I will remember the doings of Yah, Surely I will remember、 out of aforetime、 thy wonderful way; And will talk to myself of all thy work, And of thy doings will I muse:—” (Psalm 77:11–12, EMPH)

The psalmist here uses an interesting word to describe talking to himself about all of the Lord’s work from of old.  It is the Hebrew word הָגָה (hā·ḡā(h)) and it literally means to mutter or growl. It’s the sound that a lion makes when its on the prowl, that low, extended growl. The word is translated in various ways, perhaps the most famous verse in which it is used is Joshua 1.8

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” (Joshua 1:8, ESV)

In Joshua it is translated “you shall meditate.”  The two verses together shed somewhat surprising light on what we consider meditation.  We think of meditation as something done in silence when we think about the Word of God and consider its implications in our lives, or perhaps have an extended silent time of just reflecting on God and his greatness.  I wonder if the Hebrews thought more of meditation as something that was done aloud where they would literally talk to themselves, in Johsua 1.8 about the Book of the Law [The Torah], and in Ps 77.12 of all of the works of the Lord that he has done in the past that remind us of his power and sovereignty.

Aloud or silent, the force of our verse reminds us that it is good to look back and reflect on what God has done in the past, both in our own lives and in the broad swath of history.  This gives us fuel for faith in Him in the future, or as Charles Spurgeon puts it: Memory is a fit handmaid for faith. When faith has its seven years of famine, memory like Joseph in Egypt opens her granaries.

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