Cud and Cliffhangers - June 2021

by Pastor Pete Panitzke on June 09, 2021

What cud are you chewing?

Cows chew their cud as part of the digestive process. They regurgitate their food or "cud" and chew it a second time. They spend about 8 hours per day chewing their cud.

This morning as I begin a month of reading through the psalms (today's reading is Psalm 1-7. See attached reading plan), I am challenged by the Spirit to ask myself: "What cud am I chewing?"

In Psalm 1:2, the psalmist says that a godly person meditates on God's Word day and night. A seminary professor compared meditating on God's Word to chewing cud. In your daily devotion, you chew on God's Word. Then during the day or in the middle of the night, that passage or Bible account comes back to mind and you chew on it some more. 

What challenged me is that in the very next psalm (Psalm 2:1) the same Hebrew word is used again. "The people's plot in vain." Have you ever chewed on some slight or insult? Something happens at work at 9 in the morning. You think about it again four hours later. Then in the middle of the night, you chew on it some more. 

Chewing the "cud" of God's Word brings the contentment a farmer sees in their cows. Chewing the "cud" of bitterness and resentment brings sleepless nights and broken relationships.

What cud are you chewing? In Psalm 5 David says, "In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly." Will you join me in laying out before the Lord our need for the Spirit to help us meditate on God's Word and find rest in Him?

Jesus Knew How to Tell Cliffhangers 
Do you get frustrated with some TV series? They bring you right up to a critical moment… And then you have to wait for the next season to come out to find how the story ends.
Jesus told that kind of cliffhanger about two sons. One treats his dad with disrespect. He has a change of heart. He comes back to his dad. “I’m not worthy to be called your son.” Dad welcomes him back with open arms.
The other treats his dad with great respect for years. But he is angry at his dad’s mercy toward his brother. Dad goes out to invite him in, and the son…
That’s the cliffhanger. How does the older son respond?
That is the question for us to consider. We may see ourselves as the younger son. We have done things we are ashamed of. Amazing that our Heavenly Father welcomes us back with open arms.
But often we are in the role of the older son. Mercy seems wasted on people who don’t deserve it or appreciate it.
In this parable, the Father is coming out to us. How will we respond? How does our story end?
Read Luke 15:11-32 and ponder the question: “How will I respond to the Father’s mercy?”


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