"This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but youshall 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".
(Joshua 1:8 NKJV)
October 31 has a strong historical value for evangelical believers. That of 1517, in fact, consigned to the annals the spark of "protest," when the Saxon monk Luther with the gesture of posting the 95 theses on the doorway of Wittenberg Cathedral gave "fire" to the Reformation. Today, however, we are called in a trivial, almost absurd way, to reflect on the state of faith by comparing ourselves to Halloween. The apostle Paul exhorted, "See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil" (Ephesians 5:15-16). As the times grow more and more complicated, as well as becoming more and more evil, our compass remains solely Scripture, and consequently we feel strongly that the admonition addressed to Joshua is ours. Meditating on the Word "day and night" means something profound that goes beyond cursory reading or a proclamation from memory.
More and more people unfortunately lightly feed their faith with blogs, tweets and status updates, videos and audios (in many cases without directly knowing the source), at the expense of more challenging personal study and meditation. Joshua was still in the desert when he received such direction, emphasizing how God speaks in the place where there is only silence (wordless is the meaning of the Hebrew term desert). To place oneself in listening is thus the starting point of meditation, allowing Scripture to descend into the heart and then the mouth to declare in faith. Developing the ability to still one's thoughts, the disposition not to be distracted or conditioned, helps the sensitivity of faith to perceive God's voice, soft and subdued, just like that heard by Elijah on Mount Horeb (1 Kings 19:12). At the moment when, in silence, the answer comes, it is necessary to act, without hesitation and away from the thousand doubts that can assail the mind. Sometimes to act according to faith we must stop our thoughts, this is because His thoughts are not our thoughts. Faith must be reckless and unwise, for it is madness and not reasoning. If you love yourself and want to know God's plan for your life you will devote time to reading and meditating on His Word.
"Therefore, faithful Christian, seek the truth, hear the truth, learn the truth, love the truth, speak the truth, hold fast to the truth, defend the truth unto death: for the truth shall make you free from sin, from the devil, from the death of the soul, and ultimately from eternal death". These were the words of Bohemian theologian and reformer Jan Hus, a century before the Reformation began. Inspired by the Englishman John Wycliffe (1330-1384), Hus promoted a religious movement that rejected the divine investiture of the papacy, advocated Communion offered in the form of both bread and wine, and fought against indulgences, pilgrimages, recourse to the intercession of saints, and the veneration of relics. Urged to recant at the Council of Constance, Hus rolled his eyes and replied, "God is my witness that I never taught the things that are falsely attributed to me and of which false witnesses accuse me. He knows that the dominant intention of my preaching and of all my deeds and writings was only aimed at snatching men from sin. And today I am ready to die gladly". On July 6, 1415, they placed on his head a round paper crown with three painted devils and the words "This is a heresiarch" and led him to the stake.
We need the Word of God to dwell in us, to be embodied in our daily lives, forcing us to make a clean break, without compromise of bargains or self-interested choices. A faith rooted in the Scriptures will fear no comparison and will be an effective tool for safeguarding us from the peddlers of illusions and the promoters of the latest novelty. On the other hand, a biblically Christocentric message is the duty of every ministry, not least because "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17). Our first commitment remains to preach Christ and His work. The words addressed to Joshua come from the heart of God, the One who loves us and commends us for our good. Jesus will do the same with the disciples, admonishing them to abide in His word. Let this devotional be a reminder for all of us to meditate on the Word day and night.
Weekly Bible Reading
October 31, Jeremiah 22-23; Titus 1
November 01, Jeremiah 24-26; Titus 2
November 02, Jeremiah 27-29; Titus 3
November 03, Jeremiah 30-31; Philemon
November 04, Jeremiah 32-33; Hebrews 1
November 05, Jeremiah 34-36; Hebrews 2
November 06, Jeremiah 37-39; Hebrews 3