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Pastors Jim and Marie Watt

Two Are Better Than One

2009-03-10 - MEDITATION, PART 5, 1 TIMOTHY 4:15


From meleTAo (meLEte, MElomai, MElo*, 32x) - 3 times, Strong # 3191

TAUta meLEta [3191];

Be diligent (meditate) in these;

en TOUtois ISthi [2468];

give yourself wholly to these;

HIna sou he pro-koPE [4297] pha-neRA [5318] e PAsin.

that your :progress be manifest to all.”

1. (Originally recorded Thursday November 22, 1990). “Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend (Proverbs 27:17). It is dialog with a friend that causes “spin-offs” in thinking, leading down unexpected vistas of truth! Such dialog does not disturb unity: it is the very essence and proof of unity. The Jewish rabbis of the Great Synagogue and onwards went at it “hammer and tong” with one another, so that the most accurate understanding of scripture could come forth. They called it “halaKAH,” the main area of Talmudic investigation.

This is what a friend (WJEB) did to me the other day. He challenged me: You write about a concept of meditation from the First Covenant that put together Prayer and Torah (Word) vocally in 20/20 vision. How does this carry over into the Second Covenant? Could it be the “cooing of doves” of the First, as expressed in the devotional prayer language of the New?

Strangely enough (or Providentially), just before receiving this letter, I wrote down in my Journal: The apostle and rabbi Paul knew true meditation more in tongues (his devotional prayer language, not the gift of tongues), than any other man. He said so (1 COR 14:18). He added that he mixed this equally with prayer with his understanding. Being a rabbi and a Jew, the Apostle Paul thoroughly understood Joshua 1:8, and literally practiced it. He would also understand that prayer, worship, spiritual songs, praise, and the Davidic dance, flow out of the basic meaning and Hebrew root of meditation.

So, vocal meditation, or quiet, cooing utterance with a devotional prayer language over the Word to God, was the basic and integral spiritual exercise of the Apostle. It was night and day. It was in the spirit of Joshua, and all that meditation meant to First Covenant saints.

2. Only one word is rendered “Meditation in the Second Covenant, namely meleTAo(#3191), from the root MElo.* It is the exact counterpart to “hawGAW” (Strong #1897) in the Hebrew, for Acts 4:25 (meleTAo) quotes Psalm 2:1 (hawGAW).

3. J. H. Thayer, “Greek English Lexicon,” states that it means: to care for, attend, to carefully practice: 1 TIM 4:15, be diligent in; to meditate, i.e. to devise, contrive: Acts 4:25 from Psalm 2:1 (this is the linkage between the Hebrew “hawGAW,” and the Greek “meleTAo." Used by the Greeks of the meditativepondering and the practice of orators and rhetoricians, which usage seems to have been in the writer's mind in Mark 13:11. Meditationis for speaking! It is vocal, which parallels the basic Hebrew meaning and thought for meditation.

4. MOCKING or derogatory speaking: a sign of disrespect and evil, with punishment as the just result. Notice that this mocking is verbal; and vocal meditation, part of this family of words, impinges upon it.

5. CARING: in the same family of words as vocal meditation. One who cares says so! Not only this, but also proofs of caringare given to the one loved. If we care about God and His Word, we will not only tell Him so, but we will keepHis Words, and seek in all ways to please Him.

6. MetaMElomai is heart sorrow for wrong and sin, and leads to mouth expression and acts of contrition. However, though it is associated with “metanoia” (change of mind repentance), it does not necessarily lead to this latter. In the case of Judas, the die was cast - the point of no return reached, and this latter Mind-Repentance is no longer available as a gift. Better for this man that he had never been born. Notice again the verbal accompaniment of “metaMElomai,” which is associated with verbal meditation (meleTAo).

7. PREMEDITATION: A vertical and inward vocal exercise leading to outward, horizontal expression. Jesus said that for disciples in danger or persecution, this is notthe way to go. Rather, He promised a direct conduit from God, prophetically, by revelation, that would be the exact answer needed under the circumstances. Both are verbal, but the latter is on a high supernatural order.

8. GOD'S JEWISH GIFTS AND CALLING: WITHOUT REPENTANCE. Does this have application for all of God's people? Of course! But it does not exclude the basic “grammatico-historical” promise of God which is to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Romans 11 should be carefully exegeted in its context to ascertain exactly what God is saying here. Non-Jewish believers are notto be proud, arrogant nor nigh minded against Jews and their roots. Our roots are Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and by natural descent Jewish believers have precedence over us. We Gentiles are reconciled to God because of their temporary rejection. The grafting back of the Messianic Jewish congregations today will mean “Life from the dead” (Romans 11:15). A subtle anti-semitism has been sown in the church by false theologies (Replacement Theology). But look at the meditationof God's heart, thoughts and purposes. He does not see such thoughts and purposes. He does not see such thoughts as are too often entertained in the church today. Out of the meditationof His heart He has thoughts of good for all. The spawning of the Hitler-type meditationcomes from the evil one. The conclusion of the matter is that God's meditationrequires no repentance concerning the eternal covenant God made with Abraham and his seed, both natural and spiritual (Genesis 17).

9. TIMOTHY'S MEDITATION: AMAZING PARALLEL TO JOSHUA 1:8 (1 TIMOTHY 4:15). All that Paul enjoined upon Timothy is to be meditatedupon. This meditation, by the comparison of the Greek quotation of the Hebrew word for meditationrequires that it be vocal. As Joshua was to keep the Torah in his mouth, meditating vocally upon it day and night; so Timothy was to keep the words of his mentor the Apostle Paul, a rabbi. These things in parallel were part of the warp and woof of Paul's being. What Hebrews did in the First Covenant, we are to continue under the Second Covenant. This is a verse and teaching that is pivotal. We should thoroughly understand its implications, and walk in them. It ties the two covenants closely together, assuring us that Jesusdid notdestroy or remove the old”: He built upon it by fulfillment; He wrote the lawof the First Covenant on our hearts in the Second Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31), so that by the power of the Holy Spirit we can see Christ in us living out the Sermon on the Mount. What Israel lacked power to do under the First Covenant, we can attain to by the Spirit of Redemption in the Second.

10. One reason we neglect God, His redemption, His salvation, His Word: is that we fail to meditate vocally day and night on His Word. God's Word is Himself extended (John 1:1). The new birth is found in seed form in His word (James 1:18), producing might, strength, dignity and power (Genesis 49:3). We release the divine nature within us (2 Peter 1:4), growing and maturing in it, as we daily and habitually meditatein His Word. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God,” John 1:1. We should never underestimate the privilege, power, and potential of meditatingupon God's Word day and night. We should not forget Paul's example of how he did it (1 COR 14). We should not forget that he said, “Follow me, as I follow Christ” (Phil. 3:17; 2 TIM 2:2; 2:10; 1 COR 11:1). “To the law and the testimony: if they speak not according to this word” (ISA 8:20) ... “And as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, And my thoughts than your thoughts” ISA 55:9).

11. Psalm 110:4 - one of the most quoted verses in the Second Covenant. God will not repentconcerning what He has said here. Notice the relationship between meditationand repentance. What God purposed, comes out of the meditationof His heart. Our meditationshould follow His meditation. What He has purposed and stated with His mouth, shall not be reversed. As we seek out of His great and basic purposes; as we recognize that we have been created to walk in His purposes; as we yieldto His will and purposes; then we find His yoke is easy and His burden light; then we enter into true rest of soul; then God makes His face shine upon us, and is gracious unto us; then He lifts up His countenance upon us, and gives us peace; then He puts His Name upon us, and blesses us. What a heritage for the godly in Christ Jesus! Honor God in His Son, and all these blessings flow forth upon us. Jesus has this more excellent ministry!

12. GOD'S CARE: Arises out of His thoughts and purposes for us. He has chosen us because He loved us: not that we had merit or worth; but because it pleased Him to birth the life of His Son in us, mature His Son in us, and bring many sons into Glory. The emphasis is not upon the “manifestation of the sons of God”: rather it is the manifestation of the Son of Godthrough us! God's care arises out of meditation: our meditationcauses us to understand His heart, purposes and care. Our prayer is for our needs; our thanksgiving is for His blessing; our worship is for Himself. Meditationis the royal road leading to this high revelation.

13. THESE THINGS; these things; these things (2 PET 1:8; 1:9; 1:10; 1:12; 1:15). Where were these things that Peter cared about, and not be negligentconcerning? The things concerning God's Divine Nature imparted to us through His great and exceeding precious promises; and the meditationupon the seven virtues to be added with all diligence (2 PET 1:5-7). Vocal meditationand obedience to these things according to Joshua 1:8 and 1 TIM 4:15 will absolutely revolutionize our lives: leading us into a pathway of spiritual growth with increasing speed, and a pathway shining brighter and brighter unto the perfect day. Considerthen these truths and exhortations from the Word. Take them for a trial period of 30 days. Associate with those of like desires and goals. Beware of seducing spirits and siren calls. Beware of short cuts that promise much, but lack a high regard for God's Word, the Cross, and the Glorious Redemptive truths and blessings of our Christ through His blood. Refer to the Hebrew counterpart Word Study on Meditation, for these two studies are two sides of the same coin.

14. Berry, George R., “The Interlinear Greek New Testament;” Greek-English NT Lexicon, p. 64, REPENTANCE: metanoEois the nobler word, the regular expression for thorough repentance; metaMElomai is more loosely used, generally expressing sorrow, regret or remorse.

15. Kittel, G., “Theological Dictionary of the NT, Vol. IV,” p. 626. MetanoEIN and metaMElesthai are distinct in class. MetanoEIN means a change of heart either generally or in respect of a specific sin, whereas metaMElesthai means “to experience remorse.” MetanoEIN implies that one has later arrived at a different view of something (nous); metaMElesthai that one has a differtnt feeling about it (MElei). But it is easy for the two ideas to come together and even merge, since a change of view often carries with it an uncomfortable feeling.

When “remorse” is ascribed to man, there is an obvious difference from repentance metanoEIN, though the LXX does pay tribute to Hellenistic attempt to assimilate metaMElesthai and metanoEIN. Remorse does not have to be pleasing to God. It can be simply a change in mood. It is often the natural result of imprudent and unjust action. In remorse a man sees the bitter end of sin; in repentance (metanoEIN) he breaks free from it.Remorse comes of itself at the end of a sinful and foolish way. But a man is called to repentance by the one who brings the divine Word (metanoEIte, Mark 1:15).

When Judas saw that Jesus was condemned, he was filled with remorse (metameleTHEIS, Matthew 27:3) and brought back the thirty pieces of silver. The reference here is to remorse, not repentance. Judas sees that his action was guilty, and he gives way under the burden. The remorse of Judas (MAT 27:3) and of Esau (HEB 12:17) does not have the power to overcome the destructive operation of sin.

When, therefore, the NT separates the meanings of metaMElesthai and metanoEIN, it displays a clear awareness of the unchangeable substance of both concepts. In contrast, Hellenistic usage often effaced the boundary between the two words.

16. NOTE:The law was good, and a school master to bring one to Christ. When used lawfully, it brought conviction of sin to unbelievers. But it lacked the power to enable the OT saint to rise to the desire of his heart in God. Only the indwelling power of Christ in the Holy Spirit through the Second Covenant could supply such power. Even so, MetaMElesthai lacked the power to enable one to come to true repentance. Sorrow for sin alone is as frustrating as law alone for the OT saint. But the giftof repentance has transforming power (Acts 11:18).

17. The root wordfor repentance that is sorrow for sin is MElo*, and has the thought of “taking care,” or “caring.” Caring can be transformed (meta) into sorrow for sin. MeleTAo, to meditate, is closely associated with the root word MElo*. When one caresfor a person, he meditatesupon that person. When that Person is God, it is natural to talk to Him, worship Him, commune with Him, reveal his intimate feelings and thoughts to Him. Sometimes words are insufficient or inadequate to communicate our deep feelings to Him. Then we have the “doreA” of 1 COR 9:15, the unspeakable gift of the Holy Spirit, Who came upon Jesus as a dove at His baptism. Heenables all believers to speak to God with unutterable words of a devotional prayer language; by this we speak to God (1 COR 14:3), and speak mysteries. We can also speak with our understanding (1 COR 14:15), and follow Paul's example by speaking to God muchin this manner (1 COR 14:18). The Father understands these words, these groanings, these divinely given cooings by the Holy Spirit, the Heavenly Dove (ROM 8:26-27).

He who cares deeply for God and His great Redemptive Work in Christ, will want to worship the Father this way (PHIL 3:3; John 4:23-24). Paul says that when he speaks in a tongue, a devotional prayer language, his spirit prays (1 COR 14:14). And he also said, Follow me as I follow Christ (1 COR 11:1). Smith Wigglesworth, David Yonggi Cho, John G. Lake, Mike Bickle: all these and many more, have used this form of worship muchdaily, and have experienced an intimacy with God that is truly supernatural. Their ministries then became exceptionally enhanced.

Millions upon millions of others use this love language of the dove unto the Father in measure. Those who balance “prayer with the spirit and understanding,” and the Word; obtain 20/20 vision in the Spirit, and move more swiftly in partaking of the Divine Nature. Meditationis at the heart of all of this. Note - God initiated this with Joshua (1:8). Some 500 or so years later he repeated it with Psalm 1:1-3. 1000 year later again, God through Paul gave this to Timothy (1 Timothy 4:15). All believers have this privilege and responsibility.

Jim Watt - November 25, 1990.