How to Have a Happy Soul
Published: Monday, February 27, 2012
The Power of Bible Meditation
The Amplified Bible defines the word Selah as "pause, and calmly think of that!" This phrase is a key to understanding the concept of Bible meditation, which is an enriching process for every believer to engage in. It leads to happiness of soul and deep, inner peace. There are two primary Hebrew words for meditation that are used in the Bible:
1. Hagah--to mutter, to bow down, to muse, to murmur, to converse with oneself (usually aloud), to speak, to babble, to communicate, to groan, and to roar. Notice how many of these descriptions involve vocalization, the literal speaking forth of God's Word.
Meditation, therefore, involves the gift of speech and communication in addition to thinking and feeling. The idea of "muttering" God's Word suggests a repetitious process of proclaiming the truths and promises of the Bible in the face of any and all circumstances. Paul writes, "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (Romans 10:8, NKJV, italics mine).
2. Sciach--this is used in Psalm 119:15: "I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate your ways" (NKJV). Rehearsing a portion of the Word of God in your mind is a process that is in some ways comparable to "learning your lines' for a play or performance. By repeating them over and over again they become a part of you, and you are able to speak them forth as you need them in your daily walk with God.
There are two Greek words for meditation that are used in the New Testament:
1. Meletao--to be careful, to take care of, and to resolve in your mind to do what the Scripture says. This is the application phase of meditation. Paul told Timothy to: "Meditate on these things [the preceding directives, which include the apostle's advice to Timothy]; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all" (1 Timothy 1:5, NKJV). This aspect of meditation leads us to be doers of the Word and not hearers only.
2. Promeletah--to anticipate or to consider. The implication of this term is "to think before you act," to carefully consider all possible outcomes before proceeding with a given course of action. This kind of circumspection and wisdom emanates from our understanding of the Scriptures.
George Mueller, a great man of faith and devotion, wrote, "Now, I saw that the most important thing I had to do [at the beginning of each day] was to give myself to the reading of the Word of God, and to meditation on it, that thus my heart might be comforted, encouraged, warned, reproved, instructed; and that this, by means of the Word of God, whilst meditating on it, my heart might be brought into experimental communion with the Lord" (italics mine).
Bible meditation is sweet to God and sweet to you. It is the key to happiness of soul and communion with God. Let His Word soak into the deepest recesses of your being and change you from the inside out. This will lead you to proclaim with David, "I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. May my meditation be sweet to Him; I will be glad in the Lord" (Psalm 104:33-34, NKJV).