“Blessed is the one… whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water which yields its fruit in season.” -Psalm 1:1-2
“It may be, at once reading or looking, we see little or nothing; as Elijah’s servant went once, and saw nothing; therefore he was commanded to look seven times. What now? says the prophet, ‘I see a cloud rising, like a man’s hand;’ and by-and-by, the whole surface of the heavens was covered with clouds. So you may look lightly upon a Scripture and see nothing; meditate often upon it, and there you shall see a light, like the light of the sun.” -Joseph Caryl, 1647
In 1 Kings 17 and 18, the story is told of a severe drought and famine that came upon God’s people in Israel. The prophet Elijah foretold the drought and called for the people to turn from their evil ways and return to God so that the drought would end.
After a dramatic showdown with some false prophets (read the story…), Elijah declares the drought to be over, and calls for rain.
As Elijah is on his knees praying for God to end the drought, he sends his servant to look for the rain clouds. Six times the servant goes to look for the rain clouds and sees nothing. Only on the seventh attempt does he see “a cloud the size of a man’s hand… rising from the sea” (1 Kings 18:44).
As Caryl points out above, we don’t always see what we need to see at first glance.
Sometimes we need to keep looking. When we take the time to really meditate on the scriptures, more and more is revealed to us.
Just as it takes a reliable water source to grow a tree (Psalm 1:3), so it takes time spent reading and thinking about the Bible to grow in understanding and spiritual wisdom.
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