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The Bible has much to say about our thoughts. In this study, we will be limiting ourselves to the word "meditation" and its verb forms, which are found in the Old Testament. Of course, there are many other passages - in both Old and New Testaments - that use other words to describe similar ideas. You are welcome to expand this study to include them.
"Meditation" emphasizes the things we think about (often silently), or mention to ourselves - things we reflect upon throughout the day. It can include those thoughts we would normally not share with others - even evil thoughts (not the focus of this study!). At times, it can also include the communication of our thoughts to others - the expressions (meditations) of our heart.
The concept of "meditating," as used in the Bible, has little or no similarity with the concept of "meditating" that is common in certain man-made religions. In fact, with many of these man-made religions, the idea of "meditating" would be more the opposite of what the Bible teaches, for they often encourage a person to not think - that is, to "turn off" his mind, or to focus on "nothing" or on some meaningless sound or phrase! Their goal is to "clear" one's mind from thinking! The Bible, in contrast, teaches us to "turn on" our minds, and to focus them on God and what he has done. Instead of emptying our minds, we are to fill them with thoughts, attitudes, values and emotions - anything that is good and honoring to God.
In these studies, most of the verses focus on God and his Word. This does not mean that we should avoid thinking about other things in life. Everything that is good can have a place in our thinking - see Philippians 4:8-9. But remember this: When God has first place in our lives, and when we want to do everything in a way that pleases him, he has a part in all that we do!
Dennis Hinks © 1996, 2004