December 14, 2014
In the first two parts of this study, we saw the Bible as a timeless, truthful, treasured book, a living book because the Creator of the universe literally breathed out the Word of God. If you missed these studies, check out the article archives.
We saw that it must be assimilated—taken into your mind, understood, and provided as nourishment for your soul and spirit. How do you do that? First by praying, asking God to be your teacher, then by meditating.
“I will meditate on Your precepts …” (Psalm 119:15). “I rise before (get up before) the dawning of the morning, and cry for help: I hoped in Your Word” (Psalm 119:147). In other words, the Psalmist had a quiet time. “My eyes are awake through the night watches, that I may meditate on Your Word.” (Psalm 119:148).
It takes time to ponder the Word of God. If you have to rise an hour early or stay up an hour late, do whatever it takes so that you might meditate upon the Word of God.
Keep a pad and pencil handy. I always read the Bible with something to write with, because I’m expecting to receive something from God. If you’re expecting to hear from God, you should be ready to write it down. Don’t just say you’ll “remember it.” The weakest ink is better than the best memory. Pray over it, ponder it, then be ready for God to speak to you.
As you meditate, use your sanctified common sense. Don’t jump into the middle of a chapter or a book with no rhyme or reason. Follow a plan. You might start by reading Psalm 119 which this study is based on and mark all the references to law, statutes, precepts, and other related words.
Remember, too, that the Bible contains different forms of literature. Read poetry as poetry, prophecy as prophecy. See precept as precept, promise as promise, and proverb as proverb.
For example, a proverb is a general principle that when generally applied brings a general result. In the book of Proverbs, there are ways to be healthy, wealthy, and wise. But you could do all those things and be hit by a truck! The proverbs are wonderful guidelines, laying down principles for living, but don’t try to turn the proverbs into promises. They are principles, not promises.
Ask, “Is this precept? Prophecy? Poetry? Prose? Promise?” God gave you a mind. He doesn’t zap you with knowledge. He expects you to do your part by studying and meditating upon His word.
Ask these six questions as you study the Word of God, and God will show you what He wants you to learn.
“Your Word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You… I will delight myself in Your statutes: I will not forget Your Word” (Psalm 119:11, 16).
Hide the Word of God in your heart. Don’t say, “I just can’t memorize!” Memory comes with concentration, motivation, and use. Your mind is a marvel, and you can remember far more than you think you can. Fill your mind with the Word so what is inside will flow forth blessing and honor to God.
"You have commanded us to keep Your precepts diligently. Oh, that my ways were directed to keep Your statutes!" (Psalm 119:4-5).
It’s not enough to recite the promises without obeying the commandments. If you want to learn more about the Word of God, obey what you already know. The more you obey, the more you will learn. If you will begin to keep the things that you do understand, the Word of God will become real to you.
“…so shall I meditate on Your wondrous works.” “I will speak of Your testimonies also before kings…” “My tongue shall speak of Your Word…” (Psalm 119:27, 46, 172).
Let the Word of God be constantly in your mouth. The more of the Word you give away, the more will be woven into the fabric of your soul and spirit.
These are only a few of the ways your Bible, a living treasure, can burst aflame in your heart. Begin to do these. Stow it in your heart, show it in your life, sow it in the world.