You will be aware from my previous posts on – Word Count – that I am endeavouring to complete several book projects this year. In a recent flurry of writing, I was thinking about the topic of biblical meditation. I always make sure I define this term, as meditation can mean different things to different people. By meditation, I mean the constant study and review of God’s Word.
I share below a brief extract of the chapter I have been working on. I hope that it blesses you, and ideally, what’s your appetite for the entire book when it is ready!
There are some references to points I make earlier in the chapter, not here given, but I hope that will not detract from the post.
I am reminded of these verses from Joshua:
Be strong and courageous; for you shall cause this people to inherit the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous. Be careful to observe to do according to all the law which Moses my servant commanded you. Don’t turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. 8 This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it; for then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall have good success.Joshua 1:6-8 (WEB)
This is God speaking to Joshua after the death of Moses, and just prior to him (Joshua) leading the people of Israel to capture the land.
Having emphasised Joshua’s need to be strong and courageous (more than once), the Lord tells him to be careful to observe all the commands that Moses gave them. This, known as the “Law” is never to depart from Joshua’s mouth.
The idea of the Law not departing from Joshua’s mouth implies a constant; to “not depart” means it is ever present. God’s Word must be at the centre of our lives at all times. We cannot hope to observe all that it commands us to do unless we keep it before us.
In our human weakness, if we do not maintain a persistent effort to keep the Bible at the forefront of what we do, it will easily slip in priority to second, third or subsequent place – behind other less important matters.
The book of the Law must not depart from where? From Joshua’s mouth. This can only mean that he is to speak it out loud time and again. As we discussed above, one meaning of “meditation” is to mutter or utter, and so here we see another instruction to keep the Word on our lips.
The phrase in verse 8 – “shall meditate on it day and night” – is almost word-for-word the same as that of Psalm 1:2. There is no time outside of day or night, and we always find ourselves living in either the day light or the night hours. To meditate day and night is another way of saying all the time. Occasionally is not enough; neither is most of our time. Success and blessing come from day and night meditation on the Scriptures.
The Lord reminds Joshua that if he is careful to do all that is commanded of him, then his way will be prosperous and he will enjoy good success. Psalm 1 tells us we will be blessed if we delight in God’s Word, meditating on it day and night. To be blessed in this way is to enjoy good success, and not the world’s kind, but God’s kind of success.
I read the Bible regularly, but I cannot admit to frequent nor constant meditation. Too often do I use tiredness as an excuse, or pick up the TV remote. I will never have biblical success filling my mind with the world’s entertainment.
Day and night, I must meditate on God’s Word, and must speak it freely from my mouth. Instead of complaining and grumbling, I ought rather to speak out the Word of life.
Studying this subject has been a real conviction to me. I share some of it here with you, and hope you too will step more deeply into the Bible. Let it not depart from your lips, and let your way be prosperous. In Jesus’ Name! Amen