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Meditate Therein

C Jones, Cardiff

All around us things are changing at an unprecedented rate. Disturbances, upheavals and disasters are occurring in countries, economies, societies and in the lives of individuals. It is wonderful, in the midst of all the instability, turmoil and strife, to know that God is in control (Dan 4.17), and that He never changes (Mal 3.6).

The written Word of God never changes, for it is "the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever" (1 Pet 1.23). Those who have not been saved cannot understand the teachings of the Bible for "the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God". The indwelling Holy Spirit reveals the truths of the Bible, for these things are "spiritually discerned" (1 Cor 2.14). The Word of God is true. Its truth is eternal and unchanging. We read, "For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven" (Ps 119.89), and "Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away" (Lk 21.33).

The Scriptures are not the product of men’s imaginations, "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" (2 Pet 1.21). The Word of God is inspired by God: it is "God-breathed" (2 Tim 3.16). Not only were the writers inspired but the very words used were divinely inspired. The Scriptures are profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction and for instruction in righteousness so that the believer may be complete and thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Tim 3.16-17). The Scriptures tell us the way of salvation (Jn 20.31; Eph 2.8; 2 Tim 3.15), and give us assurance of our salvation (Jn 3.36; 1 Jn 5.11-13). They tell us how to behave so that we might please God, both as individuals and as assemblies of God’s people, and they give us some insight into future events and the eternal state.

In the Scriptures we read of the birth, life, sufferings and sacrificial death of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord said, "he that hath seen me hath seen the Father" (Jn 14.9). He is "the image of the invisible God" (Col 1.15), and the "express image of his person" (Heb 1.3). If we study the Scriptures and the deeds and words of the Lord Jesus, He will be exalted and we will learn the mind of God and the will of God. If we are obedient to the truths revealed to us by the Holy Spirit we shall be enabled to serve God and be more conformed to the image of His wonderful Son.

Meditate upon these things

Paul, writing to Timothy, stressed that Timothy was to be careful in all that he did because his behaviour would influence other believers (1 Tim 3.15; 4.7,15,16; 5.22). Timothy was to be diligent: he was told to "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Tim 2.15). Timothy was to spend time meditating, musing on the Word of God so that he might apply it to every aspect of his own life and, using the gift God had given him (1 Tim 4.14), be able to teach others. Paul wrote to him saying, "Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all" (1 Tim 4.15).

As a result of meditating on the Word of God, a believer will profit spiritually, he will learn more of God, of His will, of His great and precious promises, and will experience joy and peace. Study and meditation will cause the Word of God to be retained in the mind and the Holy Spirit will enable the believer to use it in the varying circumstances of life for the blessing of himself and others, and for the glory of God.

Thou shalt meditate therein

The Holy Spirit says to us, "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby" (1 Pet 2.2). Appetite for the Word of God increases as a believer feeds on that Word and grows spiritually. The Word of God will reveal a believer’s spiritual condition and the way forward in the things of God (Ps 119.105). If we are to grow spiritually we must not restrict ourselves to quick and superficial reading of the Word but should meditate prayerfully on what God says to us. The believer should pray for his meditation to be controlled and guided by the Spirit, that God might be glorified, the Lord Jesus Christ exalted, and the believer blessed. David prayed, "Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer" (Ps 19.14).

Godly men of the past meditated on the things of God (Gen 24.63). David wrote, "I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands" (Ps 143.5), and "I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches" (Ps 63.6). The writer of Psalm 119 delighted to meditate on God’s ways, His statutes, precepts and laws (vv.15,23,48,78,97).

Joshua was told to "meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein" (Josh 1.8). The aim of Joshua’s meditation was that he should do all that God, through the Word, instructed him to do. God promised Joshua prosperity and success if he would do these things. Joshua was told repeatedly to be strong and courageous (Josh 1.6,7,9,18). His strength and courage would result from meditation on, and obedience to, the Word of God. In the same way, the believer should meditate prayerfully on the entire Word of God and not only on selected or favourite passages. Then he will be prepared, strengthened and enabled by the Holy Spirit to do the revealed will of God.

Delight in the law of the Lord

In Psalm 1 we are told the way of happiness and the way of unhappiness. Happiness results from knowing and obeying God. Only the Lord Jesus Christ is entirely and eternally righteous, holy and sinless. He was obedient to His Father’s will even unto death (Phil 2.8).

He always obeyed, glorified and pleased His Father (Jn 8.29; Mt 3.17; 17.5), and He was the truly blessed and happy man of Psalm 1.

In the first verse of that psalm we learn that the blessed man, the happy man, leads a life which is separated from the world and to God. The blessed man knows the truth of the words, "the friendship of the world is enmity with God" (James 4.4). The blessed man delights to study and meditate on the Word of God (Ps 1.2). If we are to have time to study and meditate on the Word of God we need to discipline and organize our lives. This means choosing between alternative ways of spending our time. We need to exercise a spiritually profitable stewardship of time.

Meditation on, and obedience to, the teaching found in the Word of God will lead to happiness and a peace that passes all understanding (Phil 4.7). The believer who gets his counsel from the Scriptures will think, behave and speak as God would have him to do, for as a man "thinketh in his heart, so is he" (Prov 23.7), and "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh" (Mt 12.34). The things we think about determine our words and actions, and form habits and character. The blessed man who meditates on, and obeys, the Word of God will prosper spiritually (Ps 1.3), and bring forth the fruit of the Spirit which is "love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance" (Gal 5.22-23).

Meditation of Him shall be sweet

The blessed man of Psalm 1 delighted in meditating on the Word of God, and we read in Psalm 104.34 that "My meditation of him shall be sweet. I will be glad in the Lord". Meditation on God and on the Lord Jesus Christ, the "altogether lovely" One (Song 5.16), who has revealed God to us, will indeed be "sweet". Dwelling, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, on the Lord’s Person and work, and on His soon return when He will come to take us to be with Himself for ever (1 Thess 4.16-17), will cause a believer to experience feelings of awe, wonder, joy, gratitude and love for Him that cannot be adequately expressed either verbally or in writing. Meditation on the Lord Jesus Christ and on the things of God is a source of happiness, help, guidance and strengthening for the believer and pleases and glorifies God.



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