God desires to change the constitution of His chosen people so that He can build them together to be His corporate expression. For such an endeavor, God has provided His believers with His holy Word. As believers, it is our responsibility and should be our enjoyment to come to God’s Word in a regular way. There are two precious means that help us to receive God’s Word and thereby be reconstituted to become God’s corporate expression: being open to the proper interpretation of God’s Word and receiving God’s Word through much reconsideration.
In Nehemiah 8 the children of Israel who had returned from Babylon to Jerusalem had taken a great step in their cooperation with God’s move to establish His testimony on the earth. Despite their willingness to return and rebuild Jerusalem, they faced a significant problem—their Babylonian constitution. In order to reconstitute the children of Israel to be His testimony, God inspired Ezra, Nehemiah, and the other leading ones to read the law of Moses to the assembly (ch. 8). However, Ezra and those with him not only read from the law, but they also interpreted it so that the Israelites could understand what they were hearing (v. 8). Furthermore, they did this so that those gathered could gain insight into the words of the law, to understand its intrinsic significance. In the same way, as we read God’s Word today, we should be open to receive help from godly believers who have gone before us. The Word has been interpreted so that we too can understand its intrinsic significance.
Another help we have in being reconstituted is to receive the Word of God with much reconsideration. The word muse in Psalm 119:15 implies this. Instead of merely reading God’s Word without much thought or consideration, we should muse upon it, consider it again, repeat it to ourselves (or others), and even pray it back to the Lord. As the clean animals in Leviticus 11 chewed the cud, we should “chew” on God’s word in the Bible, taking it into us initially and then going over it again and again in order to receive continued spiritual nourishment. In such a way, we can be reconstituted with the riches in God’s Word to be His testimony.
In our experience the proper interpretation of God’s Word will often be combined with our reconsideration of it. As we are musing upon God’s Word, a point of interpretation that we have heard or read may spontaneously come back to us and become clear to us. We may have initially received the point of interpretation only with our mind, but through our reconsideration it will eventually be made real to us and becomes ours (Deut. 29:29). By having such experiences during our time in the Word, we are reconstituted more and more to become God’s expression. Thank and praise the Lord for His holy Word!
(Most references in the Further Reading can also be viewed on www.ministrybooks.org.)