Do people really believe these verses?
Joshua 1:8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
1 Blessed is the man
who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners
or sit in the seat of mockers.
2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.
Col 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.
When I ask whether people believe these verses I'm not asking do they believe they are in the bible or do they believe they are inspired by God. True belief is different from intellectual assent. If a person truly believes something then they are willing to act as if it is true. If someone believes a bridge is strong and safe they will show that by driving across it. Similarly if a person believed that prosperity and fruitfulness came from continual meditation on the scriptures you would find that activity in their lives.
It is interesting to note that the command in Joshua wasn't given to a nun, monk, hermit, minister or religious 'professional', it was giving to a military and political leader - ie someone with a 'normal' 'secular' job. That means continual meditation on the scripture is for all of us. Now this isn't something for people to beat themselves up about or be guilty about if they miss a day here or a week there. Continual meditation (or mulling over - literally muttering to oneself) on scripture is not about moral right or wrong or something that earns you favour with God rather it is a sensible and delightful thing to do.
How to do it? Well, dangling a bible infront of your eyes from a frame attached to glasses isn't practical! The best tool that supports continual meditation on the scriptures is scripture memorization. It means that you can mull over scripture when sitting on the toilet, riding in the train, during half time at the football or during most of the day at the cricket.
Scripture memorization is something that I did when I was young with memory verses but I failed to make the connection to continual meditation. But since I have made that connection as an adult it has helped me think God's thoughts during the day - helping me become more like my master - Jesus. Oh and one more thing I have found it easier and more rewarding to memorize whole passages rather than verses here and there.
I would encourage you to have a go - don't pick a difficult passage from the middle of Leviticus. Here are some suggestions:
Psalm 23 (the hymn version makes it easy to remember)
1 Cor 3
If you want some advice on how to do it, google scripture memorization.
I have found the Figure 8 site helpful.
David Wanstall, 11/09/2008