and on his law he meditates day and night.
Psalm 1:2 ESV
We last observed that those who are blessed by God do not merely avoid the corrupting influence of the wicked; instead, they are enraptured by a delight in God’s law, His holy Word. Their greatest joy is hearing the voice of the Blessed One. This brings us to the second half of verse 2: and on his law he meditates day and night.
Since meditation is a popular practice today, we must take particular care to explain what the biblical notion of meditation is. You see, the popular form of meditation that many often think of whenever they hear the word is inspired by Buddhism and other Eastern religions, and it is commonly practiced by clearing the mind and focusing upon breathing deeply. Biblical meditation, however, is not about clearing the mind but about focusing it upon God’s law. Thomas Watson was right to say that “meditation is chewing on the truths we have heard.” It is thinking deeply over a biblical text or biblical truth, and it is precisely how we taste and savor the goodness of God’s Word.
Indeed, it is no accident that meditation is immediately mentioned after delight, for the two feed into one another. Delight naturally breeds meditation. Do we not ponder deeply and incessantly over what we desire to have? Whenever we daydream of what our lives will be like with that next promotion, with a certain car, or with the latest smart phone, we are meditating over what we delight in. The same is true of entertainment. Who today has not become so fixated upon a film or series that it very much consumed our thoughts? That is meditation. These examples reveal that meditation is not as counter intuitive as we might have believed; instead, we happily and readily meditate upon whatever we delight in.
Thankfully, the reverse is also true. Whatever we consciously meditate upon tends to become increasingly delightful to us. So, if you lament that the Scriptures are not your delight because you very rarely meditate upon them, take comfort that if you meditate upon the Bible as a duty, it will soon also become a delight.
Finally, our meditation should be day and night. This means that there is never an inopportune time for meditating upon God’s Word. Are you working? You cannot sit down to read your Bible, but you can think over some verse or phrase. It also means that we should actively turn our thoughts to God’s law throughout the day and throughout the night. If Deuteronomy 6:7 commands us to teach God’s law to our children “when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise,” how much more should we ponder His precepts within our own heart as we do those things?
Blessed are those whose delight in God’s law is evidenced by their constant chewing and tasting of its eternal truths.