“But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.” Psalm 1:2-3 NIV
Growl of a Lion
Have you ever watched a wild animal crouching over its food, making a low growling sound to warn others to stay away? Have you ever heard the cooing of a dove? Have you been to a funeral and heard people mourning for the loss of a loved one? Or how about the rumble of distant thunder? What do all these sounds have in common? Believe it or not, the biblical word “meditate” can sometimes have all these different meanings: growl of a lion, cooing of a dove, moaning of mourners, or rumble of thunder.
The Hebrew word for “meditate” is one of the most unusual words I’ve ever come across. David and Joshua both used this word to talk about meditating on God’s Word (Psalm 1:2 and Joshua 1:8). When you think about it, there is something all these meanings have in common. They represent a low, quiet sound filled with power or strong feeling. Some Bible scholars believe this suggests that biblical meditation always involves the quiet recitation of scripture, hearing the words over again, and reviewing their meaning carefully. I think this is very important because sometimes we think meditation starts in our own mind, that we find the truth within ourselves. But true biblical meditation always starts with God’s Word.
This is why memorizing scripture is so important. It is part of the life-long habit of meditating on God’s Word. Have you ever wondered what you are supposed to do with all those Bible verses you memorize? It’s not just so that you can get a grade or win a reward. They are actually tools that equip you for a lifetime of meditating on God’s Word. And David says meditating on God’s Word day and night is what allows you to put your roots down deep into the stream of God’s truth, like a mature, fruitful tree, prosperous and successful in everything you do.
See how David described the many benefits of meditating on God’s Word day and night (Psalm 119:97-104).
For additional study materials on the Bonus Verse and a copy of the “Ten Step Bible Memory Method for Life” go to the ICS website at www.icsva.org. Click on the Annual Theme & Bonus Verse on the homepage.