Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Day long Meditation

“Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day.” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭119:97‬ ‭ESV‬


Struggling with the concept of meditation I once asked a friend to help me understand what it was and how I could make it part of my life.

Do you worry, my friend asked. Yes, I realise I’m not supposed to but I do. Probing a little further he asked, what do you do when you worry, give me an example.

It usually is worst at night when I’m not as busy and start to relax, then my mind starts to wonder. I think, my boss called me today, he wants to see me tomorrow. I wonder what that’s about? I’ve been struggling a little at work lately maybe he’s not happy with my performance & he wants to talk to ma about it. But, I wonder, what will happen if I can’t improve? I guess he will let me go. At my age I’m going to struggle to get another job. If I can’t get another job I won’t be able to pay the mortgage, if I can’t pay the mortgage I will be homeless. My wife and family will think I’m a failure and will leave me. So now I find myself penniless, alone and on the street. All that from a phone call from my boss to set up a meeting.

My friend that’s right. You use a God given attribute to analyse a situation but you use it in a negative way. You think what’s the worst thing that can happen in this situation and you start the downward spiral of worry and despair. He said meditation is using the exact same ability but using it for good.

So meditating on God’s Word is taking time to muse over it and examine it from many different angles and asking it what does this mean for me in my life. Starting an upward spiral of assurance in our lives and circumstances.

If God’s Word says ___________ then it means __________ for me.

Joel Beeke lists at least 20 benefits of meditation on scripture in his essay, The Puritan Practice of Meditation :

  • Meditation helps us focus on the Triune God, to love and to enjoy Him in all His persons (1 John 4:8)—intellectually, spiritually, aesthetically. 
  • Meditation helps increase knowledge of sacred truth. It “takes the veil from the face of truth” (Prov. 4:2). 
  • Meditation is the “nurse of wisdom,” for it promotes the fear of God, which is the beginning of wisdom (Prov. 1:8). 
  • Meditation enlarges our faith by helping us to trust the God of promises in all our spiritual troubles and the God of providence in all our outward troubles. 
  • Meditation augments one’s affections. Watson called meditation “the bellows of the affections.” He said, “Meditation hatcheth good affections, as the hen her young ones by sitting on them; we light affection at this fire of meditation” (Ps. 39:3). 
  • Meditation fosters repentance and reformation of life (Ps. 119:59; Ez. 36:31). 
  • Meditation is a great friend to memory. 
  • Meditation helps us view worship as a discipline to be cultivated. It makes us prefer God’s house to our own. 
  • Meditation transfuses Scripture through the texture of the soul. 
  • Meditation is a great aid to prayer (Ps. 5:1). It tunes the instrument of prayer before prayer. 
  • Meditation helps us to hear and read the Word with real benefit. It makes the Word “full of life and energy to our souls.” William Bates wrote, “Hearing the word is like ingestion, and when we meditate upon the word that is digestion; and this digestion of the word by meditation produceth warm affections, zealous resolutions, and holy actions.” 
  • Meditation on the sacraments helps our “graces to be better and stronger.” It helps faith, hope, love, humility, and numerous spiritual comforts thrive in the soul. 
  • Meditation stresses the heinousness of sin. It “musters up all weapons, and gathers all forces of arguments for to presse our sins, and lay them heavy upon the heart,” wrote Fenner. Thomas Hooker said, It is a “strong antidote against sin” and “a cure of covetousness.” 
  • Meditation enables us to “discharge religious duties, because it conveys to the soul the lively sense and feeling of God’s goodness; so the soul is encouraged to duty.” 
  • Meditation helps prevent vain and sinful thoughts (Jer. 4:14; Matt. 12:35). It helps wean us from this present evil age. 
  • Meditation provides inner resources on which to draw (Ps. 77:10-12), including direction for daily life (Prov. 6:21-22). 
  • Meditation helps us persevere in faith; it keeps our hearts “savoury and spiritual in the midst of all our outward and worldly employments,” wrote William Bridge. Meditation is a mighty weapon to ward off Satan and temptation (Ps. 119:11,15; 1 John 2:14). 
  • Meditation provides relief in afflictions (Is. 49:15-17; Heb. 12:5). 
  • Meditation helps us benefit others with our spiritual fellowship and counsel (Ps. 66:16; 77:12; 145:7). 
  • Meditation promotes gratitude for all the blessings showered upon us by God through His Son. Meditation glorifies God (Ps. 49:3).
In a day when our senses are bombarded by messages from the moment we get up till we retreat to our beds, when many of us are uncomfortable with silence, there is a continual need for us to adopt a ritual of pause, dwell and ruminate on scripture. By doing this we allow the scripture to quiet our hearts and minds and grow us in strength and faith. 

The result of this meditation for the Psalmist was a deep genuine love for God’s Word which seeps out of the pores of each verse in his 119th song.

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