Arthur Pink, "Gleanings in Exodus" 1929
The commands, the exhortations, the admonitions of the Bible—are a revelation of God's will for me. I must read the Scriptures, as addressed to me personally! When I come to some word of God that condemns my ways, I must not pass it over, but be honest and take it unto myself. May God give all of us grace to daily appropriate both His promises and precepts.
After a certain portion of the food spread before me had been placed on my own plate and in my mouth, the next thing is to chew it—to chew it slowly and thoroughly. But in this matter, most of us are serious offenders. We gulp our food—we swallow it before it has been properly masticated. We eat too hurriedly. That is the chief reason why so many suffer from dyspepsia—they give their stomachs the work to do, that the teeth were intended to perform. A little food thoroughly masticated will supply far more nutrition to the body than a lot of food swallowed almost whole, and our general health would be much better, too.
This is equally true spiritually. Thousands of God's children are grievous offenders here. They have never learned to use their spiritual teeth. The Bread of Life must be chewed—if we are to derive from it the sustenance we so much need. What do I mean? This: meditation stands to reading—as mastication does to eating. Re-read and ponder this last sentence.
Dear reader, you will derive far more benefit from a single verse of Scripture read slowly and prayerfully and duly meditated upon—than you will from ten chapters read through hurriedly!
Meditation is nearly a lost art. Lack of meditation is at the root of most of our spiritual troubles. How many complain that they find it so difficult to remember passages of Scripture—passages that they have read perhaps many times. But this is easily explained. It is because the passage was not turned over in the mind—it was not duly pondered. (Luke 2:19).
Did you ever notice that the "blessed man" of Psalm 1 "meditated" in God's Law day and night? Meditation is a wonderful aid to fixing Scripture in our minds.
Meditation stands to reading—as mastication does to eating.
Take a single verse of Scripture at the beginning of the day, write it out on a slip of paper, and carry it with you wherever you go. Refresh your memory as opportunity occurs by re-reading it. Pray over it and ask God to give you a blessing out of this verse—to reveal to you its beauty and preciousness.
Then ponder each word separately. Ask the verse questions and seek to discover its deeper meaning.
Assimilation—this is the result of appropriation, mastication, and the chief end in view. The food that I eat is to supply the waste of the body. The food that I have masticated and digested, is now taken up into my system and is transmuted into blood and tissue, thereby affording health and strength. The food thus assimilated, appears in the vigor of my step, the strength of my arm, the glow on my face. And now equipped, my system is able to ward off the disease germs that attack my body.
All of this has its counterpart in the spiritual man. The food that I have taken into my soul, if properly digested—will build up the new nature. It will nourish faith and supply the needed strength for my daily walk and service. Moreover, it will be a safeguard against the germs of temptation that assail me: "Your word have I hid in mine heart—that I might not sin against you" (Psalm 119:11).
Here, then, is the grand end in view. God's Word is given us to feed upon—and this feeding is for the purpose of translating the Scriptures into the terms of daily living. The principles and precepts of the Bible must be incorporated into my life. The Word has not been assimilated, until it has become the regulator of my walk and the dynamo of my service!