Meditation Topical Study

<p><strong><span class="heading-lg">Meditation in Scripture</span></strong></p><ul><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://zeteosearch.org/search/Joshua%201%3A8">Joshua 1:8</a>, &quot;This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth; you shall meditate on it day and night.&quot;</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://zeteosearch.org/search/Psalm%201%3A1-2">Psalm 1:1-2</a>, &quot;On his law they meditate day and night.&quot;</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://zeteosearch.org/search/Psalm%2019%3A14">Psalm 19:14</a>, &quot;Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O</span> L<span class="small-caps">ord</span>, my rock and my redeemer.&quot;</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://zeteosearch.org/search/Psalm%2063%3A5-6">Psalm 63:5-6</a>, &quot;My soul is satisfied as with a rich feast, and my mouth praises you with joyful lips when I think of you on my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night.&quot;</span></span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://zeteosearch.org/search/Psalm%2077%3A6-12">Psalm 77:6-12</a>, &quot;I commune with my heart in the night; I meditate and search my spirit. . . . &quot;</span></span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://zeteosearch.org/search/Psalm%20119%3A11-16%2C%20148">Psalm 119:11-16, 148</a>, &quot;I treasure your word in my heart.&quot;</span></span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://zeteosearch.org/search/Psalm%20119%3A97-102">Psalm 119:97-102</a>, &quot;Oh, how I love your law! It is my meditation all day long.&quot;</span></span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://zeteosearch.org/search/Isaiah%2030%3A15">Isaiah 30:15</a>, quietness and trust are your strength</span></span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://zeteosearch.org/search/Isaiah%2031%3A4">Isaiah 31:4</a>, &quot;The L<span class="small-caps">ord&nbsp;</span><span class="body-copy">of hosts will come down to fight upon Mount Zion and upon its hill.&quot;</span></span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://zeteosearch.org/search/Luke%202%3A16-20">Luke 2:16-20</a>, the shepherds are told of Jesus&#39; birth by the angels</span></span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><span class="body-copy"><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://zeteosearch.org/search/Romans%208%3A5-6">Romans 8:5-6</a>, set your mind on things above</span></span></span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://zeteosearch.org/search/Philippians%204%3A8">Philippians 4:8</a>, think about praise-worthy things</span></span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://zeteosearch.org/search/Revelation%203%3A20">Revelation 3:20</a>, &quot;I am standing at the door and knocking.&quot;</span></span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://zeteosearch.org/search/Revelation%2010%3A9">Revelation 10:9</a>, the scroll is like honey</span></span></li></ul><p><strong><span class="heading-lg">Reflections about Meditation</span></strong></p><p><span class="body-copy">See also <a href="https://zeteosearch.org/Guide/Scripture%20Meditation%20or%20Sermon">Scripture Sermon or Meditation</a></span></p><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy">Eugene Peterson used to have a dog that would work his bone while also growling with pleasure. P<span class="body-copy">eterson found this remarkable. The dog would worry the bone, make throaty sounds over it, and then bury it. Later, he&#39;d dig it up and work it again. Peterson tells us all about it in Eat this Book, his re</span>flections on meditating over Scripture.</span></span></p><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy">Peterson points out that in Isaiah 31:4 a lion &quot;growls over its prey.&quot; It&#39;s that same word (hagah) used in Psalm 1 and in Psalm 63 for &quot;meditating&quot; on the law of God. It turns out the Bib<span class="body-copy">le is worth growling over. It needs to be chewed on, savored, digested. It needs to be treated as food for the soul. It&#39;s God&#39;s Word, and God&#39;s Word gives life. We have meat to eat that the world does no</span>t know.</span></span></p><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy"><span class="body-copy">Meditating in the ancient world was likely done out loud, or half aloud. Muttering was involved. You would read the text and converse with yourself about it. What is the author saying? What does he mean? Why does he say it this way? What is he leaving out? Is this deliber</span>ate?</span></span></p><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy">The subject of meditation as presented <span class="body-copy">in Scripture is God, God&#39;s Word &mdash; especially God&#39;s law &mdash; and God&#39;s remarkable deeds. These are rich subjects. Think of God as presented in Scripture. God is remarkable there, so surprisingly fierce, so surprisingly tender. Some of what the Bible says about God, and what we meditate upon, is deeply familiar. God is the powerful creator of the heavens and the earth, calling galaxies into existence just by speaking a word. God is a faithful provider, a lover of the wayward, a redeemer, always out to save. In fact, when the Scriptures speak of God&#39;s greatness, they speak less often of God&#39;s sheer power and more oft</span>en of God&#39;s amazing grace. God saves the undeserving, and people marvel over it.</span></span></p><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy">But the Scriptures also give us a portrait of God we would never have guessed. So<span class="body-copy">metimes the portrait makes us squirm. Think of some of the biblical images for God. In the Bible God is lion and lamb, church and home, fire and water. God is not only a leopard, an eagle, and a bear, bu</span>t also a moth; not only a parent, but also a child; not only a king and a warrior, but also a barber and a whistler (Isa. 7).</span></span></p><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy">Or think of the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. The creeds&nbsp;<span class="body-copy">give us a symmetrical doctrine of the Trinity &mdash; one God in three coequal persons. You would never guess from this tactful portrait that in Scripture the triune God is, so to speak, a bachelor father, his sin</span>gle son, and their agent. That&#39;s God. </span></span></p><p><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span class="body-copy">Meditation on God is soul food. So is meditation on God&#39;s Word. God&#39;s Word in Scripture, read or preached, is meant to be pondered and absorbed. Pondering is a deliberative activity. It can&#39;t be rushed. You read or hear a Bible story or psalm, and then you mull it over. In Psalm 139, the writer says God is inescapable. God knows not only what I say, but also what I think. God knows not only what I said, but also what I almost said. Yet the psalmist does not regard his t</span>ransparency to God as frightful or offensive. He says it&#39;s &quot;wonderful&quot; (v. 6). Why is this? It&#39;s very much worth pondering.</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 16px;">Or you read a story about Jesus, and it gets you to thinking. In Mark 5 Jesus heals a demon-possessed man in the country of the Gerasenes.&nbsp;<span class="body-copy">The man has been thrashing around in a graveyard, shrieking and bruising himself. He&#39;s been shackled and chained, but he tears his constraints to pieces. Jesus sends the demons out of this poor man and into a herd of two thousand pigs (a lot of pigs), who then stampede over a cliff into the ocean and drown. The Gerasenes hear about all this and come out to see their wild man, finding him &quot;sitting there, clothed and in his right mind; . . . and they were afraid&quot; (v. 15). You meditate on this story. Why were the Gerasenes afraid? And why did a couple of thousand pigs have to be collateral damage of</span> an exorcism?</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span class="body-copy">Often when Scripture speaks of meditating on God&#39;s word, the subject is specifically the law of God. C. S. Lewis devotes a chapter to this in his Reflections on the Psalms. He says he found himself initially surprised that the psalmists find God&#39;s law to be sweeter than honey (Ps. 19:10). Isn&#39;t this a little strange? One can understand that you would respect and obey God&#39;s law, but smack your lips over it? Find it &quot;finger-lickin&#39; good&quot;? Lewis ponders this and concludes that what the psalmists have in mind is the order, intricacy, and moral beauty of the law. It reveals the order, intricacy, and moral beauty of God&#39;s own mind. Moreover, the law is utterly reliable as a guide to human flourishing. The law says, &quot;Don&#39;t do this. It&#39;ll wreck you.&quot; Or, &quot;Do this. It&#39;ll make you thrive.&quot; Here God&#39;s law is totally trustworthy. It&#39;s rooted in the very creation itself.</span> </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span class="body-copy">In Psalm 77, the author muses over God&#39;s &quot;mighty deeds.&quot; No doubt he has in mind especially the Exodus, God&#39;s mighty deed of deliverance from slavery in Egypt. But the psalmist or later writers could add God&#39;s leading of Israel to the promised land, rescuing people from exile, raising up judges and prophets, and much else. Christians meditate on the mighty acts of God in the incarnation, teaching, miracles, atoning death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus, plus the miracles of Pentecost, and the acts of the apostles, which are really the acts of God. And Christians ponder that perhaps God&#39;s mightiest deed still lies ahead, when God will &quot;gather u</span>p all things&quot; in Jesus Christ, ushering in the majestic state of shalom for which the ages have longed (Eph. 1:10).</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 16px;">Meditation on God&#39;s mighty deeds is a feast for the soul. It <span class="body-copy">nourishes us to think of how God has saved before, how this predicts that God will save again, and how God&#39;s mighty deeds reveal God&#39;s saving love. God is a Savior through and through. Salvation is God&#39;s specialty, what God is good at, what God is known for. Salvation is the centerpiece of God&#39;s reputation. Jesus&#39; own name means Savior.</span></span></p><p><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span class="body-copy">Finally, we should see that meditating on God&#39;s word and works is an intimate form of communion with God. We place ourselves in God&#39;s world, under the authority and majesty of God&#39;s Word, and let God nourish us there. We are children of God with our mouths open. We need to be fed. Meditation is therefore not just advantageous, but necessary. We&#39;ll go hungry without it. We need it to amend our lives, as required by God&#39;s word, and to fuel us for loving God above all and our neighbor as ourselves.</span></span></p>