This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
Look at the instructions that God gave Joshua when he was appointed as Moses’ successor: “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” God told Joshua that to have good success, he had to meditate on the law day and night. Joshua lived under the old covenant, so how should we, who live under the new covenant, benefit from this scripture?
We need to read this portion of scripture in view of Jesus’ finished work. That is why it is essential for you to be firmly established on the rock-solid foundation of the new covenant of grace. Now that you know that we are no longer under the law (Rom. 6:14), what is the new covenant way to be blessed and to experience good success? Joshua only had the law to meditate upon because the New Testament had not been written yet. For us, the secret to good success is found in meditating on God’s Word in the light of the new covenant of grace.
Before we can go into what it means to meditate on God’s Word, what exactly does it mean to “meditate”?
When the Bible talks about meditation, it’s not referring to a mental exercise. The Hebrew word for meditation in the Old Testament is the word hagah, which means to utter or mutter. So to hagah is to speak under your breath. Notice that the Lord told Joshua, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth…” He did not say that it “shall not depart from your mind.” The key to meditating on God’s Word is not mental contemplation. It is in speaking God’s promises with your mouth!
Meditating on God’s Word does not mean making vain repetitions of scriptures. It is much more and is something that first occurs deep in your heart. The psalmist David captured the essence of meditation most aptly when he said, “My heart was hot within me; while I was musing, the fire burned. Then I spoke with my tongue” (Psalm 39:3). As you are meditating on God’s Word, ask the Holy Spirit to give you a fresh revelation of Jesus. Let that scripture burn with revelation in your heart. And as you speak out of that burning revelation, God annoints the words that you speak. When you declare, “By His stripes I am healed,” and that declaration is uttered with a sense of revelation and faith in Jesus, there will be power in your declaration!