A Bible Devotion

Wednesday, September 06, 2023

What Is Bible Meditation?

JOSHUA 1:8 NKJ 8 "This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe 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.

The Hebrew word (hagah) translated as "meditate" in the above verse is translated in the KJV by many words, including meditate, speak, imagine, study, mutter, utter, roaring, and talk.

Here are some verses where hagah is translated as speak. It is obviously not just an inner thought, because lips, tongue, and mouth are the subject of hagah in these verses.

JOB 27:4 KJV 4 My lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit.

PSALM 35:28 KJV 28 And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long.

PROVERBS 8:7 KJV 7 For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.

Isaiah has an interesting verse where hagah is translated as roaring.

ISAIAH 31:4 KJV 4 For thus hath the LORD spoken unto me, Like as the lion and the young lion roaring on his prey, when a multitude of shepherds is called forth against him, he will not be afraid of their voice, nor abase himself for the noise of them: so shall the LORD of hosts come down to fight for mount Zion, and for the hill thereof.

This verse does not picture a lion chasing his prey, but already possessing his catch, unmoved by any attempts to get him to turn loose.

Instead of translating hagah as "roaring" here, it could make sense to translate it as ingesting, or obtaining nutrients. This is what we do when we meditate on God's Word.

A roar can also be thought of as bold speech. When we find God's Word, we should be bold as a lion, confidently speaking God's Word, refusing to let go regardless of opposition.

The Good News Bible says "No matter how shepherds yell and shout, they can't scare away a lion from an animal that it has killed."

We should have the same bold commitment to keeping and devouring our spiritual food, the Word of God.

Here is a verse where hagah is translated as imagine.

PSALM 2:1 KJV 1 Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?

The only way a human can see the past or the future unaided, is through their imagination. Memory uses the imagination. Much of our thinking, whether planning or "jumping to conclusions," involves our imagination. Both fear and faith operate in the realm of imagination.

Imagination is part of Bible meditation. But what are we to imagine?

God's Words are meant to paint a new picture in your thinking -- the picture of reality as God sees it.

Bible meditation is not emptying your mind, but filling your mind -- and your mouth -- with God's Word. It is focusing on God's thoughts, until they also become your thoughts.

So meditation is to help us see things the way God sees them.

SAY THIS: I will meditate on God's Word.


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