My “Words” for 2021 were “look” and “see.” I wanted to remind myself to keep my eyes open to what the Lord was doing and to fix my eyes on things above rather than things on earth.
This year my word is “ponder.” I want to remind myself to spend time thinking, meditating, considering, pondering the Word of God, the Love of God, and the Actions of God.
So, in pondering the word “ponder,” I wanted to LOOK it up in the scriptures and SEE what I could learn.
Psalm 4:4 ESV – Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent.
Psalm 4:4 KJV – Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still.
Psalm 4:4 NLT – Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Think about it overnight and remain silent.
Psalm 64:5-9 ESV – They hold fast to their evil purpose; they talk of laying snares secretly, thinking, “Who can see them?” They search out injustice, saying, “We have accomplished a diligent search.” For the inward mind and heart of a man are deep. But God shoots his arrow at them; they are wounded suddenly. They are brought to ruin, with their own tongues turned against them; all who see them will wag their heads. Then all mankind fears; they tell what God has brought about and ponder what he has done.
Psalm 64:5-9 KJV – They encourage themselves [in] an evil matter: they commune of laying snares privily; they say, Who shall see them? They search out iniquities; they accomplish a diligent search: both the inward [thought] of every one [of them], and the heart, [is] deep. But God shall shoot at them [with] an arrow; suddenly shall they be wounded. So they shall make their own tongue to fall upon themselves: all that see them shall flee away. And all men shall fear, and shall declare the work of God; for they shall wisely consider of his doing.
Psalm 64:5-9 NLT – They encourage each other to do evil and plan how to set their traps in secret. “Who will ever notice?” they ask. As they plot their crimes, they say, “We have devised the perfect plan!” Yes, the human heart and mind are cunning. But God himself will shoot them with his arrows, suddenly striking them down. Their own tongues will ruin them, and all who see them will shake their heads in scorn. Then everyone will be afraid; they will proclaim the mighty acts of God and realize all the amazing things he does.
Psalm 77:12 ESV – I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds.
Psalm 77:12 KJV – I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings.
Psalm 77:12 NLT – They are constantly in my thoughts. I cannot stop thinking about your mighty works.
Psalm 101:2-4 ESV – I will ponder the way that is blameless. Oh when will you come to me? I will walk with integrity of heart within my house; I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me. A perverse heart shall be far from me; I will know nothing of evil.
Psalm 101:2-4 KJV – I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; [it] shall not cleave to me. A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked [person].
Psalm 101:2-4 NLT – I will be careful to live a blameless life–when will you come to help me? I will lead a life of integrity in my own home. I will refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar. I hate all who deal crookedly; I will have nothing to do with them. I will reject perverse ideas and stay away from every evil.
Psalm 143:5 ESV – I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that you have done; I ponder the work of your hands.
Psalm 143:5 KJV – I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands.
Psalm 143:5 NLT – I remember the days of old. I ponder all your great works and think about what you have done.
Proverbs 4:25-27 ESV – Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.
Proverbs 4:25-27 KJV – Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.
Proverbs 4:25-27 NLT – Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.
Proverbs 5:1-6 ESV – My son, be attentive to my wisdom; incline your ear to my understanding, that you may keep discretion, and your lips may guard knowledge. For the lips of a forbidden woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil, but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps follow the path to Sheol; she does not ponder the path of life; her ways wander, and she does not know it.
Proverbs 5:1-6 KJV – My son, attend unto my wisdom, [and] bow thine ear to my understanding: That thou mayest regard discretion, and [that] thy lips may keep knowledge. For the lips of a strange woman drop [as] an honeycomb, and her mouth [is] smoother than oil: But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a twoedged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell. Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, [that] thou canst not know [them].
Proverbs 5:1-6 NLT – My son, pay attention to my wisdom; listen carefully to my wise counsel. Then you will show discernment, and your lips will express what you’ve learned. For the lips of an immoral woman are as sweet as honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil. But in the end she is as bitter as poison, as dangerous as a double-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave. For she cares nothing about the path to life. She staggers down a crooked trail and doesn’t realize it.
Proverbs 15:28 ESV – The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.
Proverbs 15:28 KJV – The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things.
Proverbs 15:28 NLT – The heart of the godly thinks carefully before speaking; the mouth of the wicked overflows with evil words.
Proverbs 21:2 ESV – Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the heart.
Proverbs 21:2 KJV – Every way of a man [is] right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.
Proverbs 21:2 NLT – People may be right in their own eyes, but the LORD examines their heart.
Proverbs 24:12 ESV – If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work?
Proverbs 24:12 KJV – If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider [it]? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth [not] he know [it]? and shall [not] he render to [every] man according to his works?
Proverbs 24:12 NLT – Don’t excuse yourself by saying, “Look, we didn’t know.” For God understands all hearts, and he sees you. He who guards your soul knows you knew. He will repay all people as their actions deserve.
Luke 2:19 ESV – But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.
Luke 2:19 KJV – But Mary kept all these things, and pondered [them] in her heart.
Acts 10:17-20 ESV – Now while Peter was inwardly perplexed as to what the vision that he had seen might mean, behold, the men who were sent by Cornelius, having made inquiry for Simon’s house, stood at the gate and called out to ask whether Simon who was called Peter was lodging there. And while Peter was pondering the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Behold, three men are looking for you. Rise and go down and accompany them without hesitation, for I have sent them.”
Acts 10:17-20 KJV – Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made enquiry for Simon’s house, and stood before the gate, And called, and asked whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter, were lodged there. While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee. Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.
Acts 10:17-20 NLT – Peter was very perplexed. What could the vision mean? Just then the men sent by Cornelius found Simon’s house. Standing outside the gate, they asked if a man named Simon Peter was staying there. Meanwhile, as Peter was puzzling over the vision, the Holy Spirit said to him, “Three men have come looking for you. Get up, go downstairs, and go with them without hesitation. Don’t worry, for I have sent them.”
According to http://www.etymonline.com, ponder is a verb from mid-14th century, from ponderen, “to estimate the worth of, to appraise” (a sense now obsolete), from Old French ponderer “to weigh, poise” (14c., Modern French pondérer) and directly from Latin ponderare “ponder, consider, reflect,” literally “to weigh,” from pondus (genitive ponderis) “weight,” from stem of pendere “to hang, cause to hang; weigh” (from PIE root *(s)pen- “to draw, stretch, spin”). Meaning “to judge (a matter or action) mentally, weigh carefully in the mind” is attested from late 14c.
The Latin word “pondus” is the root for both “ponder” and “pound.” Quite weighty. (LOL. We got the game “Pun Intended” for Christmas and we’ve been enjoying some puns around here.)
I think my pondering about pondering shows that pondering is more than just thinking … it also involves weighing and judging, reflection and contemplation, and there’s great wisdom in that.