By Ed Dudek
In our last blog I stated that Biblical meditation involves actively filling our heart with God’s Word and pondering His perspective by going over it in our mind repeatedly with the purpose of applying/obeying it. this involves thoughtfully contemplating a specific spiritual truth, somewhat like a cow “chewing” its cud. We deliberately and thoroughly “chew” on that truth. The more we chew the better we “digest” it, and then apply it.
But on what should we specifically meditate? Generally speaking the apostle Paul gives us an idea. He told the Philippian church what their thoughts should dwell on: Whatever is true, honorable, and in harmony with God’s perfect standard of righteousness, whatever is pure, lovely or commendable–any virtue, anything worthy of praise. Those were the things they should weigh, reflect and think on so that their conduct would be well-shaped by them. *Phil.4:8*
More specifically, we can meditate:
On God: “When I think of You as I lie on my bed, I meditate on You during the night watches” (Ps.63:6, HSCB). Why does he remember and meditate on Jehovah all through the night? Because God has been his help (v.4). Imagine meditating on God’s goodness, faithfulness, love, mercy, unchangeableness… as well as many other attributes! I remember when I went through a concordance and read and meditated on all the verses in Scripture about God’s faithfulness. It changed my life.
On God’s majesty: “On the glorious splendor of thy majesty, and on thy wondrous works, I will meditate” (Ps.145:5, RSV). We can meditate on all that is wonderful, glorious and beautiful about God and the honor due Him: See Isa.6:1-8 and Rev.1:12-18, for example. Cf. Ps.104:1-2; I Chr.16:27.
On the laws and ways of God: The Psalmist said, “I will meditate on your precepts, and consider your ways” (Ps.119:15, WEB). He would turn them over in his mind and thoughts, and consider their importance and obligations so that they would be carefully kept (v.4). “Through your precepts, I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way” (Ps.119:104, WEB). He had previously stated that he had treasured God’s Word in his heart so that he might not sin against the Lord (v.11). God’s laws would be the guide for his life, his counselor (v.24), and they give him life (v.93). There are many reasons in Ps.119 for his loving the law (v.159). Verses to reflect on: Ps.111:7-8; 119:40-41,173.
God’s wonders: “Sing ye to Him, sing psalms to Him, Meditate on all His wonders. Seek ye Jehovah and His strength, Seek His face continually. Remember His wonders that He did, His signs, and the judgments of His mouth” (I Chr.16:9,11-12 YLT). God alone works wonders (Ps.72:18) and He has made them so that we would remember them (Ps.111:4).
What could help us to meditate on God’s wondrous works and miracles? “Help me understand the meaning of Your precepts so that I can meditate on Your wonders” (Ps.119:27, HCSB). The Psalmist prays that God would help him to discern the meaning of the Word and to understand it. Then with his heart full of the Word, he would be able to meditate on God’s wonders. Helpful verses: Ps.40:4-5; Ex.3:19-20; Neh.9:16-16; Jer.32:17,27.
On God’s works: “I remember the days of old; I meditate on all You have done; I reflect on the work of Your hands” (Ps.143:5, HSCB). David remembered the former days as contrasted with his present troubles. He meditated on all of God’s works done for His people and during his own life. It emboldens him to pray and leads him to acknowledge that God is holy, and that everything He does is perfect, righteous and good. How about meditating on: Ps.44:1-8; 77:11-14?
“My eyes anticipate the nighttime hours, so that I can meditate on your word” (Ps.11:148, NETB).
O Lord, may our meditation be acceptable, sweet and pleasing to You as we meditate on Your Word, Your character, and Your works! *Ps.104:34*