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!
Witness Lee, Life-study of Nehemiah, Message 3 (iBooks, Print).
Witness Lee, Life-study of Leviticus, Message 36 (Kindle, iBooks, Print).
(Most references in the Further Reading can also be viewed on www.ministrybooks.org.)
3 thoughts on “Help in Receiving God’s Word by Its Interpretation and Our Reconsideration”
Amen! Thank you for this very encouraging article and a very great reminder to ‘muse’ upon His word that I may be reconstituted for His building! I am led to the post that have touched and impressed me regarding this word MUSE–from footnote 15-1 Psalm 119: “Rich in meaning, the Hebrew word for muse (often translated meditate in the KJV) implies to worship, to converse with oneself, and to speak aloud. To muse on the word is to taste and enjoy it through careful considering. Prayer, speaking to oneself, and praising the Lord may also be included in musing on the word. To muse on the word of God is to enjoy His word as His breath (2 Tim. 3:16) and thus to be infused with God, to breathe God in, and to receive spiritual nourishment.” [via http://members.churchinirvine.org/index.php?p=3454%5D
The Word of God is deep and profound. In order to receive the supply in God’s Word, both an openness to the proper interpretation and further reconsideration are needed. Nehemiah provides an excellent example of how God’s elect received the full benefits through God’s Word. By God’s word His elect could be reconstituted with the nature and element of God. Through the Word, the Spirit spontaneously dispenses God Himself and His divine attributes to produce a new constitution. Thus, Israel could be divinely constituted to be His testimony.
Chapter eight presents the steps God’s elect took in order to be His testimony. First, there is a need to come back to God by coming back to His law, that is His word (v. 1). Following this, God’s elect responded in a proper way (v. 6). After this, that very day was sanctified to the Lord and the joy of Jehovah became their strength (v. 10)…
Reconstitution takes place over time. Just as the digestion and assimilation of food is a process, receiving a new constitution is a process. The more Christ we enjoy, the more thoroughly He is added. Similarly, in Leviticus, the dietary regulations were given to reconstitute God’s elect because they were originally full of the Egyptian constitution. The 40 years in the wilderness was the stage where this process occurred. But allow me to ask, what did they do? They ate and feasted upon God’s provisions. This was after Mt. Sinai, where Moses presented God’s covenant. Eventually, the God’s purpose was fulfilled and He had a testimony on the earth.
All of us are undergoing this life long process of transformation. The proper interpretation and reconsideration are just a help to receive God’s Word in a thorough way. The logos (the written word) and rhema (the instant word) must always be brought to the Lord in prayer.