Like “holiness,” the word “meditation” has gotten a bit rusty and disconnected from our everyday experiences.
That’s unfortunate and likely the reason we have a hard time connecting with what David says in the next verses of Psalm 119:
I will mediate on your precepts and think about your ways.
I will delight in your statutes;
I will not forget your word.
– Psalm 119:15-16
The truth is, we all meditate on the things we enjoy and delight in.
When I really took the time to read these verses, I couldn’t help but think of a fan-girl. Generation after generation, girls have gone crazy over young male musicians. Put a bunch of these musical boys in a group and you’ve got yourself a recipe for young female hysteria! It’s amazing the devotion that these girls can have towards the subject of their boy band of choice. A true fan-girl has integrity — going far beyond casual devotion. This kind of girl knows stuff. They know the all the names of the boys in the band. They know the boys’ backstories — their hometowns, their birthdays, their favorite foods — it can get a little scary.
How do they know all of these things? Because they meditated.
He who has an inward delight in anything will not long withdraw his mind from it.
Fan-girls spend much of their spare time soaking in all there is to know and enjoy about their delight and obsession. No one is forcing the fan-girl to focus all of their thoughts and energy on these boys. No one is telling the fan-girl that thinking and meditating on these boys would be “good for them”. They meditate on what they enjoy simply because they want to. They delight to meditate because they delight in the object of their meditation.
I wish that I had a better way to say it. But it seems that David is fan-girling over God’s Word. Is “fan-girling” even a word? We’ll go with it for now; we are a people of grace, after all.
Delight myself — the word is very emphatic; I will skip about and jump for joy.
– Adam Clarke
David just can’t get enough of God’s Word. He meditates on God’s precepts and thinks constantly about God’s ways because he just delights in them so much! I’m consistently struck by the fact that David’s devotion isn’t one of piety, but of delight! And I think that’s the kind of devotion that God longs for from us as well.
If so much of our devotion to other things is driven by delight, why would devotion to God be a cold, sterile thing?
We are no longer under a schoolmaster, but obedience is changed from a thing of force into a thing of freeness.
– Thomas Chalmers
When righteousness, from a matter of constraint becomes a matter of choice, it instantly changes its whole nature, and rises to a higher moral rank than before.
– Thomas Chalmers
As fan-girls grow up, their delight in that boy band might cool-off, but they will likely remember all the things they mediated on during their time of obsession. You’ll want these ladies around for a game of trivia. That’s because, like proclaiming, meditating on something helps us remember.
Men do not readily forget that which they have treasured up, that which they have meditated on…
This is one of the biggest reasons why I wanted to blog my journey through Psalm 119. It’s amazing to me that one of the greatest worship leaders of our faith delighted so much in the Word of God. And what do artists do when they delight in something? They create art. That’s exactly what Psalm 119 is: a life-long masterpiece dedicated to a delight in the Word of God.
I’m curious to see what David saw. Why was David so full of genuine delight over God’s Word?
Slowly but surely, I feel that I’m uncovering the riches that are found in this piece of art. I hope that you are too, and as we journey together, maybe we’ll find ourselves delighting and meditating on this treasure along with David.
In case you’re just now jumping in with us, we’ve spent 10 weeks journeying through the beginning of Psalm 119. So far we have learned:
That we’ll never drift into holiness (or happiness).
That even when we desire holiness, we often disappoint ourselves.
That we all live in light of some kind of judgment, some kind of estimation of things.
That in the tension of resolve and dependence is where we should live and make our every move.
That purity is a hard thing to come by.
That we are often conflicted people — sincere, but not self-sufficient.
That reading the Word simply isn’t enough.
And that happy people make others happy.
Take some time to catch up and share your thoughts along the journey.