Meditating on Scripture

Our purpose in life is intimacy with God. Augustine of Hippo writes, “Our hearts are restless, until they can find rest in you.”[1] This restlessness – which I believe abides in every man – begs to be satisfied, and this satisfaction can be found only in God, through the Messiah, Yeshua.

When a man is physically thirsty, he can be satisfied with a drink; but what about thirst of a different nature? When a man is spiritually thirsty where does he go? Yeshua, while speaking to the Samaritan woman, answered saying, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. For the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water, springing up into everlasting life.”[2]

There are many religions and counterfeit spiritualities that also offer a spiritual drink to the dry, but thirst, when not quenched with Living Water, will inevitably return again. Thankfully, Yeshua didn’t promise us merely a drink, but a never-ending  fountain of water!

What is this water and how can we drink it? Yeshua is talking about His words, commands and teachings that give true Life Everlasting! However, Yeshua’s metaphor shouldn’t be reduced to this one interpretation alone, for it goes even deeper. While bearing this in mind, consider the following mystery: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”[3] And it is also written: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.”[4]

It is not what Yeshua says, but Who He is, in and of Himself! “For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed,”[5] says the Lord! We see that Ezekiel tasted the Word prior to the Incarnation, “And He said to me, “Son of man, feed your belly, and fill your stomach with this scroll that I give you.” So I ate, and it was in my mouth like honey in sweetness.”[6] And David also exclaimed, “How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”[7]

All this is to emphasize the importance of meditating on Scripture. Meditation is not merely reading the Word, but rather, it’s an encounter with the real Word of God Himself, Who was, is and is to come; as it was revealed to John in a vision: “He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.”[8] However, this is not always a simple task. Even the disciples themselves, failed to take time for prayer and meditation: “Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me, for one hour?”[9] This becomes all the more challenging, when it comes to us, as we are living in this commercialized age and our lives are full of distractions.

Thankfully, Yeshua, Himself taught us how to pray, “But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”[10] Get alone with the Lord, for not only does He command it, but He also gave us a perfect example, as Luke testifies, “So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.”[11]

Just as the Levite priests would prepare themselves before coming into the Temple, so we should likewise prepare ourselves to come before our King. Rejoice in the knowledge that we have been covered by the Blood of Yeshua, for when the Temple still stood, the high priest couldn’t freely enter at his own will: “not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the people’s sins committed in ignorance.”[12] Don’t take for granted our ability to come to Him just as we are, but instead, be grateful that “Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own Blood He entered the Most Holy Place once and for all, having obtained eternal redemption.”[13]

So how should we meditate? First, read the Word slowly. Take in every sentence and don’t rush. Think about what you have just read and what it may mean. Secondly, converse. Speak with God, ask questions and seek understanding of the things you have read. Continue to go back and forth between reading and conversing with God; dig deeper and deeper into His words, dwelling deep in the meaning and the mysteries of His divine wisdom. When you pray, bear in mind that your words go up to heaven as a pleasing aroma to God, just as John records in the revelation given to him, “The smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand.”[14] and also as David sings, “Let my prayer be set before You as incense, The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.”[15]

Those of you who have been to the Western Wall in Jerusalem, may have noticed that when a Jew has finished praying, he will never turn his back to the Wall – instead, he will slowly pace backwards, always facing the Wall and bowing in praise and reverence, as he retreats. I believe that we should also leave our time of meditative prayer in such a way. We shouldn’t simply close our Books, dust off our pants and go about our daily lives, but rather, we should close with gratitude, thanksgiving and reverence; giving praise and glory to our Creator and Savior. As King David beautify closes, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.”[16]

The Word of God and the freedom of prayer are a gift to us. They are a means for us to contact Something higher than ourselves. Thanks to our Messiah, Yeshua, we are able to enter the Holy of Holies and worship Him in spirit and in truth. He taught us how to pray and seeks to find us there – to find us in the Secret Place.

[1] Confessions by Augustine of Hippo

[2] John 4:13-14

[3] John 1:1

[4] John 1:14

[5] John 6:55

[6] Ezekiel 3:3

[7] Psalms 119:103

[8] Revelation 19:13

[9] Matthew 26:40

[10] Matthew 6:6

[11] Luke 5:16

[12] Hebrews 9:7

[13] Hebrew 9:11-12

[14] Revelation 8:4

[15] Psalms 141:2

[16] Psalms 19:14