Did you know that a cow can spend up to eight hours a day chewing cud! Cows swallow large amounts of food at one time. They then spend more time bringing that food back up and chewing it. This process allows enzymes to be produced that breakdown the food and cause it to be more effectively processed through the body.
Cows that spend time chewing the cud are proven to have a better quality of life. They are more content and healthier, producing a better milk and having a higher production of muscle.
Do you see any spiritual parallels here between cows ruminating on cud and believers meditating on the Word of God?
A Definition Reviewed and Extended
In the previous article, it was noted that the word for meditation in the original language has its roots in the concept of “muttering” or even “growling.” The word actually has shades and gradations of meaning that create a rich definition.
The word means: mutter, moan, growl, utter, muse, ponder, think, meditate; and, to speak with oneself, murmuring in a low voice as one often does when musing or comparing.
Another insight into this concept of meditation is found in 1Timothy 4:15. Paul is encouraging Timothy to attend to the public reading of the Word, to teaching and preaching, and to use the gifts God has given him. He is specifically telling Timothy to be absorbed in these tasks with the Word of God.
There are two words of interest in this passage. The first is the Greek word “melatao” which means to meditate on as in preparing for oratory; to attend carefully to; to ponder, meditate, to devise and plan and to practice.
The second word of interest is “eimi” which is a form of the word “to be:” meaning to live in; to be immersed in; to be absorbed in or with. It carries the same connotation of Col. 3:16 which encourages us to let the Word of God live in us, richly.
Here are how various versions translate this passage:
- “Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all.” 1 Timothy 4:15 NKJV
- “Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident to all.” 1 Timothy 4:15 NASB
- “Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress.” 1 Timothy 4:15 ESV
It is very clear that reading, teaching and preaching the Word involves a deep intake of the Word of God. 1 Timothy 4:15 describes the concept of meditation as well as its’ most essential product or benefit which is progress in our growth in Christ.
Blessings of Muttering/Meditating
Intimacy with God: Meditation brings blessings. The focal point of meditating on God’s Word is to know Him. In Psalm 46: 10 the Spirit commands that we be still and know that God is God. Such understanding comes through meditating on truths about God and on His great deeds. The greatest blessing of meditation is understanding God in a deeper way; knowing Him more personally.
Counsel and Instruction: Another blessing of meditation is found in Ps. 16:7:
“I will bless the LORD who has counseled me; indeed, my mind instructs me in the night.”
Pondering and mulling over the Word of God, even in the watches of the night, counsels our heart and instructs our mind. As we meditate we see God and His heart for us more clearly and we are comforted by what we see.
Also, we receive direction and indeed instruction in how to apply the principles of God.
Fruitful and Thriving: Meditating on the Word of God makes us grow. It causes us to become fruitful and effective in our walk with God.
In Psalm 1:2-3 reveals that meditation enlivens and nurtures our spirit making us fruitful and effective in every season of our life.
- “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.”
Righteous Living: Meditating on and muttering God’s word helps us be on guard against sin and resist temptation. In Psalm 119:11 we learn that valuing the Word of God so much so that we take time to meditate on it helps us to live righteously: “Your Word I have treasured in my heart, that I might not sin against You.”
Joy and Satisfaction: Meditating on God’s Word brings contentment and fullness to our spirit. It produces an inner joy within us. Read and believe the truths associated with the practice of meditating on God’s Word.
Psalm 63: 5-6, “My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth offers praises with joyful lips. When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night.”
Psalm 104:34, “My meditation of Him will be sweet; I will be glad in the Lord.”
This article is meant to encourage you to begin meditating on the Word of God, on God and His deeds. Taste and see that this practice is good. I would be encouraged to hear of a blessing or insight you receive from your meditations.