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Thursday, February 1, 2018

My Meditation of Him

My meditation of him shall be sweet:
I will be glad in the LORD.
(Psalm 104:34)

This little verse comes at the end of a Psalm about nature and the acts of God in the earth. It’s about how God orders thunder, springs of water, and makes grass grow. It’s about how He provides for birds and animals. This Psalm describes His majesty and glory and how He’s far above anything we might see on the earth. It’s about His power.

The conclusion is, when I think of God, it should be sweet. It should make me glad. A few chapters later, I read, I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands (Psalm 143:5). When I enjoy nature, when I am in awe of a thunderstorm or crashing waves in the sea, when I see a snowflake or a delicate wildflower, I should turn my thoughts to God ... and my meditation of Him should be sweet.

The biblical words meditation and meditate actually mean to think about something over and over. They carry with them the idea of ruminate—like a cow chews its cud. She does it over and over again. She swallows and brings it up again to chew on it yet again.

In the Psalms, this term is used for how we’re supposed to treat Scripture. Here are just a few of these passages.
  • But his (the righteous man’s) delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night (1:2).
  • I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings (77:12).
  • I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways (119:15).
  • Princes also did sit and speak against me: but thy servant did meditate in thy statutes (119:23).
  • My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes (119:48).
  • Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause: but I will meditate in thy precepts (119:78).
  • O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day (119:97).
  • I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation (119:99).
  • Mine eyes prevent (go before) the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word (119:148).

We find this exhortation in God’s charge to Joshua, when he began to lead the Israelites after Moses’ death: This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success (Joshua 1:8).

It’s important to both read and think about the Bible. Let it become part of you. As the psalmist said, let it comfort you when you’re mistreated. Let the Bible give you understanding, and let it be your delight.

I found one other passage about meditation. It was written by the Apostle Paul when he was instructing the young pastor Timothy about the ministry. Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all (1 Timothy 4:13-15). Timothy was told to meditate on reading, exhortation, and doctrine—and to totally give himself to them. That way, God could prosper his ministry.

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t need to spend more time letting his thoughts ruminate over Scripture.

How can you do this? How can we make it practical?

Here are a few ideas I’ve tried with success:
  1. Read and re-read. Read a portion of Scripture (chapter or a short book), and then go back and read it again. You might do this every day for a week, until the Bible truths sink into your soul—until you’re actually thinking about Scripture.
  2. Write it out. I tried this not too long ago, and it works! I retained the Bible passage much more easily, and I spotted repetitions and ideas. Try writing three to five verses out each day. It works!
  3. Use cards or verse calendars. I have a couple of these. I place them in the kitchen, since I’m there various times during the day. I can read the verse several times and think about it as I wash dishes or scurry around making dinner.
  4. Go slowly. You can’t exactly meditate when you are rushing. Even if you only look at a few verses, let them seep into your soul. Take the time to look up words you don’t know. Think about other passages that shed light on the same subject. Let yourself have time to study what you’re reading. Meditation implies time spent in the Word.
  5. Train your brain. One of the hardest things today is to turn our brains off to the world—and our phones—and to actually meditate on God and on the Bible. I recommend phone-free periods during the day with some brain-time spent thinking about the Lord. This takes discipline. Different times will work for different people. Think about it and plan several phone-free pauses during your day.
  6. Build a relationship. Remember that God is a Person. He wants to hear from you. He wants to meet every need that you have. He wants to have a personal relationship with you. You can only build a relationship by investing time and energy with that person. In this case, He’s the greatest Person you’ll ever know. Have you trusted in Him for salvation? That’s the starting point. Jesus said, For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God (John 3:16-18). Once you have believed on Jesus to save you from your sins, because He paid that price on the cross, you can begin to get to know Him in a deeper way.
My meditation of him shall be sweet:
I will be glad in the LORD (Psalm 104:34).


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