Psalm 119 is about meditation in the Word of God and the fruits of that meditation as the Word of God is internalized and made the pattern for a man’s thoughts. That comes to pass through constant reading and reflection on the Word of God, the application of it in one’s mind to the daily circumstances of life, and prolonged reflection on its meaning. This psalm is an example of what it recommends. It is a pondering of the Word of God in one’s mind over and over again, displaying both a thanksgiving for and celebration of, the manifold excellencies of the Word of God showing us how to make the Word of God our daily companion.
While some Eastern religions teach that meditation is allowing our minds to become completely blank and empty, the true meaning of meditation from God’s Word is quite the opposite. God’s definition of meditation is to fill our minds with the thoughts of God; to allow ourselves to be consumed with the things God has said; to deliberately and intentionally interact with God, repeating and pondering what He has declared in His Word. God never intended for meditation to merely produce more knowledge; He wanted us to receive a greater understanding of Himself, His ways, and how His Word will benefit us.
Keep in mind that meditation is not just reading your Bible. However, in order to meditate, we must have a time to read and study. Everything we meditate on must originate from the Word of God. Yet it’s not the quantity of scripture we read daily; it’s the quality of time we spend when we read that’s important. How many times have you read something, and when you got to the bottom of the page you asked yourself, “What did I just read?” Words merely read have little value. Words read and understood are pure potential. However, words meditated upon until they bring us to a point of action are words of life. The choices we make to act provide direction and the forward motion of life.
We must think often, hard, carefully, reflectively, and intentionally about what God has told us in His Word; about what it means for our living each day; about what it means both to believe this truth and to practice and obey it. Doing so results in us glorying in the truth and loving it as we should. It can then become the power in our lives that we want it to be and know it ought to be. Time and time again, the Bible lays this obligation upon us to think and to ponder; and here in this long psalm, it reminds us of what blessings will be ours if we meditate faithfully and often on the Word of God.
We should stop after reading a compelling verse and make a note of what it means to us and how we can apply it to our everyday lives. Then we should purposely think about it throughout the day, making every effort to remember what we read in the morning and looking for people with whom to share it. It will make a difference in the way our day unfolds.
Any time we read a particular scripture, we should ask ourselves, “How does this golden nugget of truth work for me? How can I apply this scripture to my life? Why has God given these instructions to me? What benefits does obeying this scripture offer? When can I do this? How soon can I apply what I’ve learned?”
This type of meditation will bring the greatest discovery of revelation knowledge we have ever known. As we meditate in the promises of God, we will receive fresh revelation for ourselves. There is no substitute for knowing we have heard from the Holy Spirit. There is no replacement for time spent in meditation and fellowship with God.
God’s greatest desire is to have an intimate relationship with His children. Our time of daily meditation with the Lord will foster a deeper, more intimate relationship with Him. We will begin to understand His ways, His thoughts, and His desires until they will become our thoughts, our ways, and our desires.
The Apostle James said, “Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you” (James 4:8). Make a fresh commitment today to draw closer to the Lord through daily meditation. It will pay big dividends in your life. The Word of God deserves to be meditated upon and thought about all the time, and over and over again. The man or woman who does that will not long remain the same person!
By Wayne Clapp