Show me Your glory, I pray.
Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to act in accordance with all the law that my servant Moses commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, so that you may be successful wherever you go. This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth; you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to act in accordance with all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall be successful. I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.
Imagine you are in charge of leading a wandering caravan of millions of people into battle. What would you want from God? Would it be a battle plan? How about a God’s-eye-view, a divine aerial reconnaissance of the Promised Land? The positions of Jericho’s special ops would be a big help, or the latest Canaanite edition of The Art of War.
General Joshua gets none of that! What he does get is a command from the Lord to be strong and courageous, and a command to meditate on God’s law day and night.
We might read the word “law” and think of rules, regulations, and possible punishment. But the Hebrew word torah translated “law” has a very different meaning than our word “law” with its legal connotation. Torah is a Hebrew word picture having the idea of a finger pointing to the right path to take. That is why torah is frequently translated as “teaching” and “instruction”. God’s torah is pictured as the finger of God indicating the path to life and true success.
It is important to know that the first thing a new king in Israel will be required to do, is to have “a copy of this law (torah) written for him in the presence of the levitical priests…” And that copy of the torah “shall remain with him and he shall read in it all the days of his life…” (Deuteronomy 17:18b-19a). The king’s success will depend on faithfully following God’s torah. Similarly, as Joshua prepares himself and the nation for battle, he, too, is to “meditate” on the torah “day and night.”
A woman once told me that she did not know how to meditate, so I asked her if she knew how to worry. “Oh yes,” she readily replied, “I know how to worry!” I then suggested that if she knew how to worry, she knew how to meditate: to go over and over something in her mind. The Hebrew word hagah has the idea of repeating the words of Scripture to oneself, going over and over them in one’s mind. Rather than repeating our worry over and over, repeat the promises of God!
Later in Scripture God pronounces a blessing over that person who meditates on God’s torah “day and night”: “Blessed are those…their delight is in the law of the LORD and on his law they meditate day and night” (Psalm 1:1a, 2).
As one who knows well how to worry, and to go over and over in my mind what might go wrong, I am learning the blessing of going over and over in my mind God’s many promises to us. God promises us as He promised Joshua, “for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” That’s something to meditate on day and night! That brings victory in our life’s battles!
- What part does meditation on Scripture and meditation on God play in our life?
- How might you seek to meditate more on Scripture and God? Be specific.