Meditation ... on what?
Meditation with an OBJECTIVE
- PART 1 - Meditation on God's Word
- PART 2 - Meditation on God / His Works / His Wonders
- PART 3 - Meditation on Our Dependence on God
PART 1 - Meditation on God's Word
Focusing on God's Word
- Psalm 119 -
The psalmist really thought that God's Word was important! Seven
times he refers to it as the object of his meditation. (One other
time he indirectly associates it with the Word.)
- [See the separate study on this Psalm.]
B. RESULTS of meditating on the Word: Will be prosperous/successful
RESULTS of meditating on the Word: Being blessed
NOTE: Results of understanding God's Word (which can occur when we meditate on it):
- Psalm 119:27- Understanding God's Word makes us able to meditate on God's wonders!
The one makes us able to do the other. (See the next section)
- [An understanding of God's Word will influence our perspective on everything!]
PART 2 - Meditation on God / His Works / His Wonders
Meditation on God (a general statement)
Meditation on God's Wonders
Psalm 119:27 - "I will meditate on your wonders."
- This is the result of having a proper understanding of the Word
(which is often the result of meditating on it). According to this verse,
once God's precepts are understood (which goes beyond mere
awareness of their existence), then the psalmist can properly
meditate on God's wonders.
- The context: Meditating on God's wonders, even in times of sorrow.
[How different from the way many people do it today! They complain, instead.]
C. Meditation on God's Unfailing Love
Psalm 48:9 - "We meditate on your unfailing love."
[Context: in the temple.]
- How did God display his love? (Read the psalm.)
- Note that God's love does not contradict or nullify his
justice! In the context, his love is connected both with
righteousness and with the destruction of his enemies!
Meditation on God's Wonderful Works
Psalm 145:5 - "I will meditate on your wonderful works."
- An expression of praise for God's mighty acts - for all the
awesome things he has done! (See the context.)
- [Note: For comments about a minor textual variation in this verse, see:
"A Technical Note About Psalm 145:5."]
Meditation on God's past works ... resulting in a present
expectation of amazing works by God.
Both of these passages use two different Hebrew words which are often
translated as "meditate." For variety, translations will often use a
different word for one of them - such as muse, ponder, consider, reflect,
Psalm 77:12 - "I will meditate on all your works. / I will
meditate on all your deeds."
- He is calling out to God during a time of trial, confident that
he will bring deliverance. This is a prayer for deliverance
"as in the past."
Psalm 143:5 - "I meditate on all your works. / I meditate on the
works of your hands."
- He is referring to what God did in the past. (Refer to the Old Testament
books about Israel's history.)
- This is an appeal for deliverance from enemies. The psalmist remembers
God's past acts of deliverance.
COMMENT: ABOUT THE PSALMIST'S VIEW
- What God did in the past is the
basis for what we can expect in the future, since he is consistent
with his character. The unchanging God did wonderful things in the past... he
will continue doing them in the present and in the future!
God often uses the forces of nature to
accomplish his purposes, rather than going against them. Many people think
that God is involved only if he violates the laws of nature
(which he created) In reality, he is powerful enough to use them, to accomplish some
very awesome things! He can control nature... he doesn't have
to fight it!
PART 3 - Meditation on Our Dependence on God
Psalm 49:3 "The utterance (or meditation), from my heart will give understanding"
- What is this "utterance / meditation"? The message of this psalm - v.
- The psalm reflects on the trust people often have in
wealth and in themselves. Such a trust is futile; and people who have such a trust will one day lose
everything. They will be like beasts that perish. This
is contrasted with those whom God redeems from the grave - those who trust
in God, instead!
What God is like? In some sections of this study (such as Psalm 19), we have
focused on the issue of God being
revealed in Creation. We can get a glimpse of his power, wisdom and
glory by looking at what he has done in creation. But until his Word
changes our lives and minds, we cannot see these things in the way we ought
to see them. What is the relationship between God and his Word? What
are some of the things that are revealed about him in the Psalms you
have been studying (and any other parts of the Bible you may wish to include).
Such things had an effect on the lives (and lifestyles) of those who
wrote the psalms. How can/should they have an effect on you?
In Psalm 48, note some of the issues which form the context of God's
expression of love. Many people find some of these things to be
"unacceptable" - incompatible with their view of what God
is like. Where is our concept of God supposed to come from? In your
studies, have you found any characteristics of God that surprised you, or
were contrary to your expectations? If so, look for other
passages which say similar things, and try to develop a better
understanding of them. You may want to study the way Scripture
connects these "unexpected" characteristics with those you
are already familiar with. (It doesn't treat them like conflicting "opposites"!)
How often do you think about God's power and works? How did such
thoughts influence the psalmists? Learn from their example! Begin
thinking about God's power and work, and how it ought to effect your
own perspective on situations. Furthermore, consider not only his
works in the world around you, but also his work inside you, in
making you Christ-like! What is he doing in your life? See Romans
8:28-31 and Philippians 1:6.
Study Psalm 49. Describe the ways the psalmist contrasts those who
trust in God with those who trust in themselves and in their riches.
What is the end result of each type of trust? What do you trust in?
Is there anything in your life that might resemble the one who trusts
in himself and in riches? It might be good to look for other verses
that describe the "rich," to make sure that we are heeding
any warnings that Scriptures may give us. (All of us who are reading
this study would probably be considered "rich," compared to
most of the people in the world.)
Dennis Hinks © 1996, 2004