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Men's BS: Defining Biblical Meditation

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What is biblical meditation

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Defining Biblical Meditation

Old Testament terms

1. HAGAH - Hebrew term for meditate

Joshua 1:8 NASB95
8 “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.
Psalm 1:2 NASB95
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night.
It is an internal brooding over something in the heart.
(brood - think deeply about something that makes one unhappy. Thinking about something that worries you.)
In what word did the Psalmist as a parallel to the term “meditate?”
Delight - to take pleaseure
A person’s “object of delight” distinguishes him between those who are godly and those who are not.

2. SIYACH - another Hebrew term for meditate

Psalm 119:97 NASB95
97 O how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day.
In the above verse the word “meditation” is tied to “love.”
Siyach - to lovingly rehearse or go over in one’s mind.
In contrast to HAGAH, Siyach ca be either spoken out loud or said silently in one’s heart.
Siyach can be translated: TALK, SPEAK, COMPLAIN, DECLARE, PONDER, or PRAY.
See example when David clearly explained it’s practice:
Psalm 119:148 NASB95
148 My eyes anticipate the night watches, That I may meditate on Your word.


NT has many ways of expressing meditation.

NT use of the concept of MEDITATION:

1. Dwelling or thinking

Philippians 4:8 NASB95
8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
Think (logizomai) - to give careful thought to a matter, think (about), consider, ponder, or let one’s mind dwell on.

2. Considering

The writer of Hebrews exhorted God’s people to consider spiritual truths in order to persevere in the face of persecution and trials.
Hebrews 11:19 NASB95
19 He considered that God is able to raise people even from the dead, from which he also received him back as a type.
The writer reminded them not to fear death for God can raise people from the dead.
Hebrews 12:3 NASB95
3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Likewise the writer commands Christians to “consider” the suffering of Christ otherwise you will be discourage.
Hebrews 10:24–25 NASB95
24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
In the above verse the writer wants the the believers to carefully think of being responsible in spiritually building up one another.
Consider (katanoeo) - means to “direct one’s whole mind to an object, also from a higher standpoint to immerse oneself in it and hence to apprehend it in it’s whole compass.

3. Pondering

What did Mary do as she thought deeply about the unusual event and circumstances surrounding Jesus’ birth and youth.
Luke 2:19 NASB95
19 But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.
In the verse above the word pondered is derived from the Greek verb “sumballomai”, which means to think about seriously, ponder, reflect on, or debate.

4. Setting One’s Mind or Affections

Colossians 3:2 NASB95
2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.
In the above verse Paul exhorted the believers in Colosae to “set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. “Set your affection” is a translation fo the Greek verb PHRONEO, which means “to keep on giving serious consideration to something - to ponder, to let one’s mind dwell on, to keep thinking about, to fix on’e attention on.

5. Remembering

This term is used extensively in the NT.
Revelation 2:5 NASB95
5 ‘Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent.
The “remembering” kind of meditation is the first step toward evangelical repentance.
The use of remembering does not suggest the a person has forgotten, rather, it commands the believer to recall or to think about it again.
See other examples of reminders:
Hebrews 13:7 NASB95
7 Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith.
2 Timothy 2:8 NASB95
8 Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David, according to my gospel,

Meditation is presented in the NT as a key aspect for the godly renewing of the mind. It is also used as a primary means to comfort and encourage Christian perseverance.

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