Yesterday, I used the analogy of the Cow chewing cud to explain Biblical meditation. This is the basic process! ‘Cows are ruminants. Most ruminants, including the cow, have four stomachs, although camels and some other ruminants have three. The first stomach chamber is called the rumen. This is the chamber in which large amounts of food are stored and softened. After the food is processed and softened in the rumen, it is regurgitated. This substance is called the cud and is chewed again. The chewed cud goes directly to the other chambers of the stomach. In the cow, these other 3 chambers are, in order, the reticulum, omasum, and abomasum. Once the cud arrives in these chambers, additional digestion occurs. And that my friends is basically how green grass is digested for food for the cow and also turned in to milk!’
So, how does this apply to us? Well firstly, we need to take a Bible verse, or principle and commit it to memory! I do this by writing the chapter, verse number and the verse on a small card! I carry that around with me till I have fully memorized it! I then think over the verse in my mind, I chew it over. Then I’ll drop it down in to my spirit, and then some time later bring it back to my mind [regurgitate it!] Then I’ll think how it applies to God, to myself, to others and the world in general. I’ll continue this process until I can get no more out of it. I’ll then start on another verse or theme or principle! Funny thing is, some time later, maybe even years, the verse will come back to mind and I’ll find new nourishment from it even though I thought I’d covered every angle! You see, you can’t out-think God!
Here’s another analogy to help us get started! If you have a 16-ounce steak in front of you, may I suggest you cut off a small chunk and chew it! Don’t try to eat the whole steak in one bite! In other words, with Biblical meditation take small bites at first or else you’ll just give up easily or get spiritual indigestion!.
So, let’s start with something easy! How about the shortest verse in the Bible! “Jesus wept”. Now, let us use the 4-stomach principle and see where this can go! However, let us remember first and foremost to commit the study to God and invite Holy Spirit [who is our teacher] to in fact teach us things we never knew! Don’t rely totally on your own mind, it can so let you down, believe me!
1. Regarding God. Because Jesus is God incarnate, and therefore God/man, if Jesus wept, then that tells us God weeps also. This in turn tells us God our Father, the Holy King and Creator of all things has feelings and emotions. We know the Holy Spirit who likewise is God has emotions, ‘do not grieve the Holy Spirit’. He cares! The mess Israel was in bothered Jesus and so it bothered God! The mess in our world bothers God! The wickedness and evil in the world breaks His heart! [ ] Now have a go at filling in the blanks! I suggest you write it down, then think about it, ruminate upon it. Then drop it; and then come back to it later and chew some more!
2. Regarding us. We have been re-created in the image of God through the new birth in Christ Jesus! ‘You are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do the good works God predestined you to do.’ And so, do we look at the state of our Nation and our world and weep? Do I weep over all the wickedness and evil I see? Does it force me to my Knees, or do I get more and more desensitized and cynical? Hmmm! Can I take that short verse and write ‘John wept?’ Or, ‘John weeps?’ This theme could so be developed with a little ruminating! Think of the hardness of the Pharisees, and the disciples before Pentecost when two of them wanted to call down fire on the Christ rejecters! How many times have you and I wanted to call down fire on the godless? May be Jesus wants us to weep instead? [ ] Fill in the blanks! Go chew!
3. Regarding family and friends.
4. Regarding work colleagues and the world.
Fill in the blanks! Simply take the above principle and apply! I’ll look at a theme next time so we can chew over that. Happy munching! John