Recently I’ve heard debate in Christian circles about the word “meditation.” Some feel it’s valuable and produces blessing, while others maintain that meditation is a tool of Satan to lead us astray. Which is accurate? Should we engage in meditation or trash the whole idea?
Since we engage in Biblical Meditation in any retreat I lead, this is an issue worth addressing. The problem seems to lie in the definition of the word, so let me define for you the Spiritual Discipline of Biblical Meditation.
The word most often translated “meditation” by our English translations is the Hebrew word haga. Haga literally means to mutter, as in pondering something by talking to oneself, reading or repeating Scripture so that one can keep his/her thoughts on God, or talking to God about what one is encountering in His Word.
The first time haga is used in the Tanach (Old Testament) is in Joshua 1:8:
“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”
Haga is also found in the description of the righteous person who meditates in God’s law, and also for David whose thoughts are on God.
“But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night.” Psalm 1:2.
“When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches.” Psalm 63:6
Notice that God asks Joshua to meditate ON something, to fill his mind with God’s Word. The righteous person in Psalm 1 is also meditating ON the “Book of the Law” (the Bible). And David fills his mind with pondering thoughts of God in the night.
Biblical Meditation, then, is filling our minds with God and His Word. At no time does God ask someone to empty their mind. Instead, He asks us to keep our thoughts on Him.
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:4,5.
Now that we know what the Spiritual Discipline of Biblical Meditation is, it’s apparent how valuable it is in our daily walk with God. Without Biblical Meditation we would read a passage of Scripture and maybe learn some facts but never let the meaning of those facts soak into our hearts. Without Biblical Meditation we would not stop and ponder a passage long enough for God to reveal its message for our own life. Without Biblical Meditation we would relegate our time with God to one slot in the morning, but not give His Word thought during the rest of the day.
God invites us to meditate on Him and on His Word, so that we can be like Joshua, doing all that is written in the Bible and therefore walking the path that will prosper us.
Was this helpful in the ongoing discussion of this topic? Please leave a comment!
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