Text: Psalm 119:145-152
I. It is one of those minor points brought out by the Bible, a seemingly incidental detail that you almost overlook - Genesis 24:63
A. Isaac took a stroll in the evening in a field to meditate.
1. We are given a hint as to why in verse 67. The death of his mother still weighed heavy on his soul.
2. He was out for some quiet time
B. We don’t often talk about meditating.
1. Eastern religions have made it an essential part of their religion.
2. We think about the guru on the mountain top, looking within himself, to gain better understanding of himself.
a. Only a truth as you or I would perceive life.
b. It might lead you to a better understanding of your wants or desires, but such ideas would hardly be the truth
3. Of course, western religions have their mediators.
a. But joining an order of monks in seclusion from the world cannot equip a person for life.
b. Real life has its sorrows and trials, but I doubt managed discomfort can give us greater understanding of life’s problems.
C. Meditation is mentioned frequently in the Bible.
1. It was not reserved for the religious class, but was practiced by everyday people.
II. Meditation is to dwell upon a subject in thought
A. There are several Hebrew words which are translated as meditate
1. Suwach, as Isaac did, means to muse on a matter
2. Siyach - means to ponder, to talk to one’s self, to rehearse a matter in your mind. (No, it is not a sign of senility!) Psalm 145:5 (“speak”)
3. Hagah - means to murmur as you ponder. Talking under your breath, so others don’t understand what you are saying.
a. The thoughts of your heart - Psalm 49:3
4. Higgayown - means to make a whispered sound
a. In other words, meditation through music
(1) Psalm 92:3 - “resounding sound”
(2) Psalm 19:14 - “mediation” of the heart
5. Chazah - means to contemplate a mental image, to see something in your mind. Sometimes used in conjunction with meditation
a. Psalm 27:4 - to behold the beauty of the Lord and meditate in his temple
b. Proverbs 24:32 - To see and consider
B. In the Greek, words that are translated mediate
1. Meletao - to resolve a matter in your mind
a. I Timothy 4:15
2. Logizomai- To take inventory. To reason a matter to a conclusion
a. Philippians 4:8 - “think” on these things
C. As you can see meditating does mean chanting a word over and over or humming a monotone sound. It is giving a matter deep thought. - Psalm 77:1-15
III. It is done in quiet places because you don’t want any interruptions
A. Isaac going out into a field in the evening
B. Meditating on your bed - Psalm 4:4
C. Looking forward to the night watch to do some serious thinking - Psalm 119:147-148
D. It is not restricted to these times. It can be done at anytime there is a need - Psalm 55:17 (NASB is not well translated - should be meditate and cry aloud)
IV. What requires our deeper thoughts
A. God’s work
1. Considering the aid God has given in the past - Psalm 143:5-6
2. Speak of (meditate on) God’s wondrous works - Psalm 105:1-5
B. More often, though, the Bible speaks of meditating on God’s law
1. Psalm 1:1-2 - The righteous meditates on God’s law
2. Psalm 119:14-16 - A delight to meditate on God’s law
3. Psalm 119:47-48 - Because he loves God’s law
4. Man so often despises any restriction that the very idea of laws are what many detest.
a. Can you imagine anyone waxing so eloquently about IRS codes?
b. There is a beauty in God’s law which makes it like no other - Psalm 19:7-11
c. David loved the laws of God - Psalm 119:97
C. Righteous and pure things - Philippians 4:8
V. What meditation does for us
A. It gives us deeper insight - Psalm 119:97-104
1. It makes us wiser. It gives us experience without the age.
B. It gives us understanding - Psalm 49:3
C. It helps us not to forget - Joshua 1:8
1. If something is going to be firmly planted in your brain, you need to go over it again and again.
2. Why Timothy was to be “absorbed” by these things - I Timothy 4:13-16
VI. Do not let God’s words slip out of your thoughts. Ponder them. Learn from them. And apply them to your life.