In our “microwave” society, this is a concept that often seems long forgotten. While the word is not used very often in Scripture, it is used very powerfully. The Hebrew word haga is used over 30 times in the OT, and is used to describe a deep thinking, contemplation, and thinking through the implications of a matter.
Before Joshua led the people into the land of Canaan God told this new young leader “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; (Jos 1:8 NAS). It is meditation that leads to wisdom, which leads to obedience.
David wrote in Psalm 19:14, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Notice that David did not say “meditations,” but the singular “meditation.” This is because we are to not let our heart be free to meditate on what it wants. We are to meditate on the singular act of understanding and obedience of God’s Word.
One of the greatest things to meditate on is the character of God and the promises of God. God has never promised to reveal His specific plans to us. We spend so much time worrying about the future and praying to God for Him to reveal the “right” answers to us. He is not like a stern schoolmaster asking us difficult questions and then demanding the right answers. Rather, He is a loving Father who tells us to trust Him in our difficult and often perplexing circumstances. We can trust Him because we know Him through His word.
We meditate on His character, His goodness, and His promises. This is all we need.
In Genesis 24, we see Isaac, the son of Abraham out in the fields. He was now a grown man, and no doubt his father told him countless times of God’s promise to give them land and a huge family. And, to make this promise more intriguing, the huge family would have to come through Isaac. For this, Isaac knew that he needed a key ingredient–a wife. In v. 63, the text says that “Isaac went out to meditate in the field toward evening.” The real question is, “On what was he meditating?” While we can’t know for sure, we are sure that the first thing that Isaac sees after being disturbed from his meditation is a whole caravan of camels and as he focuses, all his attention is diverted to the beautiful woman sitting on one of the camels. A wife! The wife! God’s gift of a wife!
God’s promises and God’s character are all we need to navigate the difficulties and complexities of life. It is what we need when we are tempted, and when we are beaten down. And, more importantly, as David says in Psalm 14, the meditation of our heart can be found to be pleasing to the Lord. And, when the Lord is pleased with the mediation of our heart, there is no need to worry about anything, much less the future.
For 2017, let’s remember this one simple truth, that when our actions and good works don’t flow from the meditation of our heart, then the Lord’s attention turns elsewhere. However, meditation of God’s character and God’s promises which leads to right thinking and right actions–that lead to the Lord’s smile. And that can light up anyone’s world!