What Is the Meditation of My Heart?

A neglected soul – empty, lost, ignorant, hopeless – meets the one who fills and satisfies.

Ps 19:14 – Let the sayings of my mouth, And the meditation of my heart, Be for a pleasing thing before Thee, O Jehovah, my rock, and my redeemer! (YLT)

“There has to be something more!”

The agonized scream came from the depth of my soul. Yet not a sound passed my lips.

“There has to be something more! Why do I feel so empty? Lonely. Rejected. Angry. Where is God?”

I believed that God was supposed to fill the hole in my heart. But he hadn’t, though I’d worked hard for decades to believe and do everything I thought God expected of me.

“There has to be something more!”

For the first time in my life, rather than push the thought away as irreverent, I gave it my full attention. “There has to be something more! God does not satisfy the emptiness in my core.”

It seemed that my religious beliefs caused me more trouble than they helped me. Though I worked overtime to keep everything neatly bottled up, I constantly oozed fear and judgment, and a whole lot of other nasty traits.

Love and joy and all the traits that were supposed to flow from me, according to my religious beliefs, were lacking, or at best, severely limited in me. My interior truth was not in harmony with my mental desire and external effort. I finally decided I was a fraud, a religious hypocrite and decided to ditch religion and be honest with myself.

Not long after I got honest with myself, I became aware of a whisper somewhere inside that persistently provoked, “But if God can’t satisfy, who or what can? No one! Nothing! Nothing.”

Had that relentless whisper been there all along and I’d simply not heard it? Maybe stuff, like self-effort, needed to be cleaned out and let go to clear the channel before I could hear the beckoning whisper.

Long story in a nutshell…

I was drawn to Scripture in search of answers to several relentless questions. Who is God? What is he like? What is he doing? How is he doing it? How does he feel toward human beings in general, me in particular? What does God want from me?

In my pursuit of answers, I somehow stumbled upon or was gifted the healing and joyful work of meditating on Scripture, the Bible, the inspired word of God. That meditative and contemplative work has transformed my soul. The emptiness, anger, loneliness, and feelings of rejection are gone. In their place is a confidence that somehow everything is going according to plan, and that sometime everything really is going to look and feel alright, too.

I’ve come to appreciate the messy, often disagreeable and hurtful ooze that is a natural part of me, for it is instrumental in helping me discover who I really am. The messiness is a symptom that indicates I’ve not yet surrendered part of myself to the Lord God’s ways and works, and not yet discovered the priceless, hidden treasure buried beneath.

We are so much more than we can even imagine!

I’m beginning this blog to share some of the questions I’ve wrestled with and some of the discoveries I’ve made in my longing to experience God’s presence and love. Maybe some will resonate with you and encourage you to keep pursuing God, the Mystery that persistently beckons yet eludes, puzzles and at the same time delights, wounds and heals as his righteousness, kindness and mercy hold us securely as vessels of wrath are destroyed and vessels of mercy are revealed.

What is meditation?

Webster’s New World Dictionary describes meditation as deep, continued thought; solemn reflection on sacred matters as a devotional act.

Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words defines meditation as to moan, growl, utter, speak; the use of words whose sounds reinforce their meaning or tone, as in poetry; a musical notation.

Meditation is deep, uninterrupted, enduring thought. Deeply earnest. To look at intently. To study carefully. Arousing feelings of awe. Meditation is to moan. A low, mournful sound of sorrow or pain. To complain, lament, grieve. To growl. A low, rough, husky, often muted sound. To utter. Produce, speak, or express audibly speech sounds, syllables, words, thoughts, etc.

Ps 19:14 – Let the sayings of my mouth, And the meditation of my heart, Be for a pleasing thing before Thee, O Jehovah, my rock, and my redeemer! (YLT)

These words were spoken by the psalmist David, a man whom God described as “a man after my heart, who will do all my will” (1 Sam 13:14; Acts 13:22).

I long to know and relate to God like David!

I encourage you to interact with this prayer through careful study.

Then experience this prayer bodily by moaning, growling, uttering, speaking aloud each word, syllable by syllable. Experience David’s words and prayer becoming your words and prayer, expressing the longing and desire and hope in the depth of your own soul.

Ps 19:14 – Let the sayings of my mouth, And the meditation of my heart, Be for a pleasing thing before Thee, O Jehovah, my rock, and my redeemer! (YLT)

Why should we be interested in having the meditation of our heart transformed, so it is pleasing to God?

Ps 107:9 – For he [Jehovah/Lord God] satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things. (ESV)

Jer 31:25 – For I [Jehovah/Lord God] will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish.” (ESV)

Meditation is one means of experiencing transformation of our souls, as its longing is satisfied, its hunger is filled with good things, and it is healed and made complete again.

Are the sayings of your mouth and the meditation of your heart a pleasing thing before Jehovah/Lord God?

How can you know? How can you make them so?

2 Cor 13:14 – the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, [is] with you all! Amen. (YLT)

Are you aware of your companions? The Lord Jesus Christ. God. Holy Spirit. Are you familiar with the gifts they bring you? Grace. Love. Fellowship.

Do you know your companions’ desire for you?

John 17:23 – I [the Lord Jesus Christ] in them and you [Father God] in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. (ESV)

Meditate on the words and thoughts of the Lord Jesus Christ and his desire for you and the world.

Look intently into each thought and word. Then experience them bodily by moaning, growling, uttering aloud each word, syllable by syllable. Experience Scripture describing and expressing the longing and desire and hope in the depth of your own soul. Let the inspired word of God arouse feelings of awe.

I [the Lord Jesus Christ]
I in them
And you [Father God] in me
That they may become
That they may become perfectly one
So that
So that the world may know
So that the world may know that you sent me
That you love them
Even as you loved me.

Then sit quietly without thinking, without murmuring, simply being.

Become conscious of the presence of your companions; the Lord Jesus Christ, God, Holy Spirit. This is contemplation.

Stay in this place of rest and fellowship for as long as you can.

When finished, select just one word or phrase and carry it with you all day, thinking about it, murmuring it, holding it, treasuring it. Let it soak deep into your soul. Tomorrow, meditate on the entire text again. Select the same word or phrase or a different one to carry with you all day, thinking about it, murmuring it, holding it, treasuring it. Do this practice every day. Let God’s Word begin to fill your soul with good things.

I ponder every morsel of wisdom from you, I attentively watch how you’ve done it. I relish everything you’ve told me of life, I won’t forget a word of it. (Ps 119:15-16 MSG)

*****

But it is the spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand. (Job 32:8)

I encourage you to look for ways and practices to help you become aware of Holy Spirit and to relinquish all that you have and all that you are to Holy Spirit’s convicting, enlightening, restorative ministrations.

A practice that has been life-changing for me comes from Psalm 46:10.

Ps 46:10 – “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (ESV)

Be still.
It’s a paradox.
Be still. A state of being. Am. Is. Stay, remain as in was, were.
It’s a process of letting go in order to rediscover Life that was forfeited.
It’s a process of ceasing, stopping, to be destroyed, and dying in order to be redeemed.
It’s a process of abandoning and neglecting in order to be healed and made whole.

It’s a process of opposing, contending, and striving in order to give up, renounce, leave, and abandon self-interest that is death, forfeiture of Life.

It’s a process of becoming weak, feeble, to be wept over in order to return to the original Life that was forfeited, but is bought back by the only One who has Life in himself.

Be still, consequently
Know

Know, not in the sense of accumulating facts and figures, receiving answers about what to do to get a good life, but know as in relationship. Know as in Being. Awareness, consciousness, discernment, recognition, acquaintance, familiar friend, feel, perceive, have respect, have understanding, instruction, presence, fellowship.

Be still.

Letting the vessel of wrath prepared for destruction go in order to know the riches of God’s glory for vessels of mercy.

2 Peter 3:18 – But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (ESV)

Resources/For deeper study:

Meditate: hagah OT:1897, “to meditate, moan, growl, utter, speak.” This word is common to both ancient and modern Hebrew. Found only 25 times in the Hebrew Old Testament, it seems to be an onomatopoetic term, reflecting the sighing and low sounds one may make while musing, at least as the ancients practiced it. This meaning is seen in its first occurrence in the text: “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night…” Josh 1:8. Perhaps the most famous reference “to meditating” on the law day and night is Ps 1:2.

Hagah also expresses the “growl” of lions Isa 31:4 and the “mourning” of doves Isa 38:14. When the word is used in the sense of “to mourn,” it apparently emphasizes the sorrowful sounds of mourning, as seen in this parallelism: “Therefore will I howl for Moab, and I will cry out for all Moab; mine heart shall mourn for the men of Kir-heres” Jer 48:31. The idea that mental exercise, planning, often is accompanied by low talking seems to be reflected by Prov 24:1-2: “Be not thou envious against evil men,… for their heart studieth destruction, and their lips talk of mischief.” (from Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)

The meditation of: OT:1902 <START HEBREW>/oyG*h!<END HEBREW> higgayown (hig-gaw-yone’); intensive from OT:1897; a murmuring sound, i.e. a musical notation (probably similar to the modern affettuoso to indicate solemnity of movement); by implication, a machination: 

Heart: OT:3820 <START HEBREW>bl@<END HEBREW> leb (labe); a form of OT:3824; the heart; also used (figuratively) very widely for the feelings, the will and even the intellect; likewise for the centre of anything: 

OT:3824 <START HEBREW>bb*l@<END HEBREW> lebab (lay-bawb’); from OT:3823; the heart (as the most interior organ); used also like OT:3820: (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

A pleasing thing/Acceptable: OT:7522 <START HEBREW>/oxr*<END HEBREW> ratsown (raw-tsone’); or ratson (raw-tsone’); from OT:7521; delight: (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

OT:7521 <START HEBREW>hx*r*<END HEBREW> ratsah (raw-tsaw’); a primitive root; to be pleased with; specifically, to satisfy a debt:

KJV – (be) accept (-able), accomplish, set affection, approve, consent with, delight (self), enjoy, (be, have a) favour (-able), like, observe, pardon, (be, have, take) please (-ure), reconcileself. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

 

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