Meditation is becoming a lost art. Life is so busy and noisy. We live in a world of frantic activity, frenzied pleasure and fantastic gadgets. We have instant communication, abundant provisions and possessions to occupy and satisfy our faculties. Then there is pressure in business, stress in family and social circles. The overall atmosphere is hardly conducive to quiet contemplation of divine things. Nevertheless, meditation for the believer is absolutely essential for spiritual growth and stability.
The words meditation and meditate occur 20 times in the Bible, of which 15 appear in the Psalms. This highlights the importance of the subject and the Psalms as substance for meditation. In our Psalm the author is lost in wonder at the awesome grandeur of creation. He surveys thoughtfully the mysteries and movements of the seas, the fields and fruits, the birds and beasts, day and darkness, sun and stars and traces the control and coordination of creation to the hand of his God for "the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead" (Rom 1.20).
"My meditation of him shall be sweet" - is this our experience in quiet prayer and Scripture reading? We are privileged to know the Redeemer as well as the Creator. Thoughts of His deity and humanity, ministry and majesty, words and ways, sufferings and sorrows, fill our souls with the sweet savour of heaven. Fragrance is ever associated with the Lord Jesus: "frankincense and myrrh" at His birth, "precious ointment" at the beginning and end of His ministry, "sweet spices" at His burial; truly "all (His) garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia" (Ps 45.8). In the Song of Solomon the bride describes her beloveds voice, cheeks, lips, mouth as sweet. Such simple musings sweeten the sour soul and send forth "fountains of sweet water" to thirsty souls around (Ex 15.25; James 3.11).
Another rendering of our verse is, "My meditation shall be pleasant unto Him" (JND) - how precious! Our thoughts of His Son are sweet to the Father and for His acceptance. Mark the delight God had in "them that feared the Lord and thought upon his name" (Mal 3.16). Such meditation is not only selfward for our blessing, but also Godward for His pleasure; in essence this is true spiritual communion. Well might we pray, "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; 1 Pet 2.5).
Alas, the excessive intrusion of material matters, the demands of everyday living and our innate selfishness, deprive us of precious moments of meditation. Spiritual leaders especially need to take time out from the busy round of meetings for quiet reflection: "Come ye yourselves apart and rest a while" (Mk 6.31). The godly should be noted for their reflective mood and musings in the Word. Isaac "went out to meditate in the field" as he watched and waited for his bride (Gen 24.63); David found strength in meditating "in the night watches" (Ps 63.6); Mary "kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart" (Lk 2.19); Paul urged Timothy to "Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them" (1 Tim 4.15). The ideal and divine man of Psalm 1 (Jesus Himself?) is blessed, fruitful and prosperous because "in his law doth he meditate day and night". Christian character has its secret and sacred roots in the thought life; thus godliness is nurtured and nourished by the Holy Spirit.
"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things" (Phil 4.8).
Jesus, the very thought of Thee
With sweetness fills my breast,
But sweeter far Thy face to see,
And in Thy presence rest.