by Rick Warren — June 17, 2023
From 40 Days in the Word
“Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; 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 (NIV)
I can remember hearing great sermons and in-depth Bible teaching and wondering how the teacher found all those great nuggets of truth in God’s Word. That’s why I wrote my first book more than 40 years ago: to help people like me. Rick Warren’s Bible Study Methods shares 12 methods of Bible study, such as the chapter summary method, the topical method, and the verse-by-verse method.
One of my favorites is the devotional Bible study method. If you were to summarize the devotional method in one word, it would probably be “meditate.” For many, the word “meditate” is a bad word. They associate it with Eastern or New Age religions. When some Christians think of meditation, they picture people folding their bodies into pretzel shapes and contemplating the lint on their navel.
That may be Eastern or Buddhist meditation, but it’s not Christian meditation. The Bible uses the word “meditate” 29 times in the New International Version to describe a believer’s devotional life. God wants you to meditate.
He promises that if you meditate on Scripture, he’ll bless you. Joshua 1:8 says, “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; 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” (NIV).
So how do you do it? If you look up a synonym for “meditation,” you’ll probably find the word “rumination.” Unless you happen to be a farmer, you probably don’t know that word. Rumination is what a cow does when she chews her cud. She rolls her cud over and over in her mouth.
Here’s how it works: Cows eat the grass, chew it up, and send it to their stomachs pretty quickly. There it lies in the stomach, soaking up all of those acids and chemicals. Then, after a while, the cow burps it back up with a new and renewed flavor, chews on that grass and some other grass, and then does the whole process over again. Cows repeat this several times. They get every ounce of nutrition out of the grass.
Biblical meditation is kind of like that; it’s thought digestion. God wants you to get every ounce of spiritual nutrition out of his Word. He wants you to chew on it, digest it, and then chew on it some more.
Give it a try today. Don’t just read God’s Word, but take time to chew on it—to meditate.