The Psalms especially are filled with what one might label as meditation techniques. In fact, the reality is that meditation is of God. We see in Holy scripture several different Hebrew and Greek words that are translated meditate or meditation.
Meditation is a Spiritual Discipline
The spiritual discipline of meditation as God intended it has been corrupted by various world systems – especially eastern mysticism, new age philosophy and the ever popular practice of yoga. All of these philosophies emphasize forms of meditation techniques. However, to develop a Biblical practice of meditation we must look to our Creator God – Elohim as He was known by the ancient Hebrews.
In examining the Psalms we are given much guidance concerning this ancient mind exercise we call meditation. Let’s explore the concept of meditation techniques or simply stated Biblical meditative principles…
The Fruit of Meditation on God’s Word
Psalm 1 reveals the wisdom of one who meditates on God’s word. That person …
- Does not take counsel from wicked or sinful people
- Does not associate and make alliances with unrighteous people
- Delights in God’s law
- Is prosperous in all he does
- Lives righteously
Biblical meditation is a spiritual discipline that yields blessings in the lives of believers.
The Purpose of Meditation
Joshua 1:8 states a direct command from God to His people Israel to “hagah” in the Hebrew – to meditate on the Torah (the first 5 books of the Bible) day and night. Hagah means to meditate however the emphasis of this form of meditation appears to be vocal as it also can mean to mutter, utter, muse, growl, speak or groan. This passage documents a critical juncture in the lives of the children of Israel – they are getting ready to take possession of the promised land for which they have been waiting for 40 long years – and which was promised to Abraham 430 years previously. And as God is getting ready to send them forth into the land of promise we see Him telling them to not forget to verbally and vocally meditate on His law. The purpose for this mental and verbal exercise is so the Israelites…
- Don’t let the Torah depart from their mouths
- Will be careful to do everything written in the Torah
- Will be prosperous and successful
Meditation is for the purpose of strengthening the inner man, understanding God’s ways and learning to walk in them.
The Blessings of Meditation Emanate from a Right Heart
As Joshua 1 indicates God loves His people and desires them to receive all the blessings He has in store for those who walk in obedience. These blessings come through meditating on God’s word and putting it into practice. Meditation is very different from rote memorization – which anyone can do. The fruit of meditation on God’s word begins with the kind of heart attitude King David displays in Psalm 19. King David’s heart revels in the preciousness of God’s word…
- The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul
- The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy making wise the simple
- The precepts of the LORD are right giving joy to the heart
- The commands of the LORD are radiant giving light to the eyes
- The ordinances of the LORD are sure and altogether righteous
- They are more precious than gold
- They are sweeter than honey
- They keep your servant warned
- In keeping them is great reward
The one who will benefit from meditating is the one who is desires to cultivate a humble attitude and seeks to yield his will and his ways to the LORD. They mediate because they want to grow more deeply and intimately acquainted with God and they desire His promised blessings.
The Focus of Meditation
The focus of all true, safe, godly and beneficial meditation is on the God who created the human mind, gave it the ability to meditate and then exhorted His people to put this spiritual discipline into practice…ultimately godly meditation techniques are concerned with fixing our thoughts on the Creator…in the Psalms we are taught to meditate on….
- God’s law (Psalm 1:2)
- God’s unfailing love (Psalm 48:9)
- God’s work and mighty deeds (Psalm 77:12)
- God’s precepts and ways (Psalm 119:15)
- God’s promises (Psalm 119:148)
- God’s wonderful works (Psalm 145:5)
Biblical Meditation Techniques will always serve to bring our minds back to a right perception of God. The art of mediation is to soak in the word, the wonders, the love, the ways and the promises of Almighty God for His glory and our good.