Why do we need to Meditate on the Scriptures?

Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day.
Psalms 119:97 ESV

Gospel meditation is deep thinking on the truths and spiritual realities revealed in the Scriptures for the purpose of understanding, application, and prayer.

Donald Whitney

These are the 5 Reasons why we need to meditate on the Scriptures.

Meditation is Commanded

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
Joshua 1:8 ESV

Every Christian has obligation to meditate on the Word of God. Joshua 1:8 explicitly commands the people of God to not let the Word depart from their mouth but to meditate on it day and night (not once a month or once a week only!).

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Philippians 4:8 ESV

We must always think of honorable, pure, and lovely. If there is anything such as these things, it is only the Word of God. We must spend time with the Word (1 Tim 4:15) for we are commanded to meditate on it for the good of our souls. Meditation is for our benefit.

Meditation is Commended

Notice the following verses on Psalm 119:

15  I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. 
48  I will lift up my hands toward your commandments, which I love, and I will meditate on your statutes. 
97 Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day.
148  My eyes are awake before the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promise. 

Meditation gains God’s approval. The Scripture commends the meditation of God’s word. If there’s anything worthy of our time, don’t go anywhere but the Word of God. For in it, you’ll see more of the loveliness of Christ, the graciousness of God, and the abiding fellowship of the Spirit.

Richard Baxter strongly affirms the benefits of meditation that if it won’t do any Christians well, they better stop doing it.

“If by the means of motivation you don’t find an increase of your graces and don’t grow beyond the stature of common Christians and not serviceable in your place and more precious in the eyes of God’s people and do not enjoy communion with God, and your life isn’t fuller with comfort, then never meditate again and call me no more than a deceiving fool.”

R. Baxter

Something will really happen when you meditate for God is faithful to those who honor His Word.

Meditation Enlightens the Mind.

My mouth shall speak wisdom; the meditation of my heart shall be understanding.
Psalms 49:3 ESV
I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation.
Psalms 119:99 ESV

He who meditates God’s word has more light and greater understanding. It enables him to think clearly. It is a superior instructor and teacher for we are reading and soaking ourselves in the inspired Word of the Resident Truth Teacher, the Holy Spirit. An ordinary Christian faithful in gospel meditation every day is more knowledgeable than seminary students.

It is fearful to know that only a few Christians invest their time in meditation. Our generation produces thoughtless youths. It produces biblical illiterate young people. Our kids may be thoughtless because we do not demonstrate before their eyes the importance and benefits of meditation.

Joel Beeke and Mark Jones rightly observe, “One hindrance to growth among Christians today is our failure to cultivate spiritual knowledge. We fail to give enough time to prayer and Bible-reading, and we have abandoned the practice of meditation.1

In meditation, our mind is enlightened because we have the Spirit who illumines.

Meditation Stirs Affection

My heart became hot within me. As I mused, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue:
Psalms 39:3 ESV

In Scripture reading, the truth enters the mind. In meditation, it penetrates the heart. We do not only want to fill our minds with the divine truths, we also what our affection to be moved that we may cultivate more love to Christ, more love to the Father, and more love to the Spirit.

Meditation of the word is what fire to the water. Though your heart is cold in regard of affection to the Word, this fire under it and it will boil with love to it.

George Swinnock

This has a weighty implication if you are a preacher. You can never be an effective preacher of the word of God if you do not spend time in meditation. If you only read and meditate on God’s word in order to preach, then you cannot expect your message to have power.

Our daily meditation feeds our Sunday preaching. But God is gracious, He grants us grace that we may speak His Word powerfully despite our shortcomings.

Meditation Engages the Will.

This is the ultimate end of meditation. In Joshua 1:8, the meditation of the law has a particular purpose “…so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it.” Constant meditation leads to practice.

Donald Whitney said that “Deep thinking on the truths of Scripture is the key to putting it into practice.”

If we truly love the LORD we will spend much time with His Word. If we truly love His Word we will soak ourselves in it. May we be diligent in Scripture meditation. Instead of finding delight and contemplating on the things of this world, let us find delight in His Word.

Albert Barnes commented on Psal 119 and Psalm 1,

“O how love I thy law,” implies intense love —  as if a man were astonished at the fervour of his own emotion. His love was so ardent that it was amazing and wonderful to himself - perhaps wonderful that he, a sinner, should love the law of God at all; wonderful that he should ever have been brought so to love a law which condemned himself. Any man who reflects on what his feelings are by nature in regard to religion, will be filled with wonder that he loves it at all; all who are truly religious ought to be so filled with love to it, that it will be difficult for them to find words to express the intensity of their affection.
But His delight —  His pleasure; his happiness. Instead of finding his happiness in the society and the occupations of the wicked, he finds it in the truth of God. The law or truth of God is not distasteful to him, but he so delights in it as to desire to become more and more acquainted with it, and to have its truths impressed more and more on his heart.


Note: This post is based on our pastor’s sermon during our midweek service at Bella Vista Outreach.

1Beeke, J. R., & Jones, M. (2012). A Puritan theology : doctrine for life. Reformation Heritage Books. p. 889

‌Read How Should We Meditate Upon God’s Word? to learn the practical steps of meditating the Word.

Published by Jeff Chavez

Sinner saved by grace

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