Peter Matthews, Newfoundland
In the rush and bustle of this present age we tend to become very superficial in our thinking. Meditation has become a lost art. The dictionary defines meditation as to reflect upon, ponder, contemplate, consider, carefully think out.." It is not a relaxation of the mind, but rather involves focused, mental energy.
God, through the prophet Isaiah, charged his earthly people that they did not consider (Isa. 1:3). They failed in the art of meditation, just as we so often do. But David, the man after Gods own heart (Acts 13:22) could say, "My meditation of him shall he sweet" (Ps.104:34). He also said, "thy testimonies are my meditation" (Ps.119:99), and added "0 how I love thy law! it is my meditation all the day" (Ps. 119:97). Davids mind was occupied with God and with Gods word.
One of the things we ought to keep before our minds continually is the greatness of our God. No room for shallow thinking here. "He is a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regard eth not persons" (Deut. 11:17). Here is a grand subject for our meditation. He "is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him" (Ps. 89:7). He is "the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God (1 Tim. 1:17). Angels cover their faces in his presence. He is great in majesty and in power. He "only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto" (1 Tim. 6:16). The writer to the Hebrews says of Melchizedeck, "Now consider how great this man was" (Heb. 7:4), and Melchizedeck was but a faint type of our Lord Jesus in his greatness.
O Lord my God! When I in
Consider all the works Thy hand hath made,
I see the stars, I hear the mighty thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed:
Then sings my soul my Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Following the consideration of his greatness we would now move in thought to "Consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself" (Heb. 12:3), and marvel at his humility. What a grand and glorious subject is this, worthy of deepest meditation! "Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor" (2 Cor. 8:9). God, who dwells on high, has to humble himself to behold...the things that are in the earth (Ps. 113:5,6). There was no compassion in that look, and so he not only looked, but he came down to dwell among us and to die for us. While here, with glory veiled, he made himself a servant of all as he went about doing good. He healed the sick; he fed the hungry; he raised the dead; he taught the multitudes. They marvelled at his words and declared, "Never man spake like this man" (John 746), and yet "He was despised and rejected of men" (Isa. 53:3), for "the world knew him not" (John 1:10). Mankind displayed their hatred and God displayed His love at Calvary. Who can fathom the depths to which Christ sank! He was made "sin for us" (2 Cor. 5:2 1); "He was numbered with the transgressors" (Isa. 53:12); He was "made a curse for us" (Gal. 3:13), and "died for our sins" (1 Cor. 15:3) by "cross death." What a death that was: voluntary, violent, vicarious, satisfying the demands of a holy God, and meeting the need of sinful man. Hallelujah! what a saviour!
And when I think that God,
His Son not sparing,
Sent Him to die - I scarce can take it in;
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin:
Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Samuel said, "Consider how great things he hath done for you" (1 Sam. 12:24). God was good to his earthly people. How much more has He done for us. Here is food for meditation! We have been forgiven, we have been cleansed, reconciled, justified. We have peace with God, and we have the assurance of heaven. We have been made sons, even heirs, yea joint heirs with our Lord Jesus Christ. Throughout eternal ages we shall sing, "Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us Kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever" (Rev. 1:5-6).
Heirs of God, joint-heirs
Long ere time its race began;
To His Name eternal praises,
O what wonders love hath done!
One with Jesus, By eternal union one.
Such love to us should cause a response of love to him. "We love him, because he first loved us" (1 John 4:19). But the following verse goes on to say "If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar." Indeed, it is a commandment that "He who loveth God love his brother also" (1 John 4:2 1). Hence the exhortation of scripture "Let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works" (Heb. 10:24). We need to give careful thought and consideration as to how our actions will affect our brethren. If I consider doing something that may stumble my brother, though I see no harm in it personally I should forego it for my brothers sake, for love "seeketh not her own" (1 Cor.13:5). We are exhorted "let each esteem other better than themselves." We are to live for the good of others, and should he willing to "lay down our lives for the brethren." (1 John 3:16).
Finally, we should heed the words of Haggai 1:5, "Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways. We need to examine our life daily as to whether these truths are making any difference in the way we live. Do we move with a deep, reverential fear of God? Does He inspire us to awe as we consider Him? Do we live "in the fear of the Lord all the day long?" (Prov. 23:17). Our days should be marked by "reverence and godly fear" (Heb.12:28). Then, do we have the mind of Christ as we walk humbly before God and men, remembering that "thy gentleness hath made me great" (2 Sam.22:36). Does His goodness inspire us to be "praising my Saviour all the day long?" as we joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 5:11). And as to our brethren, do we esteem them "very highly in love," viewing them in Christ, and remembering that the LORD has said, "he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye?" (Zech. 2:8). May our prayer constantly be: Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O lord, my strength, and my Redeemer (Psalm 19:14).