Take a moment to consider and meditate upon these instructions given to Joshua by the Lord after the death of Moses …
“Be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go. This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.” Joshua 1:7-8 (NASB)
Note how the book of Psalms opens in the first two verses …
How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And IN His law he meditates day and night.
David truly took this instruction to meditate on the words of God to heart … consider these verses in Psalms 119 (I must clarify that while the common interpretation is that King David wrote this particular Psalm, not all biblical scholars and historians agree … so perhaps rather than saying ‘David’ it should simply say ‘The author of Psalms 119’.)
I will meditate on Your precepts and regard Your ways. (verse 15)
Even though princes sit and talk against me, Your servant meditates on Your statutes. (verse 23)
Make me understand the way of Your precepts, so I will meditate on Your wonders. (verse 27)
And I shall lift up my hands to Your commandments, which I love; and I will meditate on Your statutes. (verse 48)
May the arrogant be ashamed, for they subvert me with a lie; but I shall meditate on Your precepts. (verse 78)
O how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day. (verse 97)
I have more insight than all my teachers, For Your testimonies are my meditation. (verse 99)
My eyes anticipate the night watches, that I may meditate on Your word. (verse 148)
So what can we glean from theses verses regarding meditation IN the words of God?
- We are to mediate IN the words of God (the law of the Lord, precepts, statutes, wonders, God’s word, etc.) both day and night … all the day.
- We are to meditate IN the words of God when we are persecuted, when we are seeking understanding and insight, when we are worshiping God, when others seek to lead us astray.
- We are to meditate IN the words of God that we may walk IN His way.
- We are to hunger with anticipation for the times of meditation IN the words of God.
- We are to delight IN the words of God.
- We are to love the words of God (more on that in the next post)
But what exactly does it mean to meditate?
- To engage in contemplation or reflection (Merriam-Webster)
- To think deeply about a subject or question over a period of time (WordWeb)
- To engage in mental exercise for the purpose of reaching a heightened level of spiritual awareness (Merriam-Webster)
- To think intently and at length, for spiritual purposes (WordWeb)
Questions to meditate on based on the above definitions and the instruction found in Scripture …
- Do I meditate IN the words of God? Or am I just reading?
- Do I meditate IN the words of God both day and night? Or do I but give them but a few moments in a day or week? Or am I convinced I simply just can’t make the time for the words of God?
- Do I truly believe that in any circumstance the words of God will provide wisdom and answers? Or have I decided they really are not applicable to modern life?
- Do I truly seek understanding and insight IN the words of God? Or am I just skimming?
- Am I eager to meditate IN the words of God? Or do I simply see this discipline as the fulfillment of an obligation? An expected task to do for a Christian?
- Do I truly find delight IN the words of God? Or do I find Bible study tedious and boring … homework so to speak?
- Can I truly say I love the words of God?
Can I ask you to consider how you would answer these questions?
Be honest with yourself … and I am doing the same with myself …
(to be continued with … love)