A student of Scripture, while sitting in class one day, asked the professor, “Why, if I read Scripture daily does it still not make much sense to me and I do not feel fulfilled?” The professor, a long tenured and proud scholar of church history quipped, “Son, I’ve been reading Scripture since I was 8 years old and I still am not filled”. What is wrong with this? The professor never truly slowed down and listened to God’s Word.
Reading, studying and meditating on Scripture are three totally different things. Anyone can read the Bible daily and those who want to learn, Study Scriptures. To truly connect with God one must meditate on His Word daily and every chance throughout the day. Joshua learned this from God when he was commanded:
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
There is so much more to God’s Word than meets the eye to the common person who reads Scripture daily. Moses had a close personal relationship with God even in his respectful fear. Joshua had the scrolls from the scribes of Moses and the words of the Aaronic priests to guide him through the knowing of the words, but it was when he sat, studied, and meditated on the teachings that helped him delight (live) in the Father’s instruction. Joshua spoke with God ad because he was chosen, God spoke back. When you meditate your total focus is on the Word. He lived his life and ruled the people with the Holy Spirit as his guide because he never lost focus. Joshua’s prosperous success was having a right spirit and Godly wisdom. His total commitment was to God first then his people. Even though mistakes were made he never lost focus.
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. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers. Psalm 1:1-3
Listening and following the words of the unrighteous will make you question your faith and trust in God. Surrounding yourself with those who do not know Christ as their Lord and Savior and even those who claim to know Him yet still live in their sin without remorse is detrimental to our faith. Stand firm in the Word of the Lord and let it be your counsel and guide. David opens the Psalms with these words to remind us that God’s way is the right way and we should live as we were created, in His Image.
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. Philippians 4:8
Paul, in his final exhortations to Philippi, gave them hope and final instruction to righteous living. He engaged them to place their focus on the teachings of Jesus that he brought to them. Paul instructed them to follow his example of living but it was misinterpreted by some to follow Paul instead of Christ. Paul really did his best to get their focus in the right place and for the most part it worked. If you look closely at his whole exhortation, it leads to Jesus.
Meditating on the Word means listening closely to the still quiet voice that is speaking as you read and repeat the Scriptures. Praying while meditating allows you to ask for deeper guidance to fully understand what is being said and how to apply it today. God wishes that relationship with us and when we see, hear, and listen to His written Word we can begin that full conversation. The Bible is God’s Instruction Book for Mankind, if we carefully decipher it we will live a better life. Listen with your heart and head in one accord and the Word will become clear as it speaks volumes. AMEN.