Meditate On God's Word

"This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success." (Joshua 1:8)

For modern day Christians, individual Bible study has become an important part of our personal life in Christ. Yet since we are also creatures of our time, it is likely that we are not as familiar with biblical meditation as integral to our spiritual growth. Unfortunately, Christian meditation is not often spoken of in many churches today. While Bible study and Christian meditation on the Scriptures are closely linked, there are some uniquely beneficial aspects of meditation that are lost when our churches do not teach the practice today.

The passage from Joshua 1:8 can help us understand what meditation means in a biblical context. The setting is just after the death of Moses, with Israel on the borders of the Promised Land. With the invasion and all its imminent battles ahead, we might expect the Lord to give Joshua detailed instructions on fighting techniques, battle plans, or some other strategy to guarantee the success of Israel. Such things, while important, are not going to be what ensures the victory of God’s people. Instead, our verse tells us that Joshua is to have the “Book of the Law” on his tongue so as to meditate on it around the clock.

The “Book of the Law” is synonymous with Scripture, for the law given at Mount Sinai was the only portion of Scripture that Joshua had at that stage in redemptive history. We learn from this passage that biblical meditation is not some exercise wherein we try to empty our minds and expunge all desires to achieve some kind of mystic experience. The biblical worldview of meditation is to consider and ponder the Word of God. It is the repetition of the text to ourselves — the reading and rereading of a passage so that its meaning might take root.

We are instructed to keep God’s law from departing out of the mouth through audible repetition of Scripture - the reading of the text aloud. Ancient peoples always verbalized the text before them when they read (silent reading to oneself is a rather recent development). Such reading and rereading helps ensure the text is not forgotten.

The world bombards us with conflicting messages and distractions. However, biblical meditation renews our minds and transforms our thinking. It replaces the negative and worldly influences with the truth of God's Word, enabling us to think like Christ and align our thoughts with His.

Lord, we are grateful that we have all the scriptures to meditate on. Teach us to know you better and to live more like Christ as we feed upon your Word. Amen

Psalm 1:1-3 
1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

Credit: Ron Kelley

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