EBible Fellowship Sunday Bible Study – 21-Sep-2008


by John McOwen


This morning’s study is going to be on a topic and it is going to be meditating, particularly meditating on the law of God.  There is an art and a science of meditation, it is practiced frequently in the Eastern culture out in India, in China, and other areas.  It is actually all over the world but in particular its origins are from the east.  It is a particular science I would say or art that people do for relaxation in particular.  But we are told in the Scriptures and we are exonerated many times in the Bible to meditate in the Scriptures whatever that word means and that is going to be the focus today of the study, to look at meditation; what does it mean to meditate in the Bible, to meditate in God’s Word, where does God use the word meditate and how can I do it effectively?  Is there a science to it?  Is there an art to it?  Or is it just something that I am supposed to intuitively know? 

Well I am going to pickup in Joshua 1 in the beginning of where we see meditation and in particular it is a good verse to really focus our attention on the reasons why we meditate and hopefully we can pickup what it means as we go on.  I am going to start in Joshua 1 just to get the context in verse 1.  If you turn in your Bibles to the book of Joshua:

Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying,

So God speaks here in this chapter and then we are going to pick it up in verse 8.  God is still speaking He says:

This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

So verse 8 tells us:

This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, …

So that is going to be the focus here of what we are going to look at.  That is the reason why I was intrigued with this concept of meditation.  What does it mean because it uses the word a lot in the Scriptures about meditating especially in the Psalms, here we see it in Joshua.  But it says:

This book of the law …

Let us start there, “This book of the law,” now if you are a lawyer or you are in law school, you are training, you study law and it is going to be particularly the law of either your country, or your state, or the particular field that you specialize in maybe it is business law.  So you are going to be focused on the law that has to deal with commerce and business if that is your specialty.  But when the Bible says, “This book of the law” what is it talking about?  Is it talking about the laws of the land?  No, it is talking about the Bible which is God’s law book for the human race.  How else would I put that?  Get perspective again this might sound very simple but it is good to have this perspective.  What does it mean to have God having a law book for the human race?  It is really a book of law, of conduct, of behavior as we live, right?  When you think about it laws are set to organize behavior patterns for the good of society and in this case the Bible is obviously a rule of conduct for life as well as many other things about spiritual issues.  But God’s law book is how we deal with Him and how we are to live our life.  So we are told that this book, that is that law book, we are told to meditate in it, whatever that means. 

Let us pickup a few other passages in the Bible that deal with meditation so we can understand what it means to meditate in this law book here the Bible, this rule of conduct for how I am to live on this earth.  Psalm 77, let us go there and pickup the same word meditate. It is Strong’s #1897 if you are interested in studying this later today you might want to pull that up in a Concordance or in your computer.  It is #1897 in the Strong’s and it is the word “meditate.” Psalm 77:11-12 let us listen to this because if we find the word “meditate” elsewhere, rather than me trying to study Eastern religion, the meditation that is not always a religion a lot of times it has to do with Yoga which is more of an exercise, physiologically in relaxing the mind and the body.  But in particular the Bible will define for me what meditate means and then I can use that to hopefully understand what it means to do it.  Well Psalm 77:11 says:

I will remember the works of the LORD: surely I will remember thy wonders of old.

Before I go any further what word is repeated twice?  Remember, remember, remember.   I want to focus on the word remember there.  The Psalmist here is remembering “the works of the LORD” and His wonders.  Those works are synonymous with wonders.  Verse 12:

I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings.

So let me pickup right away in verse 12.  If I see the word “meditate” in verse 12, here is how I can let the Bible define its own terms.  Once again it is not saying meditation is to or mediation equals, it is not that easy but it says in verse 12:

I will meditate also …

So the word “also” means that the verse preceding it must mean something about defining the word “meditate.”  So go back to verse 11 and one synonym for meditate is to remember, remember.  That is a mental exercise is it not?  Remembering is a brain exercise.  In school you probably have to remember vocabulary words and all kinds of other issues when you take a test.  How do you memorize something, what is one way to memorize?  Repetition, good Mary, repetition is a good way to memorize.  Flashcards when you are young sometimes you use and you constantly review them everyday.  If you want to memorize a Bible verse or anything else you want to constantly look at it and repeat it over and over in your mind or out loud, a great way to remember something.  Very few of us can look at something once and remember it ongoing.  So a lot of times it takes repetition.  But the Bible says here that one way to meditate, one definition of meditation is remembering. 

Let us go on and in particular here it was talking about the works of God.  But let us go on and see some more.  Psalm 143:5.  Once again we are going to pickup the word “remember”:

I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; …

Wow that is repeated again.

… I muse on the work of thy hands.

We have a new word there and it is muse.  Does anyone know what that word means?  Think upon, dwell, these are good synonyms.  To muse is to ponder, to cogitate, to use another fancy word, to mull over, to think through.  When you are preoccupied that is what you are doing are you not? You are thinking, you might be in a conversation with someone but your mind is somewhere else and you are thinking of something else and you are not really listening to the other person.  You are musing something else, something else is ruminating in your mind, you are thinking, you are dwelling.  What do we unfortunately muse over way too much?  Problems in life they seem to preoccupy our thinking and our cogitating way too frequently.  But here the Bible says once again that we are to:

… remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works;

Again another synonym:

… I muse on the work of thy hands.

So those words are defining meditation as it is sandwiched between them.  It is to ponder, to be absorbed in thought.  What are we specifically meditating on?  God said to Joshua, meditate in the “book of the law” “day and night.”  But in the Psalms what have we seen?  What are we to meditate on?  The works of God, the works of God.  Where are the works of God displayed or given?  It is the Bible because the Bible is also a history book is it not?  It is a history book.  It brings us all the way back to creation, 13,000 years ago and it also gives us the happenings of the people of Israel.  So we are remembering God’s works especially His work of salvation which all His physical works are picturing spiritual truth which is all wrapped up in His salvation program.  So to meditate really is to ponder, to think, to remember.  And one way for me to remember is to constantly read over and over again which is why did it say in Joshua you are to meditate in the “book of the law” “day and night,” “day and night”?  You have to read the Bible every “day and night.”  You really should that is the basic tenant right there.  If you want to remember God’s works, if you want that to benefit your life which we will see in a moment you want to be in the Bible every day and every night.  Now I do not want to ask for a raising of hands but I am going to ask you all a specific question to look at yourself, you have to look at your own heart, do you read the Bible every day and every night?  In other words twice a day are you reading it at least twice a day?  Sometime during the day and sometime during the night in the evening.  At a minimum that is what Joshua 1:8 is telling us.  So if you learn nothing else from this study or you are not inspired by anything else, this one point is so obvious.  If you want to benefit anything in your life, all of your life, you have to read from the Bible at least once during the day and at least once during the night.  You have to, God is telling us to do that, He designed us--He knows what is best.  You cannot just pick it up on Sunday, or once a day, or every other day, you are going to be shortchanging yourself if you do that. 

Joshua 1:8, back to the source of our study here the beginning point.  Why are we to meditate in the Bible night and day?  Anyone want to tell me what the result is?  Why am I to meditate night and day?  Joshua 1:8, because He says there:

… thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: …

So someone else want to define that for me in a simpler term?  To meditate in the Bible “day and night” is going to result in what?  Give me one word that begins with an “o” to summarize that phrase.  Obedience, meditation in the Bible or reading it everyday, remembering it, and remembering it is to read it a lot so to meditate is going to equal observing or obedience to God’s Word which is going to benefit me greatly.  So it is simple but it is a formula that God is giving us here.  So if I meditate in this very rigid and consistent schedule and it is, what else do you do other than eat two or three times a day, on a regular basis, day in and day out no matter what the day is and maybe you can think of some things but the Bible reading is huge there and God is telling us to do that.  We are actually going to find what it is we are to do and we are constantly going to be reminded of it. 

Now is obedience going to come through one read through of the Bible?  Of course not.  Have you ever talked to someone about Bible reading?  I particularly like to go through it from Genesis to Revelation and just start over again that is how I do it.  I go through it about every nine months I go through the Scriptures.  That is just reading, that is not the study time that I might do in my role as maybe trying to prepare a message from time to time, that is a different issue-that is when I might spend an hour or two just on one passage but just general reading on the train in the morning and at night or at night at home I am going to be reading from Genesis to Revelation and I am going to keep going through and then when I hit Revelation 22 I start back over in Genesis.  Someone once said to me on the train, “I am really inspired you are reading the Bible no one else does they always read newspapers or are on their laptops.”  I said, “Well I do it every day,” “Do you ever get tired of it?”  I said, “No, I cannot because it is a rich book it is full of life, it is a living book, it is an instruction book, it is a law book and even if I have been through it 25 times I am still just beginning to learn more and more stuff so you cannot ever exhaust reading it.”  So that is the key there, one read through will not do it.  Get on a schedule, a rigid and consistent schedule every day every night at least one chapter and you will get through the Scriptures quickly as far as the whole book and then you can start all over again. 

Now that sounds like an easy prescription but how do I do something like that?  How do I apply that?  I have to set up a schedule, do I not?  Now I will share with you mine, it is easy because it is my life and I am familiar with it most, I take the train into Center City Philadelphia everyday so it is easy for a half-an-hour in the morning to read there.  Now if you have breakfast at home maybe that is the place where you want to start to read a chapter or two.  I eat at work so it is different so I read on the train.  At night a lot of times in the evening I will be on the train coming home I will read then too unless I am having a conversation with someone, but I always read the last half hour to an hour depending on the night before I retire for the evening.  That is my schedule now that is just non-study time that is just reading through.  I am in the Psalms this week, just go from one to the next to the next.  Just enjoy it!  So that is my schedule it is a great thing to do it at night before you go to sleep because it is the last thing in your mind and hopefully you are not going to be worrying about things which can keep you up at night and give you restless sleep.  If you want restful sleep it is a great thing.  

So I want you to think right now your schedule whatever your life is whether you are in school, you are retired, you work, whatever your situation, when can you?  If you do not read twice a day, when can you read in the daytime and in the evening time every day for the rest of your life?  Now think about that each one of you have to answer that question yourself it does not have to be an exact same time but you have to fit it in and I want you to leave here today with a commitment and a rigid schedule that you are going to set at least this week if you do not already do it twice a day because Joshua 1:8 is telling us, “day and night,” it is not just once a day. 

All right let us go back to Joshua 1:8.  We are to meditate so that we might observe His law.  What is the promised result if you succeed in meditating day and night and you observe His law?  Read the rest of Joshua 1:8:

… for then …

In other words before you see that colon (:) in the middle of the verse it talked about meditating “day and night” and it talked about therefore you will observe what is written in it because you will remember it, you keep cogitating over it but what will happen?

… for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

Notice that word “then” it is not going to happen without the prerequisite what was written before.  You are not going to prosper, you are not going to succeed in life and I am not preaching a prosperity gospel here this morning that you are going to be wealthy and rich and famous if you follow God’s Word.  But what I am promising you is what God does which He says you will prosper and we are going to see that in a moment and you are going to have “good success” in your life.  Then it will happen if you are in that Word “day and night” it will follow.  It is a natural law that God has set up just like the laws of physics that we were talking about earlier with one of the high schoolers here, physics class there are laws of physics that God sets up in the natural world that He has created.  Certain things follow certain laws every time.  Same thing with the Bible reading, you are going to find the success happening. 

Well let us look at some examples, five examples of what it means to prosper and have success.  Five places in the Scriptures where prospering or success is written about.  Let us go to Psalm 1:1-3.  Remember this is the result of meditating “day and night” in the Word of God.  Psalm 1:1-2:

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

There is our phrase again “meditate day and night.”  So he is in the law of God “day and night.”  What is going to happen?  Verse 3:

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, …

What happens when a tree or any plant is near a water source?  It prospers, it grows, it flourishes.  Do you want your life to flourish?  Do you want to be beaming?  Do you want to be joyful?  Do you want to be effective in your life as a witness of God and His amazing salvation?  Well here it says:

… he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; …

What are the fruits of the Spirit?  Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, do you want those fruits in your life?  They are only going to come if you are meditating day and night in the Word.  Do you want to be known as a loving person, as a joyful person?  Well these are fruits that are only going to happen if you are meditating “day and night” in the Word of God and you are going to start living them and you are going to receive the benefits of that.  And it also says:

… his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

Now that is an amazing statement there, whatever you do you will prosper.   You are going to feel great because you are going to be in the will of God no matter what is happening in your life, it is going to be viewed as prosperous for you.  It does not mean you are going to necessarily have all kinds of money and wealth I am not saying that that is not in this, that could happen but that is not the issue.  The issue is prospering spiritually, most especially, and your life is just going to be beaming, you are going to be radiating the love of God to everyone that you come in contact with.  That is one example, there are five I said of prospering and it will go well with you and you will have good success. 

Another one, 2 Chronicles 31 talks about King Hezekiah.  He was a good king a lot of good things happened with Israel under him.  2 Chronicles 31:20-21:

And thus did Hezekiah throughout all Judah, and wrought that which was good and right and truth before the LORD his God. And in every work that he began in the service of the house of God, and in the law, and in the commandments, to seek his God, …

Now there is our key phrase there, “to seek his God,” is linked into meditating “day and night” in His Word I am not going to prove that right now but that is what that means, “to seek his God,”

… he did it with all his heart, …

So he did it with passion, he did it with energy, with focus.  He was really zeroed in on the Word of God, the law of God.  Guess what happened?

… and prospered.

Here is what happened to every work that he did Hezekiah the King, every work he did in the house of God it prospered, everything it was good in Israel with him when he was seeking God with all his heart and he was the leader.  So here is the rule or the take away.  Your family maybe you are the leader, maybe you are a parent in your family you are doing this it is going to filter down to the other members of the family.  Just like it did with Hezekiah it filtered down to the whole nation of Israel.  And in Judah they prospered well in the things of God, in the things of God when he was doing that.  So do you see the effect you have?  And if you are a child you can have an effect on your siblings, or your classmates, or other kids you have influence over, and who respect you, look up to you.  It can really start to infect other people.  So there is a great success and prosperity there.  There is two, there are three more.

Another one is in Deuteronomy 6, we are looking at this prospering and success if you are meditating “day and night” in the Word of God.  What happens?  Deuteronomy 6:4, now parents pay attention to this one especially, this is huge just what I talked about earlier, about if you are in the Word of God “day and night.”  Here is what you can do for other people especially in the house.  Verses 4-8:

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.

Verse 8 is memorizing, is that not a good translation of verse 8?  That is memorizing.  Verses 9-10:

And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, …

How many of you have Bible verses on the wall of your house anywhere or in your room?  And it says:

… and on thy gates. And it shall be, when the LORD thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, …

I will just stop there.  In other words what the Bible is saying here is, you are meditating in the Word of God, you are memorizing it, you are remembering it, you are teaching it to your children if you are a parent “day and night,” when you rise up in the morning and when you go to bed at night.  You see that same thing being repeated here that same cycle of morning and evening, morning and evening, “day and night,” “day and night.”  So you are constantly in the Word of God and you are also talking about it.  So in other words it is coming out of your lips all the time.  It is kind of woven into your speech, your actions, your attitude, constantly, daily.  And the result is things are going to be well, things are going to be well.  And that is what we were told in Joshua 1:8, you will be prosperous, you will have great success if you are doing this over and over again consistently. 

Now there are two more examples to do as far as this prospering.  What does it mean to prosper spiritually what does it mean to be prosperous or successful?  Another one is in 1 Chronicles 22 let us go back there and this time we are going to look at King Solomon.  1 Chronicles 22:7 here we read:

And David said to Solomon, My son, as for me, it was in my mind to build an house unto the name of the LORD my God:

Remember David was the one who had the idea in the first place and the desire to build this great temple but Solomon his Son is the one who winds up doing it.  And then we jump over to verse 11-12, same chapter:

Now, my son, the LORD be with thee; and prosper thou, and build the house of the LORD thy God, as he hath said of thee. Only the LORD give thee wisdom and understanding, and give thee charge concerning Israel, that thou mayest keep the law of the LORD thy God.

Notice, what were we saying in Joshua 1:8 let us stop there?  If you meditate “day and night” then you will before prospering and succeeding, what preceded that?  If you meditated “day and night” then to:

… observe to do according to all that is written therein: …

Remember that preceded success and prosperity.  He said you will have the benefit of observing the law of God if you know it real well and you meditate “day and night” because it will constantly be in you it will convict you and then it will teach you what to do.  So this meditation “day and night” really has to do with observing the law.  So here He says, David is talking about this to Solomon in verse 12:

… that thou mayest keep the law of the LORD thy God.

And then he says in verse 13:

Then shalt thou prosper, if thou takest heed to fulfil the statutes and judgments which the LORD charged Moses with concerning Israel: be strong, and of good courage; dread not, nor be dismayed.

So what was the predecessor to prosperity and success Joshua 1:8 said it, 1 Chronicles 22 says it?  You have to observe the law of God, the Word of God.  When do we get into trouble?  When we fail to observe the Word of God, the law of God.  We think we know better than God, we are smarter, it is not relevant in this situation that I am in currently this is different, I might try to justify an action or a behavior and if I do not observe the Word of God that is typically when trouble follows.  So again the big take away here is the meditation “day and night” keeps me out of trouble.  Children, you want to stay out of trouble, stay in the Word of God” “day and night” and you will have prosperity, you will have success, you will have joy, you will have gladness.  It is guaranteed. 

One last look at this prospering and succeeding if I observe God’s Word because I am meditating all the time in it.  Genesis 39, and who is focused in that chapter, does anyone know before you turn there?  Joseph in Genesis 39, I wonder if he prospered?  Well he was in the dungeon for a while was he not?  Well let us see what happened.  Genesis 39:1-2:

And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him of the hands of the Ishmeelites, which had brought him down thither. And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; …

There we see it, he was very prosperous.

… and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.  And his master saw that the LORD was with him, and that the LORD made all that he did to prosper in his hand. 

That is a wonderful prescription there.  Whatever Joseph was doing God made everything to prosper.  Would that not be great in school, everything you did, every test you took, you prospered, you did great, you got an A every time?  At work-every time you did something different it worked out perfectly.  God made everything prosper for him.  But then in verses 7-9 we see here:

And it came to pass after these things, that his master’s wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me. But he refused, and said unto his master’s wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand; There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?

Did Joseph prosper here?  He did even though when he did not lie with her he did not commit adultery with her because she had “cast her eyes upon Joseph,” she was throwing herself at him in other words but he refused it because he knew the law of God.  He had meditated successfully he knew the Word of God, that that was against God’s law and He said, how could I do this and sin against God, how could I, I am not going to, even though he got thrown into the dungeon because Potiphar’s wife then was resentful that he did not want to take her advances so then she said, I will get him and then she kind of pretended or faked a rape cry and then they threw him into the dungeon.  But yet he did prosper because God took him out and made him basically the second in command over all of Egypt.  So it worked out in the long run for him he did prosper because he followed God’s Word there.

What is going to really convince me that meditating in God’s Word reading it every morning or sometime during the day and at least once at night, so twice a day, is guaranteeing me good in my life?  The greatest chapter and I really want everyone if you think about this message later today or tonight I want you to read this chapter, it is long it is 68 verses, it is Deuteronomy 28.  I am not going to read the chapter but I am going to point out one or two verses to kind of wet your appetite because Deuteronomy 28 is that great chapter that compares and contrasts two things.  Anyone know what they are?  If you obey you get blessing, if you disobey you get cursing.  Those are the words that are used throughout that chapter.  And it all comes down to the obedience of God’s Word because you are meditating in it.  Not because you are being taught well, or you just pray a lot for obedience, it is happening because God gave us the prescription, reading it “day and night,” meditating, remembering, cogitating.  Remember the words we used, musing, pondering, that is, the Word of God, reading it and thinking, thinking, reading, meditating, thinking about it, what did I just read.  Do not just read it and put it aside and forget it, read it and think.  But anyway Deuteronomy 28:1-3:

And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, …

Where is His voice?  His Word, He speaks to us through the Word of God.  So if I am listening to the Word by reading it in other words:

… to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God. Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field.

So whether you work in the city like I do or you are a farmer out in the field or anywhere in between whatever you do you are going to be blessed.  God is going to bless you there.  Verse 4:

Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.

So all these great blessings come so that is why you want to meditate and read the Word “day and night.”  It is going to bless you, whatever you do in life.  It is a guarantee but the Bible says that if you stop doing that look what happens in verses 15-16:

But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee: Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field.

Guess what is going to happen if I stop reading the Bible on the train every morning?  When I get into the city guess what is going to happen?  A lot of curses are going to come upon me, I know that would happen, it is a guarantee.  If I am not meditating in God’s Word I am going to get tripped up something is going to happen, things will happen God will put them in my path and it will not be good I know it.  So the key is for all of us here to learn that we have to meditate “day and night” if we want it to be well, if we want to prosper and succeed in whatever we are doing in life you have to be in the Word of God that is a prerequisite.  Do you know what that word prerequisite means?  In school sometimes when you have an advanced class it will say a prerequisite is English 101 that means that you have had to take English 101 before you can take the advanced class English 300.  Same thing with God’s Word you will not prosper, you will not succeed if you are not in the Word of God “day and night.”  That is the thing that we really want to pound home here. 

Now one final thing I want to leave us with.  We talked about, we defined synonyms for meditation and what was the one that began with the letter “r”?  Remembering, remembering.  The word “meditate” one of the synonyms is remembering.  What was another one?  Marlena?  Muse, Wow, good, that was a fancy word, what does muse mean?  To ponder, to cogitate, to think, to mull over.  So how do I meditate?  How can I practically do it?  I can say it but how do I do it?  Do I study the Art and Science of Eastern meditation?  One Yoga master wrote the phrase, what is meditation?  It is deep concentration on God.  That is another way to say it I mean when you think about it, deep concentration and that is why when people meditate physically or the exercise of meditation they do it to relax their body and their spirit.  They put their body in a completely relaxed state and they meditate on whatever.  But we are talking about meditating on the Word of God to remember it so I will do it, so I will be successful.  Well all right let us go to Psalm 9 and I am going to finish with this.  Psalm 9:15-16.  You are not going to see the word “meditate” here, the definition of the word is meditate and it is Higgaion, Higgaion, it begins with an “H.”   Have you ever read that in the Psalms and said what is that?   Some kind of a musical term?  It is but the literal meaning of the word “Higgaion” in the Hebrew is, a meditation.  Let us see verses 15-16 of Psalm 9:

The heathen are sunk down in the pit that they made: in the net which they hid is their own foot taken. The LORD is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Higgaion. Selah.

The word “Higgaion” means a meditation.  You know what that means in a musical term?  It means to pause, it means to stop and think, to think.  So the Bible is telling us here stop after those two verses I just read those two, and think.  Why?  It says, remember it, remember it.  So what was 15 and 16 saying?  The heathen, in other words they devised these things to do, sinful things but they are going to get snared in their own trap and it says here that God is going to execute that judgment and their own trick is going to come right back on them and get them.  And then therefore the Bible says, think about this for a minute and now read the next verse after you have thought about it.  Do you have it in your mind now?  When you go against God’s Word, heathen, your foot is going to be taken in your own neck your own trick.  Verse 17:

The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.

You see they are not remembering.  The opposite of remembering is forgetting.  That is why I want to pound home that word “remembering” today because meditating is remembering.  And remembering helps you avoid doing the wrong thing because when you do the wrong thing the Bible says think about this now, think about what is going to happen to the heathen, do not keep reading, Higgaion means stop, do not keep reading until you really get this and then He says:

The wicked shall be turned into hell, …

They are going to be dead, they are going to be thrown “into the lake of fire.”  That is the end result of that.  So remember the “book of the law” because when you remember it you will do it and you will prosper and succeed as Joshua 1:8 said ultimately that has to do with great spiritual prosperity the fruit of the Spirit, all the great attributes of God and you are only go to know it if you read it. 

So I will leave you with this thought or challenge: if you are not reading the Bible twice a day minimum, “day and night” you have to be sometime during the day and sometime during the evening you have to get into the Word of God.  If you are eating three times a day you have to read the Word of God at least twice a day as Joshua 1 and Psalm 1 said, “meditate therein day and night.”  Leave here today and commit to yourself if you are not doing that already no matter what else is going on in your life whether you have six subjects in school you have to study for Monday through Friday, whatever else is going on in your life, you have to read the Word at a minimum twice a day and you will then begin to observe the law much more readily, much more faithfully and you will succeed and prosper in the many, many ways we read in the Scriptures today. 

May God bless us all with that gift of meditating and remembering that it will be well with us.  Amen.

Q&A (paraphrased)

Q. What if you cannot read the Word for instance my eyes get weary very quickly, sometimes it is slough.  Would you also think that not only reading “day and night,” maybe you cannot, for instance a blind person could not, an illiterate could not, so hearing the Word and reciting the Word like for me, myself I go to bed in the evening and I listen to Family Radio the teaching and I have an MP3 that I also go to sleep with and so hearing the Word even though I am not reading it and so “hearken” was in some of those verses from this morning’s lesson and hearken in a sense means to listen with your spiritual ear.

A. Howard brings a very good point.  Let me just reiterate what he said and summarize it, I focused all the time on reading and I am assuming everyone has the ability to read but I recognize that you can get just as much and it is just as equivalent if you are listening to the Word of God hence Family Radio, two, three, four times a day has a half-hour Bible reading or if you have an MP3 player, you are exercising, you are walking, your driving, whatever, you can listen to the Word of God, that is the equivalent to reading.  So thank you for embellishing the study to show that there is more than one way to meditate it is not just reading it is listening because “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” and that is listening.  So thank you Howard that is a very good point.  Excellent.