Why should we meditate?
Because of what the Bible is—Revelation from God. In the Bible God has spoken and through this book God reveals Himself, reveals who and what man is, and what His plan for man consists of. (Ps. 19:7;2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:20-21; Isa. 55:8). The Bible was given to us by God to be read and meditated on. “An unread Bible is like food that is refused, an unopened love letter, a buried sword, a road map not studied, a gold mine not worked.”
Because of what man is and needs—Reconciliation to God and one another. The nature of man and the nature of the world a great need for personalizing the Word (Eph. 4:16; 5:15; 2 Cor. 4:4) Meditation affects man’s whole being. Another reason is the fact man does not innately contain God’s thoughts and ways. Again Meier writes: ‘Man is a totally depraved being, possessing selfish and ultimately self-destructive thought patterns and behavior. Show me a natural man, untaught in God’s principles and I’ll show you a natural man who suffers from emotional pain. I’ll show you a man who experiences the guilt and discomfort of a God-vacuum. I’ll show you a man who is unconsciously fighting and struggling for a sense of significance, using worldly ways (e.g., sexual fantasy, materialism, power struggles, and prestige) in a vain attempt to attain significance all of which will fail. The ways of the world bring temporary relief, like bandaids on open flesh wounds, but not ultimate relief from man’s inner awareness of his insignificance apart from God.’
Because of what the meditation does—Reformation of the mind and life. Using the words “meditate” and “remember” which is sometimes used as a synonym for meditate (Ps. 63:6; 77:5-7; 119:55-56; 143:5-6), let’s note from Scripture some of the reasons we should meditate on the Word.
- It renews or reprograms our minds, exchanges our ideas for God’s, so we can begin to experience God’s ways (Isa. 55:8; Rom. 12:1).
- It monitors what and how we are thinking and protects us against the thinking and actions of the world (Ps. 1:1-2; Jer. 17:5-10). Many of our problems are symptoms of underlying dynamic mental processes going on inside. Meditating on the Word when done properly is designed to expose an often unconscious network of defences, anxieties, and sources of self-trust (Heb. 4:12; 2 Tim. 3:16).
- It enables and motivates us to walk after or according to God’s plan and purposes rather than our own (Josh. 1:7; Ps. 119:15).
- It produces spiritual stability and fruitfulness or success according to biblical standards (Josh. 1:7; Ps. 1:3).
- It is a means of focusing on and resting in the Lord which enables us to cling to the Lord and find spiritual joy in the midst of suffering and testing (Ps. 63:6; 77:6-12). It becomes a means of protection against a mental attitude of self-pity and discouragement (Ps. 4:4; 119:23, 78).
- It is a means of better knowing and understanding the Word which gives insight to life itself (Ps. 49:3; 119:27).
- It warms the heart and keeps us close to God (Jer. 20:7-9).
- It is a means of worship and seeking God which is ultimately the highest goal of meditation (Ps. 27:4; 77:12).
Mediating on Biblical truth we can join the Psalmist who, rather than use the methods of the world to deal with his pain, declared his commitment to meditation when he wrote: Psalm 119:78 May the arrogant be ashamed, for they subvert me with a lie; But I shall meditate on Thy precepts.