Study 3 THE GREAT BENEFITS OF MEDITATION
TEN STUDIES IN PSALM 119
by Francis Dixon
Key-verse: “I meditate on your decrees.” (Psalm 119:48)
Many times in Psalm 119 the writer refers to meditating in God’s Word (verses 15, 23, 48, 97, 99 and 148. There are other references in Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:1-3; Psalm 63:5-6 (KJV) and 1 Timothy 4:15 (KJV), and these all show us: first, that we should cultivate the habit of meditation; and second, that the range of our meditation is to be the whole Bible, the whole range of revealed truth from Genesis to Revelation. We are not only to receive God’s Word with humility (James 1:21); to let God’s Word dwell in us richly (Colossians 3:16); to keep God’s Word tenaciously (John 17:6); to continue in God’s Word untiringly (John 8:31); to live out God’s Word boldly (Philippians 2:16); but in addition to all this we are to meditate on it prayerfully and regularly, and this will require:-
- 1. Quietness. To meditate we must be alone.
- 2. Time. We must exclude all sense of hurry.
- 3. Concentration. We must be able to give attention.
- 4. Receptivity. Our prayer must be – Psalm 119:18.
If we regularly and habitually meditate in God’s Word, the result and the benefits will be enormous. Consider them:-
1. We shall be charged with spiritual life and vitality.
One of the most significant statements ever made by our Lord is recorded in John 6:63; but where and how does He speak to us? The answer is – in and through His Word. As we read it and wait in His presence, the Holy Spirit reveals the truth to us, we hear His voice, and receive new life and vitality from Him, who is our life (Colossians 3:4). As an illustration of this, read Luke 24:13-31, and then note verse 32! What was this “burning heart”? What had happened to these two disciples? They had been in the presence of their Lord, He had revealed Himself to them and had opened the Scriptures to them, and the result was that their hearts burned within them. Do you have a burning heart, or are you dull and listless? Are you red-hot in your love for Christ, or lukewarm? – look up Revelation 2:4 and 3:15-16.
2. We shall be soundly and thoroughly converted.
See what Psalm 19:7 says. This means that when the truth of God is applied to our life, it is so powerful that it turns our life away from all that is displeasing to the Lord, and turns it to the Lord Himself. It changes our lives right round. How is it that some Christians are only “half-committed”? This is what our Lord had in mind when He spoke to Peter (Luke 22:32). Peter was converted in an initial sense, but not in a full sense. He needed to be turned right round; and by the grace of God and through the Holy Spirit he was converted in this way and became a great blessing to his brethren and to multitudes.
3. We shall find our faith increasing until we become strong in faith.
How do we get faith? Look at Romans 10:17, which tells us that as we read and meditate in God’s Word, faith is imparted to us and developed in us. How much faith have you? – “no faith” (Mark 4:40); only a “little faith” (Matthew 6:30); or faith “as small as a mustard seed” (Matthew 17:20)? Do you desire more faith (Luke 17:6); to be strong in faith (Matthew 8:10 and 15:28)? There are degrees of faith. It is important to have much faith, for – look up Matthew 9:29.
4. We shall find the secret of living peacefully in a chaotic world.
Notice the word “steadfast” in Isaiah 26:3. It refers to a quiet, unhurried, relaxed waiting in the presence of God until our minds become stabilised with His truth. Everywhere there is fear and there are alarms. Sin abounds and God’s judgments are surely near. All this is foretold in God’s Word; but in that same Word we find confidence in the knowledge that God is working out His purpose for the world, the Jews and for the Church. Before long Jesus will return, and ultimately He will be King of kings and Lord of lords. We do not feel the power of these great truths, however, by a casual reading of Scripture. Meditation is needed – look up Luke 21:28.
5. We shall bow humbly to the sovereign will of our loving Lord in all His dealings with us and with others.
It is easy to quote Romans 8:28 when all is going well, but it is not so easy when we are faced with some crushing sorrow. It is only as we really get to know our Lord, through quiet waiting upon Him and through meditation in His Word, that we are able to trust Him and lean upon Him in the dark hour. If we will regularly meditate we will never get bitter when God’s hand is resting heavily upon us, or upon our loved ones or friends because we shall be able to say – look up Job 23:10; and we shall appreciate the truth of Psalm 37:23-24 and will be able to rest quietly upon John 13:7.
6. We shall be filled with glowing words of testimony.
Some Christians rarely speak of their Lord. Is it because they do not really know Him? – look up Daniel 11:32. We only get to know Him as we spend time with Him and as we let His Word dwell in us richly in all wisdom – compare Luke 6:45 and Colossians 3:16.
7. We shall come to know Him, rejoicing that we have eternal life.
The greatest blessing that will come to us is the personal and intimate experience we shall enjoy with our Lord (Luke 24:27; John 5:39). As we gaze on Him in His Word we shall become like Him (2 Corinthians 3:18); we shall long to please Him (2 Timothy 2:4) and obey Him (John 14:15); and we shall be able to say with ever deepening conviction – Psalm 104:34! And all day long we shall pray the prayer found in Psalm 19:14.