I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that you have done; I ponder the work of your hands. Psalm 143:5 (ESV) (ESV)
The great Puritan preacher John Owen wrote in his book Spiritual-Mindedness, “How can we call ourselves Christians if we spend our days hardly ever thinking of Christ?” That is a convicting question. Our lives are filled with numerous activities that consume our time leaving little much needed “down” time. Sadly, even when we do have time for relaxation we have a tendency to want to be entertained, so we usually turn to our favorite social media outlets.
I suspect we fall miserably short of spending much time doing what King David relates to God in Psalm 143:5. We too often take for granted all that God has done. I suppose many of us rarely spend time pondering the work of his hands; not only what God has done in the work of creation but also the work he has done in our hearts and in the lives of others. And let’s not fail to mention his promises (Psalm 119:148).
The psalmists give us several examples of how we can spend our time in meditation. Consider these: I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. (Psalm 119:15 ESV) Make me understand the way of your precepts, and I will meditate on your wondrous works. (Psalm 119:27 ESV) I will lift up my hands toward your commandments, which I love, and I will meditate on your statutes. (Psalm 119:48 ESV) God’s works, his ways and his attributes are so infinite we will spend an eternity in awe-struck gazing-meditation upon them. Our time spent in meditation now is a warm up for eternity.
The Hebrew word for meditate used in Psalm 143:5 means to ponder, imagine, speak, study, and talk. Psalm 119:15, 27, and 48 use a different word for meditate, yet it means something very similar. It too means to ponder but can also mean to converse with oneself out loud. And we thought only crazy people talk to themselves. Have you ever taken the time to just speak to God about the mighty works he has done? Over the years my wife and I have had conversations recalling to one another the wonders God has performed for us. We haven’t done this as often as we should and usually in a time of crisis, but these conversations have been encouraging times of meditation.
David wrote, My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips, when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night. (Psalm 63:5-6 ESV) David’s times of meditation upon God increased his joy in God that resulted in worship of God. What better avenue to increase our joy in God than by meditating on his infinite wonders? Our times of meditation on God will always ultimately lead to times of exultation. A soul filled with the wonders and beauty of God will most certainly express itself in rejoicing with joy inexpressible and filled with glory (1 Peter 1:8).
One psalmist penned, On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate. (Psalm 145:5 ESV) I fear many Christians spend more time gazing on lesser glories than gazing on the glories of God. And if we are ever to be changed into his image we must spend time beholding (meditating on) the glory of God (2 Corinthians 3:18). And God’s glory shines bright in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4:6). Our meditations would be sorely incomplete if we did not spend time thinking about the work of redemption wrought in us by the finished work of Jesus on the cross.
What do you think about when you have time to think about anything you want?
Scriptures for meditation:
Psalm 119:97, 99,148