Psalms 119:15-16 – “I will meditate on Your precepts, And contemplate Your ways. 16 I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.” NKJV
I told someone a few years ago that I liked to mediate on God’s Word and you would have thought I had just confessed to being a mass murder or something the way they reacted to the word meditate. All they could conceive in their mind was ‘Transcendental Meditation’ and were appalled that I would practice any form of meditation. Never mind that the Word of God encouraged what I was talking about.
The word, ‘meditate’ in the Hebrew means ‘to muse’ which is simply to think about something carefully and thoroughly. It is to become absorbed in thought and to turn that thought over and over in the mind. It would be akin to ‘unpicking’ a knitted sweater until it falls apart or opens up and becomes clear. I have, at times, spent hours thinking about a few words used in a passage as I focused on the potential and possible meanings. I have found that, at times, I could not shake a particular passage from my mind for weeks as I thought about it. In so doing I have found that, often a passage will become such a part of me that it transformed some aspect of my life. It is to ‘ponder’ and the implication is that you will carry on a conversation with yourself although it may be completely silent and in your mind. You talk with yourself about it as you examine it deeply and carefully.
Then he said, ‘contemplate’ God’s ways which is again to ‘think deeply’ or ‘carefully’ about something. It is to ‘regard’ or look at in detail. The Psalmist is thinking deeply on the precepts and ways of God. It is to look at the ways or paths of God intently. I have found that many grasp the ‘Acts of God’ but many fail to understand the ‘Ways of God’. Psalms 103 declares that God made His ‘ways’ known to Moses and His ‘acts’ to the sons of Israel. Moses had a deeper level of understanding of the precepts and paths of the Lord than did the children of Israel. God help us to seek to know His Ways not just His Acts!
The result of meditation and contemplation is DELIGHT in God’s statutes. Some almost grudgingly follow the directives and commandments of God’s Word but the Psalmist engaged in deep thought on God’s precepts and ways and found that the Statutes or Laws of God brought delight to his heart and mind. He understood that it was not just a rule but a principle with purpose.
Then the declaration I will not ‘forget’ Your Word. The Hebrew usage means “I will not mislay Your Word”. I will not fail to remember. I have found that the Word hidden in my heart is not hidden but filed away for future reference and guidance. It becomes an anchor in my life that motivates and leads me in right paths. It becomes a pillar and anchor in my life. I have mediated upon it until I understood the precept, grasped the purpose in the ways or paths, delighted in the statutes and therefore it is virtually impossible for me to forget the Word.
That is what I’m talking about when I say I MEDITATE on the Word of God! May God be with you as you go through your day!