This week we have been discussing in our devotionals issues that relate to our relationship with the Word of God. As we end, I wanted to share with you a little about what you should do when you read the Bible. Have you noticed that when we look at the Scriptures, we seldom find the idea of reading the Bible? Instead, what we see often is a commandment and privilege to MEDITATE ON THE WORD. This is what it is all about. Look at what the Lord told Joshua before he conquered the promised land.
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 good success (Joshua 1:8)
What does the text mean?
After Moses died, the Lord chose Joshua to be the one that would lead Israel into the promised land; that was God’s plan for Joshua and it was a difficult endeavor to undertake. The Lord promised Joshua that he would be with him so he would have nothing to fear. However, the condition he gave him for success and blessing in his God-given task was that he needed to stay in the Word and meditate on it day and night. That seems a little odd, that in order to fulfill our God-given responsibilities on this earth we need to stay in the Word and make it our meditation, but that is the only way we can succeed in life. We do not necessarily speak of financial success, but spiritual strength to face whatever the Lord has for us and a life that pleases him.
Meditation in the Bible is something that you must do always. David says of the righteous man that “his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night” (Ps. 1:2). He also says, “Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day” (Ps. 119:97). The point is that meditation is something that should be constant; it should be all the time. It is not just about reading the Word; it is about actively and constantly meditating on what you have read. It is true that you cannot meditate on what you haven’t read, but the purpose of reading is that through meditation your life be conformed to the precepts of God. Therefore, it is worthy to note that meditation is not like what the eastern religions teach us, that we have to empty our minds completely to achieve a perfect state of meditation. Rather, the Bible teaches on many occasions that you mind must be always engaged in meditation; it is something that should happen day and night.
In short, what this passage teaches us is that it is not just about reading, but about meditating. If you are to succeed in whatever God has for your life, you must keep the Word close to your heart and keep your mind actively engaged in meditation throughout your day.
What does it mean to me?
I just wanted to give you some practical ideas as to how you can read the Word and meditate on it constantly.
- Set a specific time apart, preferably in the morning.
- Choose a book of the Bible you want to study.
- Take notes and ask yourself questions about the text; be very observant.
- Ask others about any interpretative problem you may encounter in your reading.
- Without taking the text out of context, find meaningful and relevant applications to your daily life.
- Memorize a portion or verse of your reading that you may meditate on it during your day.
- Throughout the day, pause for a couple of minutes to think and meditate on what you read that morning.
- Throughout the day, take a couple of minutes each time to ask the Lord to help you live according to what you read and studied in the Bible.
- End your day by meditating again on the passage (if possible, read it again) and ask God to help you live according to it. 9) If you experienced some victory over temptation because your meditation during the day, end the day by thanking God for giving you victory.
I hope these practical tips will help you improve your reading and meditation on God’s Word.
God bless you