MEDITATION: The act of calling to mind some supposition, pondering upon it, and correlating it to one’s own life. … The Hebrew words for meditation primarily were derived from two separate roots. The first (hagah) literally means “to utter in a low sound.” The word is used to denote the growling of a lion or the cooing of a dove. Therefore it has been suggested that, in ancient Hebrew meditation, Scripture frequently was recited in a low murmur. The second root word (siach) has the basic meaning of “to be occupied with,” or “concerned about.” Thus meditation is the repetitious going over of a matter in one’s mind because it is the chief concern of life. … Meditation is only mentioned twice in the New Testament. Jesus instructed Christians to meditate beforehand on their attitude toward persecution (Luke 21:14). Paul advised Timothy to meditate on the matters about which Paul had written Him (1 Timothy 4:15). (Holman Bible Dictionary)
Today let’s focus on some Scriptures that speak of meditation. Take a moment and read, not simply scanning over the verses … but considering what they say to our hearts. I will also ask a few questions at the end for reflection. I invite both your response and your questions as well.
Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:7)
Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. (Psalm 1:1-3)
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. (Psalm 19:13-14)
Within your temple, O God, we meditate on your unfailing love. Like your name, O God, your praise reaches to the ends of the earth; your right hand is filled with righteousness. (Psalm 48:9-10)
I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds. Your ways, O God, are holy. What god is so great as our God? (Psalm 77:11-13)
I will sing to the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the LORD. (Psalm 104:33-34)
From Psalm 119:
15-16 I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.
23-27 Though rulers sit together and slander me, your servant will meditate on your decrees. Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors….Let me understand the teaching of your precepts; then I will meditate on your wonders.
47-48 for I delight in your commands because I love them. I lift up my hands to your commands, which I love, and I meditate on your decrees.
78 May the arrogant be put to shame for wronging me without cause; but I will meditate on your precepts.
97-100 Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long. Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me. I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes. I have more understanding than the elders, for I obey your precepts.
147-149 I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in your word. My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises. Hear my voice in accordance with your love; preserve my life, O LORD, according to your laws.
One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts. They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty, and I will meditate on your wonderful works. They will tell of the power of your awesome works, and I will proclaim your great deeds. (Psalm 145:4-6)
So my spirit grows faint within me; my heart within me is dismayed. I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done. I spread out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. Selah (Psalm 143:4-6)
Is purposeful meditation on the word of God a regular practice in your life? I think we can see that this practice goes beyond reading, beyond sermon preparation, beyond commentary. Do you have some specific practices that aid you in meditating on the Word? In a recent comment on John Alan Turner’s blog, suggested reading the Psalms thus: The Psalms – one per week, three times per day–once through the lens of OT, once through lens of Jesus, once as personal prayer. (Reprinted here without permission!) Is life too fast to even consider taking time to do this? Do we let the reading of devotional material take the place of reading the Scriptures? Do you couple meditation with journaling?
Thanks for your input. Your fellow student and stumbler,