Who do you think talks to you the most? Your teacher? Your parents? Your annoying brother or sister who won’t be quiet? I think the answer may surprise you. The person who talks to you the most is you. No one talks to yourself more than you do. It is helpful if you keep the conversation in your head and not talk to yourself out loud because people may think you’re a bit weird. God created you and me to try to make sense out of life. We are constantly trying to figure out what in the world is going on and we do that by talking to ourselves.
We have been working through Psalm 1. We have talked about how the little daily decisions we make add up to the direction of our life. The author of Psalm 1, King David, wrote that you are blessed if you do not choose to follow your own way. It will lead from bad to worse. What is difficult is that our own hearts can lead us astray. God created us to have desires and loves and delights, and there are lots of voices that whisper to our heart with a honey sweet voice. Some of those voices lead you along the path of destruction, but there is one voice, the voice of wisdom, that we should not only listen to it but delight in. King David wrote the thing that should delight our heart more than anything else in this world, is the law of the Lord. God’s Word. Listen to the passage again:
Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
Unlike for the ungodly and sinners, God’s law does not bring punishment and judgment to those that love God’s word, it brings wisdom and life. That is why we are to delight in it. One of the marks that demonstrates how much we delight in God’s word, is our meditation on it.
Our understanding of the word meditation has been changed by TV and movies. We think meditation and we think some person seated on a rug with folded legs, in a lotus position, with eyes closed, humming to themselves. King David’s use of the word meditation means to think about it. Reflect on it. Bring it to mind over and over. Another way to say it is to muse on it. Remember talking about the 9 muses? They were the good goddesses that brought wisdom, knowledge, and creativity. To muse on something is to meditate on it. The word music comes from the word muse. It is incredible how our brains respond to music. We have all had that song that gets stuck in our head. How we keep playing our favorite tune over and over in our mind. If we can’t stop singing “Let It Go”, we certainly can spend our mental energy on something of eternal value. Constantly thinking about it and bringing it to mind. That is meditating. That is how we are to be meditating on God’s word.
To pause and think about it. During the day, before you go to sleep, when you wake up in the middle of the night. Always thinking about it. What does King David say to meditate and muse on? It’s certainly not Disney songs, but it’s God’s Word. In fact, when David wrote this psalm, the only books of the Bible he had were Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Just 5 books. Mediate on books like Leviticus and Numbers? Yes! David just had a few books and we have 66 books, how much more should we prize God’s word and be so thankful for the privilege we have today with a complete Bible!
A preacher in the 1800’s by the name of Charles Spurgeon wrote a warning that goes along with this passage. He wrote
“Perhaps some of you can claim a sort of negative purity because you do not walk in the way of the ungodly; but let me ask you–Is your delight in the law of God? Do you study God’s Word? Do you make it the man of your right hand–your best companion and hourly guide? If not, this blessing belongeth not to you.”
What Spurgeon is warning is that the person who is not doing bad things but at the same time is really not interested in God’s word, it doesn’t delight them to read it and memorize it. What he is saying, is that person is not someone who is enjoying the blessings of Psalm 1. They will not experience the fullness of joy that comes from loving and craving God’s Word. It is really not about just living a good life. You can look good on the outside but your heart can be cold towards the Bible on the inside. It is about a heart that loves God and a mind that cannot stop thinking about His Word. Good comes forth from a heart the delights in God’s Word.
A preacher of today named John Piper writes,
“The deepest mark of this happy person in Psalm 1 is that he delights in the Word of God. Bible reading and Bible memory and meditation are not a burden to him, but a pleasure. This is what we want. What a sadness when Bible reading is just a drudgery. Something is wrong.
What shall we do? We struggle with Bible reading and memory and meditation because we don’t find pleasure in it. We have other things we want to get to more. TV or breakfast or work or newspaper or computer. Our hearts incline to other things and do not incline to the Word. And so it is not a delight.”
This is very sad but I know at times it is true of me and I am guessing if we are all honest, it is true of us all.
How does meditating on God’s word lead to a heart that delights in the Bible? It starts with memorization. You cannot muse on something you don’t remember. The teachers ask you to memorize Bible verses not so that they can put a grade on a report card. No, so you can hide God’s word in your heart and it will be there to think about when you are in the car, on your bed, walking down the hallway, everywhere! You think about things you delight in and you delight in things you think about. One leads to the other.
My challenge to all you, myself included. When you talk to yourself, which we all do, all day long, speak life to yourself. Tell yourself Bible verses. Meditate on God’s word. Allow God’s word to saturate your mind and you will find that your heart will grow more and more in love with an amazing God.