “meat”—or “solid food,” as it is more accurately rendered in modern English—have been hijacked, such that milk is seen as something negative designated only for those who are immature; as compared to solid food, which is something positive intended only for mature believers. And yet Keifa clearly tells us that “as newborn babies [we are to] desire the word’s pure milk, so that in it [we] may grow to salvation” (1 Keifa 2:2, mjlt). Such a characterization of “milk” hardly carries with it a negative connotation, but rather speaks of how desperately we must rely upon God’s Word.
The fact is that according to the Scriptures, the difference between being able to handle milk versus solid food is not a difference between basic understanding of Scripture versus deeper understanding, but a difference between knowing foundational teachings of the faith, versus learning how to put those teachings into practice. The problem is that in pursuit of the sensational, allegedly deeper—sometimes, even the “Hebraic”—things of God, we forget and forsake the basics of the Word, and end up missing out on the solid food that we supposedly crave.
For even though (because of the time) you ought to be teachers, again you have need that one teach you what the fundamental basics of the sayings of God are, and you have become needing of milk, and not of solid food. For everyone who is partaking of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness—for he is an infant—but the solid food is for mature ones, who, through practice, are having their senses trained to the discernment both of good and of evil. (Hebrews 5:12-14, mjlt)
In contrasting milk versus solid food, the Writer here is laying out maturity along a scale, not of basic versus deep, but of “the discernment both of good and of evil.” Indeed, the Writer says that in seeking to become skilled in the word of righteousness and able to discern between good and evil, one must first have full command of “the fundamental basics of the sayings of God.” There is no mention of fathoming deep mysteries or unearthing some secret treasure trove of God’s Word. Nowhere are these stated as requirements for being a good and faithful servant of our Master. Rather, we are chastised for forgetting our training and failing to put the fundamentals of the faith into practice.
In Hebrews 6:1, we are encouraged to not lay our foundation all over again—not because there is something negative or immature about foundations, but because a faulty foundation means that the entire structure has been compromised! We must be certain we are firm in the Word.
So don’t assume you’re supposed to forego the true milk of the Word to satisfy an appetite for make-believe “meat.” What God wants is for you to never forget the fundamentals of your faith, and then consume that which is truly meat: to build upon the basics by putting the Word into practice…
…because any other kind of food is just pure junk.
What do you think? Share your thoughts below.
“again you have need that one teach you what the fundamental basics of the sayings of God are,”
Sounds like the Hebrews needed someone to refresh their memories on the spiritual righteousness revealed in the Torah????? NO????
Anyway, that’s what drew me to your teaching, Kevin – your pure explanations of the oracles of Elohim. You never claimed to offer “nuggets” or mysterious truths – you just expounded the oracles, the original precepts, with an honest understanding of the original Hebrew language. That’s what I loved and why I believed in your ministry. Thank You
Thank you, Pam!
In my observations and especially personal experience I find the foundation has for some time been compromised… With all the churchy stuff we’ve all been accustomed with, no wonder simple reminders of foundational teaching and reminders often get overlooked (Psalm 127:1). Yeshua is the cornerstone, and what did the builders do? What are we doing today? It is time we repent, be still, start fresh again, and let Him fight our battles. Victory guaranteed!
May He continue to bless you, and thanks again. -Steve
How excellent!! Thanks for the encouragement. I am not able to read lots of books or commentaries. I find my greatest joy in just reading His Word. It truly makes one wise. Thanks again Kevin!
Excellent truths! We need to daily be refreshed with the milk of the Word. I always study scriptures first without any commentary. Later I can go back to what others have shared, (like your Torah commentary) and add to the basic foundation. Abba Himself uses this basic milk of the word to teach, encourage, instruct, challenge and even rebuke us individually. How refreshing is a tall glass of cold milk these days! I never cease to be amazed at what I missed the last time I read it, so come back again and again.
I have always wondered about this verse. Thank you
Dear Kevin, Wonderful explanation and thoughts you have poured in, as I was reading I might immense thoughts running into my mind. An excellent article. I was searching for a sermon on solid food and I got your article.