You Have Come to Need
For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil (Heb. 5:12-14).
There's light at the end of this tunnel. This indictment has plenty of bite, but the author will go on to say: "Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation" (Heb. 6:9). The Hebrew Christians on the receiving end of this letter were already suffering the consequences of their regression--a regression brought on by their dullness of hearing (Heb. 5:11). As one translation puts it: "...it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand" (NIV). Such a condition is of grave concern, for in Christ there is either progress or regress--you grow in one direction or the other, and each Christian must choose daily which it will be. The one thing you cannot do is stand still. We might feel stagnation is an option, but that's an illusion.
Without sincere, deliberate efforts to serve God and draw near to Him through His Word, Christians will languish and die the slow death of starvation.
Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you without money, come, buy, and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost! Why spend money on that which is not bread, and your labor on that which does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of foods. Incline your ear and come to Me; listen, so that your soul may live. I will make with you an everlasting covenant—My loving devotion promised to David.… (Is.. 55:1-3).
We spend our days hypnotized by the shiny and glamorous offerings of the world, eating up every show, every game, every tryst, every sale, every post, every restaurant, every novel. We devour and are famished. We consume and are left empty. Where we thought we would find lasting joy and peace and love, we find only cheap and stale counterfeits. Convinced this must be as good as it gets, we shrug, and crave more. Always pursuing, but never satisfied. All the while a bountiful feast is just a few steps away...freely offered by the source of joy Himself. If we could only muster the courage to put down our toys, we could find true, lasting delights. Real peace and genuine love in Him. A taste of the eternal bliss to come.
I knew it once before, and I will know it again. The warm embrace of a Savior who cares for me (1 Pet. 5:7). The peace that surpasses comprehension (Phil. 4:7). The confidence and assurance that comes from trusting a God who has never broken a promise (Heb. 6:17-19). We rob ourselves of these blessings by the simple refusal to draw near to God each day--in prayer, in reading His Word, and in worship. Jesus extended rich gifts to each of us, but too often we settle for less. In settling for less we slowly wither and come to need milk again when greater blessings were at our finger tips had we just pressed forward.