The Discipline of Bible Assimilation: Meditation

Lesson 2001
Tags: Meditation; Bible
Excerpted from The Disciplines of the Christian Life
Related Resources: The Discipline of Meditation

The Duty of Meditation

The discipline of meditation is only twice commanded in the Bible. In both cases the command is given to a spiritual leader (Joshua [Josh. 1:8], Timothy [1 Tim. 4:15]). However, the duty is enjoined by positive example as well. Meditation need not be drudgery. In fact, it brings various benefits (see below). It should be motivated by love (Ps. 119:97).

The Subject of Meditation

Meditation should revolve around God:

  • His Word (Josh. 1:8; Ps. 1:2; 119:97, 99)
  • His wisdom (Ps. 49:3)
  • His person (Ps. 63:6; 104:34)
  • His works (Ps. 77:12; 143:5)
  • His service (1 Tim. 4:15).

The Benefits of Meditation

Meditation can profit the spiritual life in various ways:

  • It facilitates obedience to God’s Law, thereby contributing to spiritual success (Josh. 1:8; Ps. 1:2).
  • It enables the believer to acquire wisdom and understanding (Ps. 49:3; 119:99).
  • It produces joy (Ps. 104:34).
  • It is one of the keys to successful spiritual leadership (1 Tim. 4:15; cf. Josh. 1:8).

The Practice of Meditation

Biblical meditation is not strictly a matter of thinking, though the mind is obviously involved (Ps. 143:5). Rather, it is frequently related to the mouth (Josh. 1:8), speech (Ps. 19:14; 49:3), and prayer (Ps. 5:1). Meditation is subject to God’s approval, thus it is fitting that we pray that it would be pleasing to Him (Ps. 19:14; cf. 5:1).

Meditation may occur more naturally under particular circumstances. For example, certain times and places may seem to facilitate the practice. Times mentioned in Scripture include the evening (Gen. 24:63), nighttime (Ps. 63:6), and all day (Ps. 119:97). Places suggested in the Bible include fields (Gen. 24:63) and one’s bed (Ps. 63:6).