Flowing Faith

Chewing on Scripture Day and Night

| 14 Comments

I find the best description of reflection in Psalm 1:
How well God must like you— you don’t hang out at Sin Saloon, 
you don’t slink along Dead-End Road,
you don’t go to Smart-Mouth College.
Instead you thrill to God‘s Word,
you chew on Scripture day and night

(Psalm 1:1-2 MSG)

Chewing means thinking deeply about. If you think of a dog chewing on a bone you get the right idea about how we should chew on God’s word. Meditation is simply spiritual chewing. Reflection is opening your heart to God to be touched, read, and filled with peace.

Too often we read the Bible for information. There’s nothing wrong about knowing about the Bible. But the main thing is to read the Bible to know God and to let God to know us. Reading the Bible without meditating on it is like looking at the present without unwrapping it. Thomas Watson states that the reason why so often we come away so cold from reading the word is, because we do not warm ourselves at the fire of meditation.

Jim Elliff puts it this way: “By meditating on Scripture you are transformed into the person God intends you to be. Meditation is a blend of your words to God and His Word to you; it is loving conversation between you and God through the pages of His Word. It is absorption of His words into your mind by prayerful contemplation and concentration.”

Thomas Brooks reminds us that “it is not hasty reading, but serious meditation on holy and heavenly truths, that makes them prove sweet and profitable to the soul. It is not the mere touching of the flower by the bee that gathers honey, but her abiding for a time on the flower that draws out the sweet. It is not he that reads most, but he that meditates most, that will prove to be the choicest, sweetest, wisest and strongest Christian.”

I have challenged people to read the Bible in a year. I have truly enjoyed reading it but I have also come to know that the main thing is not to read it through but let the word read you. If reading the Bible becomes a performance we are on a wrong track. Praying and chewing on the word are necessary. Without them we are not reflecting and if we are not reflecting we are not applying the word into our lives and we are not letting the Holy Spirit move us, change us, and renew us. So this coming year I am hoping to continue to read and challenge others to read the Bible with fervent energy but emphasizing the reflective reading, the encounters with the Holy Spirit. Will you join me?

Gracious God,
Thank you for inviting us into your presence.
Draw us more and more into your presence.
Teach us to chew on scripture day and night.
Enable us to grow in your grace and wisdom.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: How do you reflect on God’s word?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you chew on Scripture day and night! Happy chewing!

This post is part of the One Word at a Time: Reflection blog carnival.

The photo courtesy of Daniel Hicks

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  • Monica Sharman

    Really liked those two quotes.

    I'm slowing down, just a few words at a time, or the same ones over and over. Transform me, Lord!

  • Mari-Anna Frangén Stålnacke

    Thanks, Monica! May God richly bless you while abiding in his word!

  • Lisa notes…

    I read the Bible all the way through this year (well, I have a few chapters to go, but I think I'll make it), but I found that I rushed way too often. Next year I'll read less, but meditate more. Thanks for sharing.

  • Mari-Anna Frangén Stålnacke

    Thanks for sharing, Lisa! It's affirming to hear your story. Let's keep on digging deeper into God's word! Blessings!

  • Melissa Campbell

    In addition to chewing the words of Scripture, I have been feeding on the person of Jesus–the Word Made Flesh–by His Spirit I drink and eat and get to know Him, and He becomes me…or I, Him. This sweet communion is what God always intended for us. All of Scriptures leads us here…to Jesus. I am learning to carry His Word within as I abide in Him.

    Abundant blessings to you!

  • Anne Lang Bundy

    … let the Word read you …

    I LIKE that!

    One of the saddest sermons I ever heard was about how important it is to read the Bible, for this information and that information, but not a single hint was given that we read the Bible to simply know God. My continual prayer is that the better I know God, the more I will trust Him, and the more I can't help but love Him. He's never failed to answer that prayer.

  • Mari-Anna Frangén Stålnacke

    Thank you, Melissa, for your comment! Yes, yes, and yes! Abundant blessings to you, too!

  • Mari-Anna Frangén Stålnacke

    Anne,
    What a sad sermon indeed! Intellectual knowledge does not save anybody. That's why I love your prayer! Thanks for sharing! Stay blessed!

  • mimito5

    I appreciate your post today so much. I think as time draws closer for Christs' return, He is giving us all a longing for time to "chew" on his Word. I really liked the quote from the gentleman in your post, "Meditation is a blend of your words to God and His Word to you." My husband and I have read through the Bible in a year and still I want more, I need more. The Lord has revealed Himself to me so powerfully at times when I cannot sleep..so,I be still and know that He is God. :)

  • Mari-Anna Frangén Stålnacke

    Mimi,
    Thank you so much for sharing your love for Scriptures. I'm so delighted to hear from other people desiring to chew more and more on God's precious word. Thank you for your encouraging feedback, too. May you and yours be abundantly blessed.

  • A Joyful Noise

    Such interesting thoughts are revealed when you read some of the new versions! I love it about chewing God's Word. Mediditation to me is also murmering with my mouth the scriptures that have such deep meaning for me. It is so important to look daily into the face of Jesus (in his book) for we will find Him there. I plan to read the Bible through this year. The last time I did this, I played a different version on my recorder as I read my King James version. It was enlightening.

  • Mari-Anna Frangén Stålnacke

    I agree, Hazel! It is so interesting to read different Bible translations and commentaries. I think more we read the Bible more it calls our name. You know, one way to translate the word (hagah) behind "chewing" is murmuring (in pleasure)or to ponder. I think you're very much after God's own heart there. Blessings to you as you seek Jesus!

  • Cris Ferreira

    You definitely have a point here.
    Last year I bought a Bible that was composed of the chronological order of the verses, and I decided to read it entirely in a year.
    It is amazing how much I learned from simply reading the events in the order they occurred, but at the end it felt like a regular story book. Something was missing, and it was the meditation part.
    Now I intend to "go back", re-read and meditate on each piece that got my attention.
    Like you said, if we don't do it, we get the information, but we don't get more of God.
    Thanks for reminding me…

  • Mari-Anna Frangén Stålnacke

    Thank you so much, Cris, for sharing your Bible reading experiences. Yes, we need to have the right balance. It is great to read chronologically to get the big picture but we can't forget the chewing part. Like someone has said "reading the Word without meditating is like eating without swallowing". :D Blessings!

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