Biblical Meditation

Psalm 104:34  My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the LORD.

Psalm 119:97  O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.

Psalm 119:99  I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.

Are you interested in meditation? The net is full of good and bad material about the topic, much of the so-called “christian” meditation is just paganism wrapped in Roman Catholic robes. This popular Romanish form of meditation is similar to the mantra chanting found in Hinduism but that’s not what I’m posting about.

For real, biblical meditation have a listen to Rev. Cornelis Pronk’s sermon that outlines the biblical practice of meditation here or Dr. Joel Beeke’s lecture here. I had a listen to both mp3’s back in 2007 and found them very helpful.

Some reading to get started; The Puritan Practice of Meditation or Beating a Path to Heaven.   Using the Bible as your source for true meditation also try Gadsby’s Hymns, the writings of J.C. Philpot, The Scottish Psalter, or Daily Light.

Philip Doddridge, “Awake, O my forgetful soul, awake from these wandering dreams. Turn thee from this chase of vanity, and for a little while be persuaded, by all these considerations, to look forward, and to look upward, at least for a few moments. Sufficient are the hours and days given to the labors and amusements of life. Grudge not a short allotment of minutes, to view thyself and thine own more immediate concerns: to reflect who and what thou art, how it comes to pass that thou art here, and what thou must quickly be!
It is indeed as thou hast seen it now represented. O my soul! thou art the creature of God, formed and furnished by him, and lodged in a body which he provided, and which he supports; a body in which he intends thee only a transitory abode. O! think how soon this `tabernacle’ must be `dissolved,’ (2 Cor. 5:1) and thou must `return to God.’ (Eccl. 12:7) And shall He, the One, Infinite, Eternal, Ever-blessed, and Ever-glorious Being, shall He be least of all regarded by thee? Wilt thou live and die with this character, saying, by every action of every day, unto God, `Depart from me, for I desire not the knowledge of thy ways?’ (Job 21:14) The morning, the day, the evening, the night, every period of time has its excuses for this neglect. But O! my soul, what will these excuses appear when examined by his penetrating eye! They may delude me, but they cannot impose upon him.
O thou injured, neglected, provoked Benefactor! when I think but for a moment or two of all thy greatness and of all thy goodness, I am astonished at this insensibility which has prevailed in my heart, and even still prevails; I `blush and am confounded to lift up my face before thee.’ (Ezra 9:6) On the most transient review, I `see that I have played the fool,’ that `I have erred exceedingly.’ (I Sam. 26:21) And yet this stupid heart of mine would make its having neglected thee so long a reason for going on to neglect thee. I own it might justly be expected, that, with regard to thee, every one of thy rational creatures should be all duty and love; that each heart should be full of a sense of thy presence; and that a care to please thee should swallow up every other care. Yet thou `hast not been in all my thoughts;’ (Psa. 10:4) and religion, the end and glory of my nature, has been so strangely overlooked, that I have hardly ever seriously asked my own heart what it is. I know, if matters rest here, I perish; yet I feel in my perverse nature a secret indisposition to pursue these thoughts; a proneness, if not entirely to dismiss them, yet to lay them aside side for the present. My mind is perplexed and divided; but I am sure, thou, who madest me, knowest what is best for me. I therefore beseech thee that thou wilt, `for thy name’s sake, lead me and guide me.’ (Psa. 31:3) Let me not delay till it is for ever too late. `Pluck me as a brand out of the burning!’ (Amos 4:11) O break this fatal enchantment that holds down my affection to objects which my judgment comparatively despises! and let me, at length, come into so happy a state of mind that I may not be afraid to think of thee and of myself, and may not be tempted to wish that thou hadst not made me, or that thou couldst for ever forget me; that it may not he my best hope, to perish like the brutes.
If what I shall farther read here be agreeable to truth and reason, if it be calculated to promote my happiness, and is to be regarded as an intimation of thy will and pleasure to me, O God, let me hear and obey! Let the words of thy servant, when pleading thy cause, be like goads to pierce into my mind! and let me rather feel, and smart, than die! Let them be `as nails fastened in a sure place;’ (Eccl. 12:4) that whatever mysteries as yet unknown, or whatever difficulties there be in religion, if it be necessary, I may not finally neglect it; and that, if it be expedient to attend immediately to it, I may no longer delay that attendance! And, O! let thy grace teach me the lesson I am so slow to learn and conquer that strong opposition which I feel in my heart against the very thought of it! Hear these broken cries, for the sake of thy Son, who has taught and saved many a creature as untractable as I, and can `out of stones raise up children unto Abraham!’ (Matt. 3:9) Amen.” [online: The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul in print here]

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