For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the Lord, and he ponders all his paths.
- Proverbs 5:21
Then I thought, “To this I will
the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand.
I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
I will consider all your works
and meditate on all your mighty deeds.”
- Psalm 77:10-12
“Political humorist James Boren famously said “When in doubt, mumble; when in trouble, delegate; when in charge, ponder.” In reality, to “ponder” is not a lighthearted endeavor. In the biblical sense, pondering is a mental wrestling match leaving one to grapple, weigh out, and carefully consider a matter.”
“Today’s verse [Proverbs 5:21] applies the idea of God’s pondering as He considers you. Let that settle in for a moment: God is thinking about you deeply! Imagine He is completely aware of every circumstance in your life right this minute. Take in that He knows what makes you laugh, how you sing, and why you sin. Realize He knows just how hard it is for you to love yourself and forgive others. Believe it is true; He really does know you completely.”
“Now it’s your turn – to ponder God in return. Open His Word and discover what makes Him laugh and what moves Him to compassion. Find the incredible promises He has made specifically to those who seek Him.”
- Presidential Prayer Team Devotion
The word “ponder” only appears nine times in the NIV, only once in the New Testament. Luke 2:19 states, “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”
Yet, it is a theme throughout the Bible that we must seek God. Too often, people are satisfied with a superficial knowledge of Jesus. Even when people read the Scriptures over and over, they often get caught up in trying to make it through the Bible in a year and forget to absorb what they are reading.
I never was a crammer for tests. I looked over my notes and thought, “I either know it or I do not, but if I do not get a good night sleep, I will not be able to prove what I know.” So, the lights went out early the night before an exam.
I was the only graduate student who laughed when one of my favorite professors called for a “Pop” final. The class erupted with anger, but he explained it the way I had always treated exams. He then gave them an option. He had the “Pop” final that would take less than an hour to complete, but they had to take it right then. He offered them a prepared final that would take in excess of three hours to complete, guaranteeing that only a couple would complete the exam in the time frame allotted. Everyone stayed for the “Pop” exam, but half of the class returned for the monster exam a week later. Since I had a good grade on the surprise exam, I skipped the tougher one.
In school, we each have (had) our way of studying. In the Christian life we each have our way of studying, also. But study we must. And we need to ponder what we read. Most people read the Bible stories and barely give them a thought, but what do these stories say about the attributes of God or the character of God? How does knowing this old story help us in our worship of God? In what ways did the Biblical characters excel or fail?
Ponder those Bible stories that are taught to children in our churches. Answering the questions from the previous paragraph can turn these stories into a means of adult Christian growth.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.