When we think of the idea of meditation, there are many synonyms that might come to mind but all of them have some aspect of thinking deeply and intentionally about an idea. Do you like the words ponder, contemplate or cogitate? Maybe you would rather use consider or even ruminate. Another definition coming from the original word suggests “to murmur or mumble, to talk to yourself”. The Puritans associated the word “meditate” with “preaching to yourself”. Would you agree that while silence and pensiveness can be helpful in calming one’s spirit, it is only the truth found in the Bible that can really reach down into one’s innermost being and bring God’s love and renewing grace into our lives.
While secular historians often point to religious traditions in various Asian cultures as the original source of the idea of meditation, it is very clear that Moses encouraged the Israelites to memorize and meditate on God’s words to them. The Lord spoke clearly to Joshua, as he began his leadership position, instructing him to “meditate on the Book of the Law both day and night so that he could live and lead under God’s direction. David clearly understood the benefits of meditating on God’s precepts and commands, as did many other writers of the Psalms. Paul, in his letter to the Philippians, tells his dear friends to “meditate on these things” so that as they put them into practice, the God of peace would be with them.
In our culture and at this time we have easy access to Scripture. Our electronic devices and bookstores are filled with many different translations. Commentaries of all kinds are readily available. Expository sermons can easily be read or heard. However, the reality is that “accessibility can never beat intentionality”. The question we might want to ask ourselves is, “Is the Word of God simply close at hand or is it in our hearts?” Will you take a few minutes to “find delight in the LORD through meditating on His promises and His desires for you?
I have always connected Psalm 1 with the subject of meditating on the word. I love the reference to the tree planted by the water. Rooted deeply. It was the first group of scriptures that I ever memorized as an 8 year old child.
what a blessing to have that embedded in my mind all my life.