Is Sunday’s sermon still in your mind? Does RML feed your meditations? Is your Bible time ponder-full?!
Are you someone who ‘thinks’ about the Bible?
Perhaps you’re not a big thinker; read on. This blog is not about comprehension and context; RML teaches us that. Nor is it about becoming the next great Christian thinker. It’s a blog about the ‘every-Christian every-day work of thinking over what God says’. The Bible calls this meditation. It’s reflecting, or pondering.
Let’s look at Psalm 119. This is the Psalmist’s thinking on thinking; it expresses his delight in God’s words! It’s written to help Israelites returned from exile, showing them how to think on God’s words, whilst awaiting God’s promises.
Psalm 119 shows us:
1. Thinking is helpful.
Why is thinking about truth helpful? Thinking gets truth to our emotions, attitudes and intellect. Just look at the Psalmist’s example. By meditating on truth, he’s strengthened and comforted by it (Psalm 119:28, 50), he grows in understanding of what God’s doing (Psalm 119:66), and he increasingly loves God’s ways (Psalm 119:112).
Why is thinking necessary? Thinking embeds God’s invisible truth into our hearts. This helps in a world full of visible realities. Think about the Israelites: visibly their return from exile looked like failure: few of God’s promises had been fulfilled, the nation looks weak. Thinking is how they were to know, love and be strengthened by God’s (currently) invisible promises and character.
2. Thinking is easy.
You just take a truth and ponder it in a variety of ways. Psalm 119:15-16: ‘I will meditate on your precepts, and fix my eyes on your ways. I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word.’
Let’s practise doing these four things: Psalm 119:103 ‘God’s words are sweeter than honey.’ Meditate on it: Do you believe it? Why/why not? Fix your eyes on it; concentrate on it, not on your emails. Enjoy it: In what ways are the implications of this truth good? Remember it: When will you need to know this? How does it help when you don’t want to read your Bible? How will you remember it then?
Lastly, God helps us to think, so why not pray Psalm 119:18 ‘Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law’?
‘Remember, it is not hasty reading—but serious meditating upon holy and heavenly truths, that make them prove sweet and profitable to the soul.’ Thomas Brook - puritan thinker.
Suggestions for a sweet summer thinking project: Think over a truth from the sermon each week, think over Psalm 119, or think over a truth from your Bible time daily.
(Image: Jörg Schubert)