reflectingJesus | Savouring God’s Words
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savouring God’s words

There is way to study the Bible which is like tasting an expensive chocolate. You don’t just gobble it down, but keep it for as long as you can in your mouth to sense its texture and flavours. The Psalmist says, “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103) We can learn how to savour God’s words as we learn how to meditate on Scripture.

As Joshua takes over from Moses to lead God’s people into the Promised Land, Jesus appears to Joshua and says, “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” (Joshua 1:8) Notice two things in the text. Firstly, that God’s word was to be in Joshua’s thoughts continually. Secondly, as God’s words were in Joshua’s mind, it would lead him to obedience. Then Joshua would be as successful as God had called him to be.

This sort of meditation is very different from the type found in Eastern religions. For example, in Buddhism, meditation is a way of emptying the mind. Biblical meditation is just the opposite. In biblical meditation we learn how to fill the mind-—with God’s words. We do this as we learn to savour the words God speaks to us in the Bible.

 

listening to God’s words

Here is a second method of learning to listen to God’s words which is through meditation on a Bible passage. Before reading, pray for the guidance and teaching of the Holy Spirit. You are now going to read the passage four times. This is how it works:

  1. Read to become familiar. Read the passage once to become familiar with the text. You may want to read the passage out loud. You may do this a couple times until you are familiar with the passage. (It is suggested that you don’t take too many verses to begin with.) If there is something you don’t understand immediately, don’t worry. As you increasingly immerse yourself in God’s words over time, God will give you understanding.
  2. Read to listen. Read the passage a second time to identify an idea or phrase that you noticed after the first reading. Take time to “listen” to its meaning. Don’t rush. Don’t try and force the text open but rather allow time for the Holy Spirit to reveal the meaning of the text to you. This is time to pause, listen, observe, watch.
  3. Read to respond. Read the passage a third time. Based on what you have seen and heard, respond back to God in prayer. It could be a prayer of praise, thanks, confession of sin, or a specific request.
  4. Read to reflect. Read the passage a final time. Take time to rest a little longer in God’s presence to reflect on what you have learned. This prevents us hurrying off quickly to do the next thing on our agenda and lose what God has just been teaching us. God may now bring new insights to your attention that you had not noticed before.

With practice, you do not have to follow the specific order for meditation. You can move backwards and forwards between reading, listening, responding and reflecting. Here is a diagram showing this process:

Savouring Gods words

using your journal

In your Bible study journal, record the lessons God is teaching you as you savour the words on His mind and heart for you. You can also record your prayers in response to what God has shared with you.

Category
Bible study methods, Communion with God
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