And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them upMatt 13:4
When asked about the meaning of the seeds that fell by the way side and got eaten by the birds of the air in the parable of the sower, the Lord explained that it was descriptive of a person who hears the word of God but never really benefits from its because in lacking understanding, he ultimately loses the word.
And so it is that we are told: “with all thy getting, get understanding” (Prov 4:5). We do not, as it appears, have a scarcity of ‘word’. We may catch a quick devotional in the morning; listen to some message on the way to work; type amen to a random ‘prophecy’ on Facebook; attend evening service after work, and still go home with the same gnawing emptiness that drove us out in the morning. There is in reality such a thing as “ever learning, and never coming to the knowledge of truth.” (2 Tim 3:7)
Understanding is so critical that it formed the subject of passionate intercession by Paul the Apostle. “I pray” he wrote “that the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,” Eph 1:18-19.
The hope of his calling; the riches of his glory; the greatness of his power: none of these wonderful things can be known until our eyes of understanding are opened.
Now, the Lord has no desire to keep us in the dark. “I have called you friends;” He said, “for all things that I heard from my Father, I have made known unto you” (John 15:15). But like Gideon, we might ask, where then are all these things that we hear of? If I have the mind of Christ, why am I so uncertain about anything?
The answer lies partly in what happens to the Word when we first hear it. To meditate is akin to kneading the Word deep into the soil of our heart, far away from the reach of devouring birds and deep enough for it to get a chance to bud and bring forth life.
“Thou shalt meditate therein day and night.”
Dear Lord, help me to cultivate the discipline of meditating on your Word.