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Thomas Watson on the necessity of meditation:
The end why God has given us his word written and preached, is not only to know it – but that we should meditate on it. The scripture is a love letter which the great God has written to us. We must not run it over in haste – but meditate upon God’s wisdom in writing, and his love in sending it to us. Why does the physician give his patient a remedy; is it only that he should read it over and know the remedy – or that we should apply it? The end why God communicates his gospel remedies to us, is, that we should apply them by fruitful meditation.
– Thomas Watson, A Treatise on Meditation (Karpathos Collections, 2016), chapter 7.1, Kindle.
Last night I finished reading David Robertson’s Awakening: The Life & Ministry of Robert Murray McCheyne, a fine account of the life of the godly and often quoted 19th century Scottish minister. I am personally indebted to McCheyne. For most of my adult life I’ve used and recommended his Bible Reading Calendar. I suppose there are other good plans for reading scripture, but McCheyne’s has served me well.
Haste makes waste of devotional Bible reading. Skim the passage, check it off the “to do” list, and done. On to the next task. This can’t be good. We need to slow down, read carefully, and let the word of God sink into our hearts.
Two practices help prevent wasteful haste: First, read the Bible aloud. I understand that earlier generations of English-speaking readers commonly did this, even when reading alone.
Second, have someone read the Bible to you. I recommend using the English Standard Version website. Enter the verses you wish to hear and click “listen.” Not only will you hear a carefully prepared reading of the text, you will also learn how to pronounce difficult names and places. It’s a real treat to hear someone read the Bible well.