September 3: Meditate – with Psalm 119!

On our last day of focusing on praying by meditating, we’re returning to Psalm 119. Of the 20 times in the Bible the word “meditate” or a variant is used, 7 are in Psalm 119.

  • [15] I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.
  • [23] Princes also did sit and speak against me: but thy servant did meditate in thy statutes.
  • [48] My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes.
  • [78] Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause: but I will meditate in thy precepts.
  • [97] O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.
  • [99] I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.
  • [148] Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word.

Notice the often used phrase “I will” – a dedication to the practice of meditation. It’s not something that happens unintentionally, it requires an intentional, volitional act.

V. 148 is interesting. This verse is actually used as the context for Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary:

PREVENT‘, verb transitive [Latin proevenio, supra.]

1. To go before; to precede.

I prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried. Psalms 119:148.

Let’s get up early and meditate on God’s Word!

September 2: Meditate with Timothy

We’re on day 4 of our look at prayer by meditation, and today we’ll look at how we can meditate with Timothy!

[12] Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
[13] Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.
[14] Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.
[15] Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.
[16] Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

1 Timothy 4

Paul is instructing young Timothy to be an example (v.12), be diligent (v.13), be focused (v. 14), and be meditating! (v.15).

Meditate on what? v.13 shows that we need to meditate on the reading, exhortation, and doctrine – of the Word of God! Just like the Psalmist and Isaac, we can mediate, ruminate, and chew upon the Word of God. But how do we know our thoughts are going the right direction? Is not the heart deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9)?

James 1:5 reminds us to ask of God for wisdom! Proverbs 2:6 reminds us that God gives us wisdom. By seeking wisdom from God we can find it (Proverbs 8:17). Take time to pray and seek wisdom from God to guide your meditation on His Word!

September 1: Meditate with Isaac!

We’re on day 3 of the focus on meditation. No we’re not doing yoga with the gurus – we’re chewing on Scripture!

And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide: and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, the camels were coming.

Genesis 24:63

Isaac is the forgotten patriarch – we admire Abraham, we’re skeptical of Jacob, we are amazed by Joseph, but Isaac gets forgotten, even though he’s in the Hall of Faith (Hebrews 11:20).

  • Genesis 22:9, Isaac was the willing sacrifice
  • Genesis 25:21 he’s the prayerful supplicant
  • Genesis 26:12 he’s abundantly blessed
  • Genesis 26:25 he’s the obedient worshipper
  • Genesis 24:63 he’s meditating on things of God.

Ellicott notes: (63) To meditate.–Many Jewish commentators translate to pray, and derive one of the three Jewish forms of prayer from this act of Isaac. But though the verb is rare, the substantive is used in Psalm 104:34 of religious meditation; and this sense well agrees with the whole character of the calm, peaceful Isaac, already marked out as the type of the Lamb dumb before His slayers (Genesis 22:7).

Like Isaac – we too are living sacrifices (Romans 12:1). Let’s take time and meditate like Isaac on what it means to be sacrificed to God, to have a purpose in His Kingdom, to be used by Him, to reflect on His Word, to seek His Will, to be led in His Way.

August 31: Meditate with the Psalmist

As we continue on our journey thru the hour of prayer, we’re looking at how to meditate. We saw God told Joshua to meditate on it day and night. Today the Psalmist begins the book with this call to meditation:

[1] Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
[2] But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
[3] And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
[4] The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.
[5] Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
[6] For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

Psalm 1

The blessing goes to the man who “does not” and who “does.” He does not take in ungodly counsel, the sinner’s way, or fellowship with scorners. He does not meditate on those things.

What does he meditate on? He delights in the Law, and meditates day and night!

Meditating is a choice – what to NOT meditate on, as well as what TO meditate on.

Interesting that in Joshua, he is promised success, while in Psalms he is promised prosperity.

There’s an organization, Americans for Prosperity, that advocates policies that they say will lead to economic success for Americans. But if we want to be truly successful and prosperous (btw – not just economically but spiritually) – we need to meditate on Scripture.

Psalm 1, Patch the Pirate

August 30: Meditate – with Joshua

We’re on the 10th segment of the hour of prayer – and let’s look at Meditation.

Did you know? There’s only one verse in the entire Bible that uses the word ‘success’ – and it gives the secret for success!

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

How do we meditate on Scripture? Even harder – how do we meditate day and night?

Living in the “Information Age” we can quickly parse the words back into Hebrew with a free online interlinear Bible such as BibleHub:

BibleHub interlinear of Joshua 1:8

When we click on the Hebrew word transliterated We-ha-gi-ta, it takes us to the Englishman’s Concordance that shows us where this is used elsewhere in the Bible:

We see this form of the word is used once, but Strong’s has the root “hagah” used throughout the Old Testament. Click the “25 Occurrences” to see where this concept is used:

The same Hebrew root word is translated “utter,” “imagine,” “speak,” “meditate,” “study,” “mutter,” “mourn,” and “roar.”

Can we study, meditate, imagine, and mourn over the Bible? Do we utter, speak, mutter, and roar over it?

David Guzik notes that the Word is in his lips, mind, and hand (Joshua 1:8).

Matthew Poole notes: Meditate therein, i.e. diligently study, and frequently and upon all occasions consider what is God’s will and thy duty. The greatness of thy place and employments shall not hinder thee from this work, because this is the only rule of all thy private actions and public administrations. 

Whedon notes: Shall meditate — The Hebrew word הגה, sometimes means to mutter, speak aloud, but “we are not to think of this meditation as a learned study, nor as a ‘reading aloud,’ as Bunsen explains it, but rather as a mature reflection upon the law, by which Joshua should penetrate more deeply into its meaning.” — Fay. Happy is the nation of Bible readers ruled by one who receives the law at the mouth of God!

Keil & Delitzch: “. . . [Meditation] does not mean theoretical speculation about the law, such as the Pharisees indulged in, but a practical study of the law, for the purpose of observing it in thought and action, or carrying it out with the heart, the mouth, and the hand. Such a mode of employing it would be sure to be followed by blessings.”

Let’s pray and ask God to help us ponder, study, observe, mutter, reflect, penetrate, consider His Word!