Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Meditate (on the Word) Day and Night

In last Sunday's sermon, I gave three points of application regarding how we should interact with God's Word.  One was that we should read through it.  I recommend reading large portions of Scripture, the entire Bible in a year if you can do it.  This gives you a good overview of the big picture of the events and overall teaching of God's Word.

I also said that you should memorize the Scripture.  The Psalmist says that he hides God's Word in his heart in order to avoid sin.  With all the great tools that we have at this point in human history (the Bible on our phones!) we still need to memorize it so that we can be thinking about it and make use of it when we need it.

The second point of application that I gave was to meditate on it.  This is taken directly from the wording of Psalm 1:2 - "In his law he meditates day and night."  To meditate means to mutter something to yourself.  In essence, you are talking to yourself as you contemplate the meaning and application of Scripture.  I want to give you and example of how you can mine a text for diamonds that you can examine for a few minutes each day for a couple days without driving yourself crazy!

Take our "Verse of the Week" that we published in our bulletin and on our website this week:  Deuteronomy 7:9 - Therefore know that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments.

In looking at this verse, the first thing you should notice is the word "Therefore".  At this point, you should look at the immediate context of the verse to see what the "therefore" is there for.  How does it fit into the larger passage of Deuteronomy 7?  Then you might notice the word "know" is next.  Of course, you should want to find out WHAT you are supposed to know, which comes from the next few phrases.  But you should also ask yourself HOW you would come to know these things.  Think about your spiritual blindness and the work of the Holy Spirit that needs to take place as you read the Word in order to know the things God wants you to know hear.  As you think through these things, you could thank God that because of the cross of Christ, God opens the eyes of the blind and softens the hardened hearts that we have in order to know Him.

You could spend as long as you like thinking about these things and we haven't even gotten through the first phrase!  We haven't even considered WHAT we are to know yet.  This verse says we are to know two things - our God is really God and He is faithful (sounds like Hebrews 11:6).  You could spend a few days contemplating what it means to be God and thanking God that we don't serve a false idol, but the one true God.  As well, you could then consider how God has proven himself faithful throughout human history and in your life, which should then bring you to a crescendo of praise.

Please understand that I am not suggesting you spend 10 hours every day doing this.  I am saying that you take what time you have and fill it with God's Word.  If that's 5 minutes, take 5 minutes.  If it's an hour, spend it knowing and rejoicing in God through His Word.  Take it with you as you are driving to work, as you eat your lunch, as you lie down at night to go to sleep.  This is what the Psalmist means.

There is nothing in this world that will benefit you as much as allowing God's Word to permeate your thoughts and change you into the image of Christ.