Meditating on God’s Word (Psalm 119:15)

I will meditate on Your precepts
And regard Your ways.

Psalm 119:15

Lately, it seems I have allowed the business of things to get in the way of truly meditating on God’s Word the way I ought to. I was thinking, over the weekend, that I will sit down and be touched by what God has to say to me during my devotional time, but I will then get up from the keyboard and the distractions of the day will crowd in and I feel like the soil of my heart has weeds that need to be pulled. Coming across this verse at this time feels like a confirmation of what I felt God was saying to me over the weekend.

Meditation has gotten a bad rap. It is not that I think I need to go out and buy an over-sized pillow and some strange pajamas and lousy music and candles — that is precisely the sort of meditation that has given the practice as a whole a bad reputation. More, the notion of “emptying my mind” that is popular in so many of the forms of meditation practiced by folks these days would have been absurd to the psalmist and to generations of Western thinkers. Meditation, in the sense of this verse, is to fix my mind on something and mull it over; to ponder it; to ruminate on it if I have the leisure to sit while I think. We all meditate on things, though we do not call it by that name. When we consider a large purchase, we will often spend uncounted hours and days and weeks thinking about the purchase — Can we afford it? Is it the right fill-in-the-blank? Do we really need it? Can we do without it? What will we have to sacrifice in order to make it work if it is necessary but our budget hasn’t the room for it? — we meditate on it. Again, none of the accoutrements of what moderns call meditation. The reality is that I cannot obey God’s adjurement in to speak to my children about His Word while walking around with them or while lounging at home or while eating a meal (Deuteronomy 6:6-9) if I am not meditating on God’s Word.

To do this is contrary to the culture in which I live. I am an informational gourmand living in the midst of a society of informational gourmands. We take in information without digesting it. We acquire facts without considering what they mean. We hear news and forget it hours later. 21st Century American society is antagonistic toward the notion of meditating on God’s Laws and looking steadily at His ways. The society in which I live has, by and large, forgotten how to savor things. And I have learned this habit from society.

This morning, let me re-education begin. Let me meditate on this: God’s Word is worthy of prolonged consideration. The things of life must be attended to, but God’s Word must return to my mind when those things are dealt with.


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