What role does meditation on the Word play in new spiritual perspectives and our spiritual growth? I suppose the first step in answering the question is looking at scriptural meditation by examining some Old Testament verses.
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. Joshua 1:8 (NKJV)
2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. Psalm 1:2 (NKJV)
14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14 (NKJV)
We are clearly called to meditate on the word but how do we do that? The meaning of the Hebrew word meditate, or meditation, refers to pondering, imagining, muttering and speaking. In essence, biblical meditation includes thinking deeply on something, particularly scripture, and speaking it to ourselves. We essentially chew on the scripture until it becomes part of us. The best image is that of a cow chewing its cud. Since most in our modern culture may not be familiar with farm imagery let me explain. A cow has four stomachs so it thoroughly digests its food to get every bit of nutrition out of it. Initially it chews and chews a wad of food (a cud) over and over again to break down the plant material and release the nutrition. This is what we are called to do with the scriptures so that they move from our heads to our hearts. We are to ponder them and chew on them until they come alive in us.
Lest we think this is only an Old Testament practice, Jesus was clear about our need to live by the word
4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4 (NKJV)
If we see the source of our life as the scriptures, as we move further into this new year, this new season, we need to consider something. What are we chewing on before Him?