Finally!; she screamed with excitement.
You would think she had just won a jackpot or had been offered a trip to her dream country, with the way she screamed, “Finally”.
It was the Christmas season. As expected, the movies that were on TV were either talking of how Santa was coming to town or how everyone needs to find love this season. Well, most of the movies.
But she was excited because there was a biblical movie on at that moment. Not Passion of the Christ or The Nativity Story. This time, it was the story of Jacob. Still reeling with excitement, she did not get carried away with the story though. There had been some additions and subtractions. She had to ask herself; “Did that really happen in the Bible?”.
She did not dwell so much on that question as she was well consumed with the fact that something different was on. But then, she did not see the next question that was going to follow with the next scene playing.
The next scene was about how Dinah had gone to Hamor’s and had been raped by Shechem, Hamor’s son. She only wished the actors had displayed a rape taking place instead of consensual sex between Shechem and Dinah. But that was not what made her take that popular examination writing position, that no one wishes to be caught displaying in an examination hall. The one where a finger is placed on the chin and all of a sudden the ceiling seems to have all the answers you need.
At that moment, all she needed to know was; “Who is Dinah?”
If you can relate with the above piece, please raise your hands. [My hands and feet are so up, right now] Maybe, because the ‘she’ is me….
Make sure you carry out The Revelation that Moses commanded you, every bit of it. Don’t get off track, either left or right, so as to make sure you get to where you are going. And don’t for a minute let this Book of the Revelation be out of mind. Ponder and meditate on it day and night, making sure you practice everything written in it. Then you’ll get where you’re going; then you’ll succeed. Joshua 1:7-8 MSG
So I looked up the words; “Ponder” and “Meditate” in the Concise Oxford English Dictionary, and the word; Ponder is defined as consider carefully. To ponder is from the latin word ‘Pondus’ which means weight. While meditate is to think carefully. Both meanings have the word ‘carefully’ as a common denominator in their meanings. When you do something carefully, you do it with thought and attention.
Joshua 1:7-8 lays down the foundation of something that needs to be done everyday of our lives, if we are to live the life of purpose that we are called to live. We are to practice every bit of the word, ponder and meditate on the word, day and night. So I got thinking, I asked myself, How is it that the name Dinah did not ring a bell? Why will a person find it difficult to ponder, meditate and practice the word of God?
Sell everything and buy Wisdom! Forage [search widely; quest; hunt] for Understanding! Proverbs 4:5 MSG
You cannot ponder, meditate and practice something you do not understand. You can feign awareness [understanding] for sometime, but ignorance/shallow understanding has an ugly way of showing itself.
A practical way of foraging for understanding of the bible is finding a version that resonates accurately and deeply with you. We live in an age where there are tons of versions of the bible; from King James Version to American Standard Version to Amplified Version to Message Version to New King James Version. It may be that the way the words are used in KJV may be too difficult for deep comprehension and meditation, and you can decide to read the Amplified Version/Message Version.
Personally, I believe that there are times when I seek the words of KJV, because that was the first version of the bible I started reading. But generally for studying, I am on a ‘Message Version ride’. I also realised that for studying, I love to highlight with my hands, so the soft copy of the bible does not help my ‘deep study’, so I got a hard copy of the Message Bible.
You know yourself, you know what works for you; go for it. Having a journal to write down revelations as you study the Word is very key. You would be surprised to know how much revelation the Holy Spirit will release as you read the Word.
The Word of God is living and active…..Hebrews 4:12a ESV
We should not study the Word of God the same way we read fiction stories or non-fiction stories. The Word of God is not a past event; it is a present continuously active word. If at any time we venture into studying the word and there is no life, a simple ‘Holy Spirit rest on these words, let them speak life’ prayer should make a difference. Believe!
After pondering and meditating on the Word of God, there is a requirement of practising everything that is in the Word of God. Emphasis on Everything, not some of the words [commandment]. As a child of God, you do not get picky when it comes to the Word of God; it is all or nothing. The remaining part of Hebrew 4:12 ESV says
….sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
So when we read and practice the Word of God, it should change us to become more like the author- God. There has to be a change not dependent on if it pleases us but solely dependent on an ‘as it pleases God’ basis.
For such a time and age that we live in, studying the Word of God is not a secondary daily activity. It should be one prominent activity of the day.
Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman who needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2Timothy 2:15 KJV
I will encourage us to have a look at the parable of the sower in Matthew 13. The parable concisely gives us the full picture of the results of practising and not practising Joshua 1:8.
Also, when we ponder and meditate on the Word of God, a resultant effect of these actions is praying the Word of God. And what happens when we pray the Word of God..
..So will the words that come out of my mouth not come back empty-handed. They’ll do the work I sent them to do, they’ll complete the assignment I gave them. Isaiah 55:11 MSG
We pray His will, we give him his word and we find manifestation because He cannot go back on His word.
Finally, the later part of Joshua 1:8 says that when we study, ponder, meditate and practice the Word of God; we will get to where we are going and we will succeed. Then I am reminded of Psalm 1….
How well God must like you- you don’t hang out at Sin Saloon, you don’t slink along Dead-End Road, you don’t go to Smart-Mouth College. Instead you thrill to God’s Word, you chew on Scripture day and night. You’re a tree replanted in Eden, bearing fresh fruit every month, Never dropping a leaf, always in blossom. MSG
Never dropping a leaf, always in blossom is the reward for studying, pondering, meditating and practising the Word of God. Ever wondered why that brother or sister [true believer] is joyful and looking like he/she has no care in this world? Their storms don’t rub off on them at all? Well! The reason is in the Word of God.
I do not know what goals and plans you have for this year, but I want to encourage us all to hunger and thirst after God’s word. Digging deep into His word is the only way we will bear fruits in and out of season.
May we not fall by the wayside. May we get to where we are going and succeed on all sides, as we do as we have been commanded in Joshua 1:8. Amen.
Oh! By the way, Dinah is Jacob’s Daughter with Leah. You can read the full story in Genesis 34.
P.S Some weeks ago, I watched a video, done by Tosin Alabi of Africanism Cosmopolitan. It is a great video that complements today’s post. Please feel free to watch it.
Please share your bible study techniques. How do you study THE WORD?
Have an amazing day!
PT TIP OF THE DAY
Above all and before all, do this: Get Wisdom! True wisdom can only be found in God’s Word!
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