Chewing On It
Monday - August 9th
Scripture to Read Today: Joshua 1:1-18
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.
A cow savors the clump of grass, straw, or hay in its mouth (the cud). First, it chews on it for a while. Then it softly swallows the cud, lets it ruminate in its stomach, regurgitates it into its mouth, and reworks it again as it chews - before consuming it again. This cycle of chewing, swallowing, regurgitating, and chewing again can happen several times. The process allows the cow to digest complex, long fibers over time. It sounds disgusting, yet it turns grass and straw into rich, creamy milk!
Similarly, God's Word is designed to become pure, sweet milk for us (1 Peter 2:2). We, too, need time to ruminate on and digest what the Scriptures say. Meditating on God's Word is like chewing cud. We meditate on Scripture by rehearsing it in our minds and then contemplating it in our hearts. We ruminate on it until it becomes part of our thoughts and, eventually, our lives.
As Joshua took the reins of leadership from Moses, a messenger sent by God challenges Joshua to understand that his ultimate success would be meditating on God's Word day and night. The messenger said, "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).
Notice that the command says, "meditate on it." The word used conveys that we chew it over, ruminate on it, and then chew on it some more. So, as you read a passage (like the one today from Joshua chapter one), spend time intentionally mulling over what it says and what it means in your life today. Sometimes we haphazardly open the Bible, see what it says, and then impulsively decide to follow or reject what it says. We don't let it settle into our hearts and our minds.
Take some time to chew on what God's Word says. Don't simply rush forward arrogantly believing a quick glance gave you all you needed about a particular text. As we meditate on God's Word, it becomes a living part of us. It shapes our thinking, behaviors, and emotions. It helps us become more like Jesus.
We have to develop the healthy pattern of chewing on and thinking about God's Word!