Friday, May 1, 2009

More Ways to Interact with Scripture

There are many creative ways to experience the truth and power of Scripture. Bible study and devotional reading are powerful activities, but there are other ways to interact with Scripture that can help you see things in new ways and (for those of us who like to change things up) to provide variety to keep things fresh.
As I come to the end of this week-long series on Bible Intake, I want to make a few more comments about Meditation on Scripture. The call to do this is found in Scripture itself - Psalm 119 contains several references to meditating on, and delighting in, God's Word. Joshua 1:8 says "This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success." J.I. Packer in "Knowing Goddefines it: "Meditation is the activity of calling to mind, and thinking over, and dwelling on, and applying to oneself, the various things that one knows about the works and ways and purposes and promises of God... It is an activity of holy thought, consciously performed in the presence of God, under the eye of God, by the help of God, as a means of communion with God."

There are several other good sources on meditation on Scripture that you may want to check out - this primer , an article by Jan Janson, and this excellent reference at The bottom line is that meditation on the Bible is for everyone, pastors and parents as well as contemplatives. The great preacher Charles Spurgeon regarded this very highly , and gives us a key reason why we should interact with the Word of God in different ways as we wrap our mind and heart around it:
"Truth is sometimes like a flint, which, when it is smitten the first time yieldeth not; but at last one happy blow of the hammer shall make it fly to shivers. You will find it the same with gospel doctrine, that you want to understand but cannot. There is some difficulty you cannot surmount. Meditation comes and gives one stroke after another with all the weight of prayer and of thoughtfulness, but it stirs not; till at last our diligence is rewarded, and we see the whole mass of masonry which reason had piled together of fabulous traditions, cometh tumbling down; the foundation is discovered, and the truth made clear to our apprehension in a moment." 

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