The following blog was published on Lift Up Your Day. I’ve included it in its entirety below. I hope it gives you something to chew on this week.
As we embark on a new year, we’re all looking for the latest methods to improve our physical and spiritual well-being. As a blogger, I feel compelled to offer my own sage advice:
Take time to chew the cud.
The Amazing Cow
Have you ever noticed that cows are always chewing on something? That’s because they have a complex digestive system. They use their four-chambered stomachs to regurgitate swallowed food (“cud”) so they can chew on it a second time before swallowing it again. It may sound gross to us, but this amazing process ensures the cows absorb sufficient nutrients from their fibrous diets.
Animals with multi-chambered stomachs that chew the cud are called ruminants. Under the Old Testament law, ruminants with split hoofs (like deer and cattle) were considered clean and acceptable to eat. I believe God used this rule to remind the Israelites to “do as the ruminants do”: ruminate. That’s not a common word today, but we’re all familiar with its synonym, meditate.
In Christianity, meditating isn’t about achieving a state of mindlessness or controlling one’s bodily functions as in some Eastern religions. Instead, it’s the purposeful consideration of a truth or fact.
For example, in Psalm 119, David said he would meditate on God and His “precepts,” “wonders,” “statutes,” and “word.” Like a cow chewing the cud, David promised to ponder on these things over and over so he could absorb as much truth from them as possible.
Unlike grass and hay, which contain a finite amount of nutrients, God’s Word has unlimited value. We can meditate on it day and night and never exhaust its riches.
“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!” (Romans 11:33 NAS)
Chew the Cud
Unfortunately, most of us get in a rut with our Bible study time. We often skip the Old Testament entirely and just skim through the New Testament. Even if we read a daily devotional, we usually forget its message long before lunchtime.
This year, I encourage you to take time to chew the cud. Let God lead you to a verse from Scripture or to a truth about Himself. Meditate on it in the morning, at lunch, while you’re driving, in the shower, and when you lay down at night. Like David, turn it over and over again in your mind, drawing from it all the spiritual nutrition you can.
As Joshua said, “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success” (Joshua 1:8 NAS).
May your meditation lead to obedience, and your obedience to prosperity and success this year!
(With thanks to the Cattle Empire for information on the anatomy of cows.)
Thank you for this reminder and challenge! My Bible study group is just starting a new series on how to read the Bible, so your post was perfect timing.
I’m so glad to hear that! It was a timely reminder for me, as well.
This is sage advice, indeed, Ashley! 🙂
Thanks, Tami. Easy to say, harder to remember and implement.
Good post. Sometimes I struggle with meditation. I like what you said about David.
Om. Nom. Nom. (That’s me chewing the cud.) Great post. I think of Peter and Paul who said they never tired of reminding us of the things of Christ that are ours. Good reason: we often forget.
So true! We don’t read Scriptures because we’ve got it all figured out–we read them to increase our faith and draw closer to God. We need that constant reminder. Thanks, Charles. 🙂