What are seven key Bible verses that we ought to meditate on? What ones would you include?
What is Meditation?
Meditation is not the transcendental, existentialistic endeavors that most people think about when they hear the word. Meditating on the Word of God is completely different than that which most people associate with meditation. In Joshua 1:8 is says “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 good success.” Here we see that meditation is something we ought to do around the clock, besides the time we sleep of course. The Hebrew word for meditate is “hagah” which means “to utter, to devise, to muse,” and “to mutter.” The key here is that certain Bible verses are to be uttered over and over again and that we should muse over them. The word muse is especially important in the Hebrew meaning of meditation because it means “to consider something thoughtfully and thoroughly.” That is exactly what meditation should be; to utter it in our minds, over and over again and to consider it thoughtfully and thoroughly.
In Psalm 119:15 it says “I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways.” That fits nicely with the concept of meditation…to fix your eyes upon so we can say that meditation is contemplating, fixing our eyes (and necessarily our attention) on, considering it very carefully, thoughtfully, and thoroughly, and uttering it in the mind over and over again. Meditating on the Word of God seems to be a lost art today from many Christians that I talk to yet it is one of the most beneficial ways in which we can hide His Word in our hearts. To meditate on a Bible verse or verses is to read it (fix your eyes upon it), consider it thoughtfully, ponder it, think about it, and reflect upon it.
Meditate on God’s Faithfulness
Second Peter 2:9 “the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the Day of Judgment.”
That should be something you should memorize, not only ponder. Just think of that. God knows how to rescue “the ungodly from trials” but more than that, He knows how to “keep the unrighteous under punishment until the Day of Judgment.” That means we must leave vengeance to God (Rom 12:19) and that we can trust Him to deliver us and have the assurance that He will serve justice at the Great White Throne Judgment (Rev 20:11-15).
Meditate on Love
First Corinthians 13:1 “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.”
Jesus once told the disciples that “everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35). He didn’t say “they’ll know you by your speaking in tongues, they’ll know you by your spiritual gifts, they’ll know you by your prayers, or they’ll know you by your preaching.” Love is the identifying factor in who Jesus’ disciples are. Paul took it to the extreme and said “if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing” (1 Cor 13:3). The interesting fact is that some of those same Corinthians he was writing to would later be burned at the stake, some at Caesar’s cocktail parties as conversation pieces.
Meditate on God’s Mercy
Romans 5:8 “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Most of us can imagine having to die for our family or our friends but die for our enemies? That’s unbelievable…at least humanly speaking. When Jesus was dying an agonizing death on the cross, He said “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). That is something to consider long and hard. Meditate on just what that looks like in your mind’s eye.
Meditate on God’s Forgiveness
Second Corinthians 5:21 “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
Imagine that! The sinless Son of God who knew no sin….became sin for those of us where anything but sinless. So He became sin for us the sinners so that God would look at us and see us as having Jesus’ own righteousness. If people say that God is not fair, then consider how unfair the Father treated Jesus for our sake.
Meditate on the Lord Being with You
Genesis 39:20-21 “And Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined, and he was there in prison. But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.”
You think you had a bad day! Joseph was accused falsely and thrown in prison but never is there a word that Joseph ever grumbled or complained. In all of these different trials that Joseph endured, from his brother’s mistreatment to being imprisoned twice in Egypt, he was completely innocent. Through all of that it was still said “And the Lord was with Joseph.” Time and time again Joseph was mistreated, lied about, falsely accused, sold into slavery but…the Lord was with Joseph. This verse keeps coming to my mind when I read about others in different parts of the world who are suffering greatly and some being murdered for their faith yet they don’t grumble and complain because they know that the Lord is with them.
Meditate on God’s Compassion
Psalm 103:13-14 “As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.”
Psalm 103 is among my favorite chapters in the entire Bible. Think of the tenderness of this psalm. God loves His children more than a human father, He shows them compassion if they fear Him, and He understands the fragility of our frames. He know we just dust. He shows compassion to those that fear Him but this is not a dread or terror like the fear of being struck dead at any moment. The fear of which the Psalmist writes is a holy, reverential fear of the deepest respect.
Meditate on our Security
John 10:28-29 “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.”
This is one of my favorite memory verses because it gives those who lack trust in God’s Word that they might not be saved and fear that they’ve lost their salvation the reassurance and security they need. Jesus says “I give them eternal life” but if they lose it in 5 years, or 10 years, was it eternal? No, it was 5-year life or 10-year life. Just to reinforce what Jesus is saying about this eternal life He says that “no one will snatch them out of My hand” but there is even greater security for He adds “no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand” either. If that isn’t security, what is? What created thing could wrestle something out of the hand of Jesus Christ or the Father? The answer is no one or nothing as Paul declares “neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 8:38-39). That settles that!
I included these verses to mediate on because these are ones that I have memorized. If you memorize Scripture, it is so easy to meditate on them whenever and wherever you want. Draw on these verses when you need to meditate on God’s faithfulness, His love, His mercy, His forgiveness, His loyalty in staying with you, His compassion, and the security that can be found only in Him. Meditate on those things for a while.
Another Reading on Patheos to Check Out: What Did Jesus Really Look Like: A Look at the Bible Facts
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Blind Chance or Intelligent Design available on Amazon