Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day. Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies, for it is ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the aged, for I keep your precepts. I hold back my feet from every evil way, in order to keep your word. I do not turn aside from your rules, for you have taught me. How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way. – Psalm 119:97-104
Have you ever had a cram session? I did this occasionally in college, when I was running out of time to study. It also happened when I got to class and was informed by my classmates that a quiz was coming that I had not anticipated. I would take out my notes or the textbook and read the material as fast as I could. I wanted to absorb as much quick information as possible, so that I could answer the quiz or test questions. Sometimes this worked in my favor and at other times this really hurt me. Regardless of the result of the test or quiz that day – the facts are that I no longer remember what I crammed into my head. The cramming had served its immediate purpose. It was to get a grade on a quiz. It did not benefit my learning, because I had purposed to use the information in a way it was not intended.
I believe many people read the Bible this way. They do not read the Bible for long-term life transformation, but they use it as a cram session to get what is needed for that moment. The Psalmist said that the God’s law was his “meditation all the day”. The word used here for meditate implies a deep and thorough study. It is a study that caused a deep reflection within the reader. This reflection could be remembered and utilized throughout the day. He did this out of a motivation of love. He loved the law of God! He knew that it made him wiser than his enemies and more learned that that of his elders. He knew how to live because he could recall what he read and applied it to his life accordingly.
We need to intently read and use every word and root it deep within our hearts. We need to let these words marinate within our souls. When meat marinates in its seasoning it soaks up the flavor and juices deep within. The longer the meat sits marinating the better it tastes! The flavor that permeates the meat is released with every bite, and floods our taste buds with epic goodness. This needs to be our attitude regarding the word of God. Don’t read it as a quick cram session, in which you will forget what is said an hour after it is read. Read it and let it marinate deep within you. Ponder over it again and again. Write it down. Memorize it. The benefits of the Word within you get better and better over time. It is these words that make us wise to spiritual things as His Holy Spirit teaches. This is what the Psalmist means when he says that he “meditates”. May the light of God’s Word be your meditation so that your heart can shout forth his praises.