“Called of God a High Priest after the order of Melchizedek, of whom we have many things to say and hard to be uttered, seeing you are dull of hearing—for when for the time you ought to be teachers, you have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God and are become such as have need of milk and not of strong meat.  For everyone that uses milk is unskillful in the Word of Righteousness—for he is a babe.  But strong meat belongs to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”

Hebrews 5:10-14

If it concerns us in the physical realm, it should also concern us in the spiritual realm.

Stunted growth.

That’s really what the author of Hebrews is talking about in today’s Manna.  And, in reality, his readers’ (and ours) lack of spiritual growth should be more alarming than one’s lack of growth physically.

We’re told that physical stunted growth can be caused by a number of things.  One is genetics; another is the use/misuse of certain drugs, steroids, etc., during pregnancy.  And, nutritionists have also shown malnutrition (a lack of protein, carbohydrates, vitamin A, calcium, iron, zinc, etc.) can also result in this.

Now, again, if we’d become concerned if our child wasn’t growing properly, we’d immediately take him/her to a pediatrician for evaluation.  He/she’d be measured in height, circumference, etc. . .weighed. . .and tested in other ways to determine if there was a problem.  And, if there was, measures would be taken to try and correct it.

Yet, sadly, when it comes to spiritual growth, we too often seem unconcerned—whether it be our own, our family or our church.

But, such should not be, dear Pilgrim!  Such should not be—not when millions of lives hang in the balances of eternity and spiritual warfare is raging!  Truly, we should be concerned if we, like the readers of “The Epistle to the Hebrews,” are “dull of hearing, still on a diet of spiritual milk and unskillful in the Word of Righteousness.”

This phrase “dull of hearing” comes from the Greek words “nothros” and “akoe” and basically means “sluggish, slothful hearing.”  Interesting, it also means “lazy listeners.”  Thus, it’s clear their “doe in the headlights” look—i.e., that glazed-over, “what in the world are you talking about?” response—to the writer’s words stemmed from personal lethargy with regard to God’s Word, not some spiritual shortcoming of Grace.

Simply put, they weren’t “studying to show themselves approved unto God as workmen that need not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth” (II Tim. 2:15).  They had no daily quiet time with God; consequently, they were spiritual malnourished and weak.  Instead of feasting on spiritual “steak and baked potatoes,” they were still “Bible bottle-babies;” no wonder they were “unskilled (Grk. ‘apeiros’—‘inexperienced, ignorant, untried, etc.’) in God’s Word.”  May God help us to recommit ourselves to Him and His Word today—for that’s the only way we can be “vessels fit for His use” (II Tim. 2:21).

By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated January 29, 2011

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