Weekly Scripture Meditation Jan. 5, 2011

Wednesday: Weekly Scripture Meditation

Ps. 1.2: “But they delight in the law of Yahweh, meditating on it day and night.”

I’m going to try something new this year: having a weekly meditation verse, something short and meaningful that you (and I) can carry around in our minds for a whole week and ruminate on. This idea came to me this past Sunday when I was visiting my friend Aaron’s church and heard him preach (this sermon) on the importance of meditation as a facet of prayer.

If you want to do this with me, take the weekly verse and memorize it (put in your phone or write it down if you need to), then think about it in your spare mental moments. Turn it over in your mind. Talk with God about it and listen in your heart for the enlightenment that will come.

What I would advise you not to do is consult commentaries, study Bibles, or the Internet looking for meaning. The whole idea here is to let the meditation verse be a conversation starter between your spirit and the Holy Spirit. Don’t bring other voices into what you want to be a private, intimate conversation.

Of course, I’m about to contradict myself by giving you a couple of ideas myself, but note that what I am doing is giving pointers on how to meditate, pointing you in directions you might go in your own meditation, not telling you what the verse has to mean. It is also okay with me if you just stop reading now, take the verse, and go meditate on it. What comes next is just there if you want it.

This first tip applies generally to all Scripture meditation and is perhaps so obvious as not to need stating. One of the best ways to get into meditating is to consider each word (or at least each major word) in the sentence, emphasize it as you say the sentence, and think about that word, that concept, in the context of the sentence and the thought being conveyed. But THEY delight in the law of Yahweh… But they DELIGHT in the law of Yahweh… Etc.

The second tip applies specifically to Hebrew poetry, which is a marvel of beauty in itself. The couplet is a strong form in Hebrew poetry, constructed very carefully to convey great depths of meaning to the one who meditates on its verses. One thing this means is that the poet intends for the hearer or reader to link words and ideas from the first line to the second (sometimes the meanings compare, expand each other, or juxtapose each other).

In our verse above, ‘delight’ and ‘meditating’ go together, which makes sense because we tend to think about the things we like a lot. So in addition to focusing on each word in the verse, reflect on delight and meditating together. See where your own thought takes you on that. Listen to what the Spirit says to your spirit – then write it down.

Also, ‘law of Yahweh’ goes with ‘day and night.’ In my own meditation, it occurred to me that day and night are themselves expressions of the law of Yahweh – the commands He gave in Genesis 1. I also thought about day and night as poetically representing good times and bad times in my life. The Psalm encourages me to delight and meditate in all seasons of my life, when I am doing well and when I am not doing well.

One of the great things about poetry is that more than one meaning can be true at the same time. We think ourselves clever when we make a statement that has a double entendre. The poet (especially the one anointed by the Holy Spirit) may have multiple levels of meaning operating at the same time.

If you are willing, then, let’s be the ‘they’ in this verse. Let’s delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night.

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