“Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long.” Psalm 119:97 (NIV)
When was the last time you reflected on a particular verse or passage of Scripture all day? Biblical meditation is the practice of pondering what a specific biblical truth means and what putting it into practice looks like in our lives. It’s this habit of thinking deeply about the meaning of Scripture that brings about lasting life change. In today’s stanza of Psalm 119, the psalmist lays out the benefits of developing this habit.
First, meditating on Scripture cultivates godly wisdom and discernment. The writer says, “Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me. I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes” (vv98-99 NIV). As followers of Jesus, it’s crucial that we see circumstances around us for what they actually are. We develop wisdom and insight by taking biblical truth with us as we go about our day.
Pondering scriptural truth deepens our awareness into how the world works because we’re intimately connected to the Creator. When we apply ourselves to study His Word, God Himself teaches us (v102). The Holy Spirit, who lives within every believer, is our Guide, Counselor, and Teacher.
But we gain more than head knowledge. Meditating on Scripture gives us practical wisdom for how to live each day (vv100, 104). The psalmist, once again, uses the illustration of life as a path. As he developed godly understanding he not only stayed on the right path but learned to “hate every wrong path.”
Of course, carrying God’s Word in our thoughts throughout the day indicates that we’ve read it in the morning. If we want to understand the deep truths of God, then we have to do more than skim a verse or two just to say we’ve done it. History is full of people who habitually read and memorized Scripture, yet thought and lived in ways contrary to the heart of God.
That’s why the psalmist keeps coming back to the same point—obedience. Simply reading the Bible doesn’t diffuse some magical property into our lives. We have to put what God teaches us into practice. That’s the key to lasting life change. When we have that kind of wisdom, insight, and practical understanding of life, we don’t have to worry that we’ll make a wrong turn and miss God’s will. What biblical truth do you need to put into practice today?