What Does It Mean When We Use The Phrase To “Meditate On Gods Written Word?”
The Bible offers numerous insights into Scripture meditation. Learning what God’s Word has to say about it is essential to comprehending the topic.
Meditation Is Reading and Quoting God’s Word to Yourself
The Hebrew word translated as meditate in the verses below, hâgâh, means “to murmur (in pleasure or anger): by impl. to ponder.” The same word is also translated elsewhere in the Old Testament as imagine, mourn, mutter, roar, speak, study, talk, and utter.
“For thy mercy is better than lives: thee my lips shall praise. Thus will I bless thee all my life long: and in thy name I will lift up my hands. Let my soul be filled as with marrow and fatness: and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips. If I have remembered thee upon my bed, I will meditate [hâgâh] on thee in the morning: because thou hast been my helper. And I will rejoice under the covert of thy wings: my soul hath stuck close to thee: thy right hand hath received me.” (Psalm 63:3–7).
“I remembered the works of the Lord: for I will be mindful of thy wonders from the beginning. And I will meditate [hâgâh] on all thy works: and will be employed in thy inventions. Thy way, O God, is in the holy place: who is the great God like our God? Thou art the God that dost wonders. Thou hast made thy power known among the nations:” (Psalm 77:11–14).
“my spirit is in anguish within me: my heart within me is troubled. I remembered the days of old, I meditated [hâgâh] on all thy works: I meditated upon the works of thy hands. I stretched forth my hands to thee: my soul is as earth without water unto thee. Hear me speedily, O Lord: my spirit hath fainted away. Turn not away thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit. Cause me to hear thy mercy in the morning; for in thee have I hoped. Make the way known to me, wherein I should walk: for I have lifted up my soul to thee.” (Psalm 143:4–8).
“Let not the book of this law depart from thy mouth: but thou shalt meditate [hâgâh] on it day and night, that thou mayst observe and do all things that are written in it: then shalt thou direct thy way, and understand it.” (Joshua 1:8).
“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, or set foot on the path of sinners, or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the Law of the LORD, and on His law he meditate [hâgâh] day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, yielding its fruit in season, whose leaf does not wither, and who prospers in all he does.” (Psalm 1:1–3).
Meditation Is Reflection and Devotion
Another Hebrew word, sîychâh, means “reflection, devotion” and is also translated as prayer. Meditation is a prayerful reflection upon words of Scripture. Notice the benefits of meditation that are set forth in the following verse: “He that getteth wisdom loveth his own soul: he that keepeth understanding shall find good” (Proverbs 19:8).
“Oh, how I love Your law! All day long it is my meditation [sîychâh]. Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies, for they are always with me. I have more insight than all my teachers, for Your testimonies are my meditation [sîychâh].” (Psalm 119:97-99).
Meditation Is Exalting God in Song
“May the words of my mouth and the meditation [higgâyôwn] of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14). The Hebrew word translated as meditation means “a murmuring sound, i.e., a musical notation”; it is translated as solemn sound. Meditation can be a reverent, musical repetition of God’s Word.
As you sing to the Lord, using Scripture songs composed by others or songs that you compose yourself, meditate on the truths you are declaring and affirming. Be aware that you are in the presence of your holy God, and reverence Him. Adore Him; rejoice in Him; petition Him; delight in His promises.
Meditation Is Reviewing, Believing, and Declaring God’s Word to Your Soul and to God
The Hebrew word translated as meditate in the following passage, sîyach, means “to ponder, i.e. (by impl.) converse (with oneself, and hence aloud) or (trans.) utter.” Elsewhere in the Old Testament it is translated as commune, complain, declare, muse, pray, speak, and talk (with). Meditation is communing with God in the language of His own written Word—reviewing, believing, and declaring His Word to your own soul and to the Lord. Notice that the psalmist meditates during the day and during the night.
“With all my heart I have sought You; do not let me stray from Your commandments. I have hidden Your word in my heart that I might not sin against You. Blessed are You, O LORD; teach me Your statutes. With my lips I proclaim all the judgments of Your mouth. I rejoice in the way of Your testimonies as much as in all riches. I will meditate [sîyach] on Your precepts and regard Your ways.. I will delight in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word. I delight in Your commandments because I love them. I lift up my hands to Your commandments, which I love, and I meditate [sîyach] on Your statutes. I call with all my heart; answer me, O LORD! I will obey Your statutes. I call to You; save me, that I may keep Your testimonies. I rise before dawn and cry for help; in Your word I have put my hope. My eyes anticipate the watches of night, that I may meditate [sîyach] on Your word. Hear my voice, O LORD, according to Your loving devotion; give me life according to Your justice.”(Psalm 119:10–16, 47–48, 145–149).
Meditation Is Pondering God’s Truth to Gain Wisdom and Understanding
This Greek word, meletao, means “to take care of; i.e. (by impl.) revolve in the mind.” You and I would be wise to heed Paul’s exhortation to Timothy and to meditate on the Word of God, so that we can mature in our understanding and application of God’s Word. The fruit of meditation on God and His ways will affect not only our lives; it also will affect “them that hear thee” (I Timothy 4:16).
“Till I come, attend unto reading, to exhortation, and to doctrine. Neglect not the grace that is in thee, which was given thee by prophesy, with imposition of the hands of the priesthood. Meditate meletao upon these things, be wholly in these things: that thy profiting may be manifest to all. Take heed to thyself and to doctrine: be earnest in them. For in doing this thou shalt both save thyself and them that hear thee.” (I Timothy 4:13–16). Also check out: Suggestions on How to Meditate on Scripture