Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Meditating on Scripture

Day One, Meditating on Scripture, 2 Timothy 2:7

2 Tim 2:1-7
1 SO YOU, my son, be strong (strengthened inwardly) in the grace (spiritual blessing) that is [to be found only] in Christ Jesus. 2 And the [instructions] which you have heard from me along with many witnesses, transmit and entrust [as a deposit] to reliable and faithful men who will be competent and qualified to teach others also. 3 Take [with me] your share of the hardships and suffering [which you are called to endure] as a good (first-class) soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No soldier when in service gets entangled in the enterprises of [civilian] life; his aim is to satisfy and please the one who enlisted him. 5 And if anyone enters competitive games, he is not crowned unless he competes lawfully (fairly, according to the rules laid down). 6 [It is] the hard-working farmer [who labors to produce] who must be the first partaker of the fruits. 7 Think over these things I am saying [understand them and grasp their application], for the Lord will grant you full insight and understanding in everything. amp

Paul is instructing Timothy about be a good servant of God. He tells him to consider these things in verse 7, which refers to verses 1-6 as applied to serving God as a pastor. Paul is telling Timothy that God will give him understanding as he considers, thinks on or meditates on what Paul by the Holy Spirit is telling him.

When we seek to understand a verse or truth in scripture (those things God has had written in the Bible) we must be careful to seek to understand them first within the passage and book they are in and then in the fuller context of the Bible as a whole. When we do this we will gain the understanding God intends. If we do not learn to do this we open ourselves to false teachings.

Today we have learned that when we think on, consider or meditate on the Bible we must look for its meaning and understanding from the Bible itself. Pick a verse from either the ‘I am’ sayings of Jesus in John’s Gospel or the ‘In Him’ scriptures in the first three chapters of Ephesians and begin to meditate, think on and consider it.

You may want use cross references if your Bible has them. Use of an exhaustive concordance such as Strong’s is also helpful as it will allow you to see the Hebrew and Greek definitions of the words used.

I am including word definitions from the Old and New Testaments below to help you get started.

Hagah OT:1897, "to meditate, moan, growl, utter, speak." This word is common to both ancient and modern Hebrew. Found only 25 times in the Hebrew Old Testament, it seems to be an onomatopoetic term (the naming of a thing or action by a vocal imitation of the sound associated with it (as buzz, hiss), reflecting the sighing and low sounds one may make while musing, at least as the ancients practiced it. This meaning is seen in its first occurrence in the text: "This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night..." Josh 1:8. Perhaps the most famous reference "to meditating" on the law day and night is Ps 1:2.

Hagah also expresses the "growl" of lions Isa 31:4 and the "mourning" of doves Isa 38:14. When the word is used in the sense of "to mourn," it apparently emphasizes the sorrowful sounds of mourning, as seen in this parallelism: "Therefore will I howl for Moab, and I will cry out for all Moab; mine heart shall mourn for the men of Kir-heres" Jer 48:31. The idea that mental exercise, planning, often is accompanied by low talking seems to be reflected by Prov 24:1-2: "Be not thou envious against evil men,... for their heart studieth destruction, and their lips talk of mischief.

meletao (‎meleta/w‎, NT:3191), primarily, "to care for" (akin to melete, "care"; cf. melei, "it is a care"), denotes (a) "to attend to, practice," 1 Tim 4:15, RV, "be diligent in" (KJV, "meditate upon"); to practice is the prevalent sense of the word, and the context is not against this significance in the RV rendering; some mss. have it in Mark 13:11; (b) "to ponder, imagine," Acts 4:25.

This is day one of a 20 day study on meditation on the Facebook Group, The Passionate Participation in God Project @ http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=237088564302
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