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.
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:
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:
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.