While I was in seminary, I had a season where I studied the Scriptures daily for class, taught the Word in church each Sunday, and read the Word each morning for my personal devotions. While my life was filled with the Word, much of my interaction with it was more out of duty than delight.
Psalm 1:1-3 shows us that delight in the Word is what we need:
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
Notice that the blessed man isn’t described as someone who as merely read or studied the Scriptures–the Scriptures are his delight, his love. That’s why he can meditate on them day and night.
Although I have had seasons of duty rather than delight, the Lord has not let my efforts go to waste–nor will He ever (see 1 Corinthians 15:58; Isaiah 55:11). I now look to be more intentional at delighting in the Scriptures–and meditating on them (which naturally follows delight).
We do have a duty to persevere in the Scriptures. And delight is something that will ebb and flow (and sometimes feel lacking). But we still cannot forget the need for our hearts to delight in God’s truth and for our heads to marinate in Scripture through meditation.
Justin Taylor shared this powerful quote on the importance of meditation on the Scriptures:
A Christian without meditation is like a soldier without arms, or a workman without tools. Without meditation the truths of God will not stay with us; the heart is hard, and the memory is slippery, and without meditation all is lost. Thomas Watson
Don’t be a armless soldier or a tool-less workman. Join me in working on one of my resolutions for 2015 to grow in my delight of the Scriptures and practice of Scripture meditation.
May the Lord help us in this life-transforming work!
More to be desired are they [the law of the Lord] than gold,
even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
and drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward. Psalm 19:10-11
A Few Helpful Resources to Help:
- How to Meditate on Scripture: Learning from Luther’s Example
- The Best Bible Verses to Memorize (As Recommended by Wayne Grudem)
- 8 Ways to Use the Psalms
- A Powerful Illustration on Proverbs 4:23’s “Guard Your Heart”