Reading: Psalm 119
I call with all my heart; answer me, LORD,
and I will obey your decrees.
I call out to you; save me
and I will keep your statutes.
I rise before dawn and cry for help;
I have put my hope in your word.
My eyes stay open through the watches of the night,
that I may meditate on your promises.
Hear my voice in accordance with your love;
preserve my life, LORD, according to your laws.
Those who devise wicked schemes are near,
but they are far from your law.
Yet you are near, LORD,
and all your commands are true.
Long ago I learned from your statutes
that you established them to last forever (NIV).*
Meditation. It seems everyone is doing it. Have you taken up meditation? Even the Bible encourages us to meditate.
Ah, but there are some fundamental differences between transcendental meditation and the meditation that is described in the Bible. Eastern meditation, which springs from the Hindu religion, calls on the practitioner to relax and empty his or her mind.
Biblical meditation is not an emptying of the mind, or a disengagement with the thought process. Instead, it is active, concentrated thought on a topic, word or Bible verse. On an intellectual level, it has been compared to rumination—a cow chewing her cud. It involves getting the most out of what God has said—digesting His word—so it is fully incorporated into the life of the believer.
Today’s reading sheds light on the psalmist’s practice of biblical meditation: I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in your word. My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises.
The psalmist is thoroughly engaged with God. He is crying out to Him. He is focused on the word of God and His promises: I have put my hope in your word.
In the rush of life, do we stop and meditate on God’s word? Is Bible reading just a box to check off as we speed through our day? It’s the LORD who calls us aside to spend time with Him.
Response: LORD God, with all the distractions around me, I want to get in the habit of meditating on your word. Help me to focus my attention and thoughts on your promises. You are good to me. Amen.
Your Turn: Are you easily distracted from God’s word? Do you take it with you through the day?
* New International Version, Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica
Volume II of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer by award-winning author David Kitz is available now. For a closer look at Volumes I and II click here.