The Riches OF GRACE
“hath appeared to all men.” Titus 2:11
Robert W. Reed
“But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.”
+ Biblical Meditation +
Christian or Biblical meditation is seen throughout the pages of Holy Scripture. It is a much neglected duty in our society and considered foreign and out of style. We have become a slave to things, appointments, and responsibilities. Meditation upon God and His Word is not only commanded, but it is a blessing to those who practice it. It can give to the believer great peace, joy, and also spiritual insight into the deep things of God. Let meditation be as important to us as reading and praying. May God bless the study of this sacred practice. Amen
“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
“What we take in by the Word, we digest by meditation and let out by prayer.”
- Thomas Watson
This article will consider three thoughts on the subject of meditation, the meaning, the object, and the benefits of Holy meditation.
The Meaning of Meditation
The word meditate means to ponder, think, muse, digest, and to dwell upon in thought or to turn over in the mind. It is the discipline of Holy Reflection. Meditation is contemplating, reviewing, or fixing truth in our memory. It is the art of focusing one’s thoughts or to think deeply. Meditation is the activity of calling to mind what we have read or heard. In Psalms 39:3, we have these words, “My heart was hot within me, while I was musing the fire burned: then spake I with my tongue.” The word muse or musing means to think. The word amuse means not to think. So, the word amusement has the idea of entertainment whereby no one has to think (ex. sports, games, TV, amusement parks, etc.). The Psalmist said in verse 3, that while he was musing upon the Lord, a fire burned within him, then he spake to the Lord.
There are about twenty times in the Bible that the word meditate or meditation is used and several times the words think or muse are mentioned (Ps. 4;4, 5:1; 49:3, 63:6; 19:14; 119:15,23,48,78,99,148; 143:5). There are also several examples given of those who did meditate, David (Ps. 63:6), Isaac (Gen. 24:63), Joshua (Joshua 1:8), and Mary, the mother of Jesus (Lu. 1:19, 51). Meditation has a digestive power that turns truth into nourishment, in a similar way in which a cow chews the cud. A cow will graze in the morning and lie down in the shade in the heat of the day, and bring the grass back up to go over it again to get the nourishment from it. This is assimilation of the cud. Meditation is to the soul what food is to the body (soul food). We are to take the Word of God and make it a part of our inner being.
Meditation is not mysticism or some eastern religion such as Hinduism or Buddhism. Nor is it transcendental meditation or any other New Age practice. Biblical meditation is not yoga or any strange posture with the eyes closed muttering to oneself. Many new age practices teach that one must empty the mind in meditation, but in Christian meditation one must fill their mind with thoughts of God and His Word. We must not in any way confuse pagan practices with Biblical meditation.
The Object of Meditation
The object of our meditation is God, and His attributes, and His Word. In Psalms 104:34, we have these words, “My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the LORD.” In other words, God Himself is to be our daily meditation. This will cause us to think upon His many attributes (His love, mercy, forgiveness, grace, faithfulness, power, providence, holiness, and sovereignty). Also, we are to meditate upon God’s Word (Ps. 119:15, 23, 48, 78, 97, 99, 148). According to Psalm 119:15, we are to meditate upon God’s ways, “I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.” This speaks of His will and direction in our life. In Psalms 143:5, we are to meditate upon God’s works, “I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands.” That is, the wonderful work of God in which He has done for us in the past (Ps. 77:12; Ps. 78; Deut. 32:4).
In Philippians 4:8, we are encouraged to think on the things of God, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” The question we must ask: what are we filling our minds with? Most are gathering useless information and over loading their minds from television, radio, and internet. We need to be full of God and His Word in order to be pleasing to Him.
The Benefit of Meditation
The benefits or fruit of meditation is clearly seen in Scripture. The blessed man of Psalm 1:1 is the man that meditates upon the law of God; in vs. 2, “But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night:” in vs. 3, He is fruitful and prosperous in all his ways. Also, in Joshua 1:8, success is measured in reference to one’s commitment to meditation of God and His Holy Word, “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.” Meditation also brings peace and joy to the soul (Ps. 119:165). In I Timothy 4:15, there is much profit in Biblical meditation, “Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.” The context of vv. 13-16 reveal to us that Christian meditation on the things of God can produce good doctrine in our lives and save us from false doctrine (vv1-2). In vs. 8, godliness is contrasted to bodily exercise and is profitable in this life and also that which is to come. Christian meditation is also an antidote against sin and vain thoughts, and will produce prayer in the believer.
In closing, may we keep our hearts and minds pure, for thoughts are the forerunner to actions. We are governed by our thoughts, and our conversation will reveal our meditation, for we talk of what we love and think the most of. We are to conform to the image of Christ in this life as well as the future (Rom. 8:29). May we behold the glory of God, “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (II Cor. 3:18). As one writer’s comment on this passage speaks so clearly to our hearts, “The vessels are fullest of grace which are nearest it’s spring. The more Christ’s glory is beheld, the more men are changed.”
“Those that would be taught the things of God must think on those things; those that would understand the Scriptures must meditate on them.” - Matthew Henry (1662-1714)
“Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.” I Timothy 4:
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” Acts 16:31
Victory Baptist Church
Pastor Robert W. Reed
14473 Bellingrath Road
P.O. Box 257
Coden, Alabama 36523