When you read the Bible, are you shaken and stirred by what you read? That’s what it means to meditate on God’s Word. The original Hebrew word for “meditate” is hagah, which, surprisingly, means “to moan or growl.” It is pronounced “haw-gaw” (with the emphasis on the second syllable) and is thought to be an onomatopoetic term reflecting the sighing and low sounds a person makes while musing or pondering. Personally, I don’t typically moan or make “haw-gaw” sounds when I am in the depths of contemplating something, but I guess the ancients did.
The implication of hagah is that the reader is so moved by what they are taking in that he or she erupts in audible moaning. Does God’s Word move you to that extent? When you reflect and ponder the Scriptures, are you so taken by its wisdom, conviction, and authority that sighing is the natural release? That’s some serious hagah, my friends! I want God’s Word to move me and change me, but I must admit all too often I read it in a hurry without allowing it to affect me at all.
Meditating on God’s word should not only stir our hearts with the powerful truths and wisdom of the Bible, but it must also shake us up and move us to action. God told Joshua meditate on the Law day and night so he would “do everything written in it.” Similarly, James wrote that we are to not merely listen to the word, but do what it says. As we contemplate His Word, it should stir us to obedience. The Latin word for “obedience” is obaudire, which actually mans to listen with great attentiveness. Do you see how taking in God’s Word and obedience are completely linked together? God wants us to listen and to walk with Him.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, imprisoned during World War II for subversive activity against Hitler’s regime, wrote, “Daily, quiet reflection on the Word of God as it applies to me becomes for me a point of crystallization for everything that gives interior and exterior order to my life.” He continued, “Why do I meditate? Because I am a Christian. Therefore, every day in which I do not penetrate more deeply into the knowledge of God’s Word in Holy Scripture is a lost day for me.”
Click Here to watch a short video with Karol sharing about Meditating on God’s Word.
Father, draw us to Your Word in a deeper, richer way. Let us not only learn it in our minds, but experience it in our hearts and live it out in our lives. May we live in constant communion with You and Your truth. Stir in our hearts the greatest truth of all, the fact that you love us with an unfailing love. Let us walk in your love all day long.
“Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long” (Psalm 119:97).
This is an excerpt from, Becoming a Woman of the Word. Click here to find out more about this resource.