THE VALUE OF MEDITATION
I Kings 12:4-14
INTRO: It’s good to see each of you out this morning. I would encourage you mark down the scriptures we will be reading and look at them later. I hope those at home can hear.
This morning I would like to bring a message to you that I’ve entitled The Value of Meditation.
We all have probably heard the phrase “What were you thinking?” Perhaps you have asked yourself that question. Perhaps the problem is, as some may say, “I just didn’t think.”
What about us today? Have we taken the time to think lately? Have we taken the time to think about our lives? Have we taken time to think about our physical health? Do we take good care of ourselves? In our country we have a tendency not to take care of ourselves. Have we stopped practicing bad habits we have? I think all of us here today probably have some bad habits that we could stop doing.
More importantly have we thought about our spiritual health? Have we taken the time to think about what is really important in life? I believe if we would take the time to reflect or to contemplate or to ponder our life that we could better deal with many of our daily struggles or problems that we face in our lives. Sometimes we don’t take the time to think about or to take heed to God’s Word concerning these matters and we may find ourselves stressed out in a way that we do not need to be.
There’s a saying: The man who can’t think is a moron, the man who won’t think is a fool, and the man who dares not think is a slave. I don’t think I know of any members of the Lord’s church who is a moron because I believe we all can think. I do believe that some members of the church can become fools because they refuse to think. I also believe that some members of the church can become slaves because they dare not think concerning God’s Word.
Let’s consider this morning the value of meditation, the value of thinking, the value of meditation on God’s Word to be more precise. Meditation on God’s Word can prevent us from making bad decisions.
We read in the book of Psalms 1:1-2 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
Why do people walk in the counsel of the ungodly? Why do people stand in the way of sinners? Why do people choose to sit in the seat of the scornful? Many times, it is because they didn’t think much about their conduct. They probably never thought about the consequences of their actions or their conduct. More importantly, they probably never took the time to consider the Law of the Lord.
When a man doesn’t consider God’s Law, spiritual failure will be the result. I also think that such a person will be a selfish person by nature. This may be a person with anxieties and worries—worried about this and worried about that. They worry about a lot of things that need not be worried about. Sooner or later they will regret the foolish counsel they chose and the wise counsel from God’s Word they rejected.
Note with me in the book of I Kings 12. There we read of the counsel of Rehoboam. He became king after his father Solomon. I Kings 12:4-8 Thy father made our yoke grievous: now therefore make thou the grievous service of thy father, and his heavy yoke which he put upon us, lighter, and we will serve thee. And he said unto them, Depart yet for three days, then come again to me. And the people departed. And king Rehoboam consulted with the old men, that stood before Solomon his father while he yet lived, and said, How do ye advise that I may answer this people? And they spake unto him, saying, If thou wilt be a servant unto this people this day, and wilt serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be thy servants for ever. But he forsook the counsel of the old men, which they had given him, and consulted with the young men that were grown up with him, and which stood before him:
Now I Kings 12:13-14 And the king answered the people roughly, and forsook the old men's counsel that they gave him; And spake to them after the counsel of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, and I will add to your yoke: my father also chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.
Rehoboam rejected the counsel of the old men. These were seasoned men, men with life experience. They had experience dealing with people. He embraced the counsel of those he grew up with. He embraced the counsel of his childhood friends, young men. The lacked the experience of the old men. Because of it the kingdom was divided because of the decision he made.
Likewise, those that stand in the way of sinners and sit in the seat of the scornful sooner or later they will regret their decision much like Rehoboam regretted taking the counsel of the young men. Men who knew no more than he about dealing with people.
The man who delights and medicates on the Law of the Lord will avoid the life of unnecessary regret. This man pondered on the manual for life, that is God’s Word. He doesn’t sit and ponder the wisdom of men and ignore the wisdom of God.
Jeremiah 10:23 O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.
If I’m listening to my feeling, my intuition, my personal wisdom, I’m ignoring God’s manual for my life. My ways are useless. If the counsel of man is not founded on God’s Word, that counsel is useless. It is of no use for us today. The blessed man is one who considers God’s Word. He is a man that meditates on God’s Law day and night and he is blessed.
If Rehoboam had taken the time to mediate on God’s Law, it is likely that he would have taken the advice of those older men and would have saved himself the possibility of later regrets.
Meditation is a time for evaluation. Proverbs 4:23-27 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee. Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.
We need to keep guard of our hearts with all diligence. Why is this important? Because from our hearts we determine the course of our lives. If we don’t guard of heart, evil can creep into our hearts. If evil enters into our hearts then evil will influence our lives by our conduct or by the way we talk.
Notice what the scriptures in Matthew 15:19 says: For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
Obviously, such a person did not guard his or her heart. They didn’t keep evil from entering in. We must guard ourselves or we will be just like them. Evil conduct will come out in our lives. By mediating on God’s Word we can properly evaluate our ways.
We must consider the course of our lives. Am I going in the right direction? Am I doing the right thing? Am I allowing myself to be distracted from God’s ways? God would have us to keep our eyes on Jesus. That’s who our eyes should be on. That is our true leader. He is the template. He is the one we should look to. Some would have us to look to the left. We have people telling how we should think. Some would have us look to the right. We must guard our hearts and keep our eyes on Jesus. That is the way we should evaluate our lives. That is the way we should view the word—through the eyes of Christ. We need to take the time to think carefully about the things that can help us achieve this goal. This will help us avoid obstacles, temptations, and all the things life can bring before us.
We have a lot of media in our world, more than they had in Jesus’ time. They had a lot of voices back then, but we have more today because we can carry it around in our pockets. We can take our phones and listen to all kinds of people. If we respond to everything we hear and see, we would not be established in all our ways. It is likely that our feet would be on the way to evil.
Meditation on God’s Word can help us consider what’s important in life. I would like us to look at Acts 4:32-37 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need. And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus,having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles' feet.
What made these people so united, having one heart? They were not caught in or concerned about their own way. What liberated these people from their things? Their things did not possess them. Rather they possessed their things, and they sold their land. They sold their houses. They sold things not for their own personal gain or profit. They sold these things for the cause of Christ. Obviously, these people took time to consider the ways of the Lord. Considering God’s way they realized what was really important in life.
What was important? Having land and houses was ok. God blesses us with those things. Possessing these things is not what is really important. We could say it is the American dream. That’s not what the scriptures tell us. These things are not the end-all of life. Life can be complete without those things.
Think about the Godly man who lives perhaps in Africa, South America, or maybe Asia who lives in the bush, the jungle. They don’t have those things. What is important? It is doing God’s will.
The important thing is living for Christ. That is the end-all of life. Life cannot be complete without living for Jesus Christ. The man or woman who considers God’s Word will realize that. The things of this life are fleeting. They’re here today and tomorrow they’re gone. The body gives out. Eventually the body will die. We know that. Things get old. They wear out. Things rust. Things decay. Nothing in this world was meant to last forever in this world.
The Bible says: Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. I John 2:15-17.
I Peter 1:24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:
Many people are miserable and have problems in their lives because they haven’t considered their ways. These people love the world. They think that worldliness may bring them peace, edification, and fulfillment in their life. Think about the Hollywood mentality, or the rich and famous mentality. People are often looked up to as idols. They are often looked up to as our examples. People we want to be like. If they lust for something, they seek to fulfill that desire. If their eyes see anything they like they may do anything to get it. It’s like they have to get it.
The problem is these people never take the time to consider God’s Word seriously. They probably never took the time to consider the consequences of their actions. In other words, it’s likely they never gave themselves time to consider what’s really important in life. When they consider these things they are probably on their death bed or close to dying.
When a man meditates on God’s Word can understand that this life is like grass. It will wither away. I’m sure we all have seen luscious grass that’s dried up, turned brown. It withered away. That’s humbling. We all have seen flowers of the grass and their glory fades away. We are like the flowers of the grass. Our glory will also fade away. That should be humbling.
The world that he or she loves will also pass away. Everything that we see, that we hear, touch, feel will pass away. Look around you. In time it shall pass away. Our precious possessions whether it be a car, land or house it shall pass away. This man who possesses God’s Word understands what is really important, and will make wise decisions in life.
Meditating on God’s Word will help us to stand strong in a world of compromise and temptations. Look at Joshua 1:7-9. Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
Then we have Joshua 24:14-15 Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
Israel could not have it both ways. They could not serve Jehovah and also serve the other gods. They could not do both. Israel had to make a choice. It’s obvious that Joshua had already made his choice because he said that he and his house were going to serve the Lord.
How could Joshua be so strong? How could he be so faithful to Jehovah when it would have been easier for him to compromise and go along with the other Israelites? Joshua knew Jehovah. Joshua also obeyed Jehovah. We have no reason to believe that Joshua did not meditate on God’s Word day and night. As a matter of fact we have a good reason to believe that he did just that. He said concerning God’s Law to meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
As far a I can tell, Joshua personally had his success. He entered into the Promise Land and he reached the goals that God gave him. The same thing can happen to us today. The question is: Are we willing to spend time in God’s Word?
In Matthew 4:4 we have these words when Jesus was being tempted by the Devil. Jesus was hungry. He had the power to turn stone into bread, but He chose not to because He was committed to doing the Father’s will. In response to being tempted He said, “But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”
I raise a question to you this morning. What are you chewing on? What are you feeding on? That is, of course, I refer to what you are chewing on mentally. What are you chewing on mentally? What are you thinking about?
I’m not a farmer, but I understand that cows chew cuds. The way I understand it is that the cow chews the grass, swallows it, then she will regurgitate the grass or cud and chew on it some more. In this process the cow is doing is breaking down that which she has consumed to get more nutrition out of it and her body can use it.
We should do the same thing with God’s Word. We need to eat God’s Word. He said we do not live on bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. We need to chew on God’s Word. We need to swallow it. We need to bring it back up and chew on it some more, break it down some more to get more out of it and swallow it again. In other words we need to meditate on God’s Word.
There is value in meditating on God’s Word day and night. It can lead us to make good decisions. It can help up to properly evaluate ourselves. Paul said for us to examine ourselves. When we examine ourselves, what are basing that examination on? We should examine ourselves based on God’s Word. It can lead us to know what is really important in life.
It can help us to stand strong against compromise. Compromise is short term gratification. Think about the things you are tempted to do. If eating a whole cake is your temptation, eat it and it’s over with. That’s short term gratification. Do you feel good about the cake now that you ate it?
Think about some sin that you’ve been tempted to commit and you did it. That’s short term gratification. Do you live on that gratification now? No. It’s in the past. It’s a vague memory now.
Meditating on God’s Word day and night will do us no good if we do not obey it. There are many people who meditate on God’s Word, but they never obey the gospel. They may be positive and upbeat in life, they may be kind, etc., but they’re not saved if they don’t obey. Its one thing to meditate on it, but it’s another thing to put it in practice. If you don’t go that extra mile to put it into practice it does no good.
To obey the gospel the Bible teaches us that we must believe. Mark 16:16 says: He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. He that believeth is the person that’s taught. He’s thinking about Jesus Christ being the Son of God. He believes that Jesus died. The person that believes must commit himself. Baptism is not a work because you are not doing it. It is something that someone is doing to you. Just believing is not good enough you must submit to doing God’s will. In this case being baptized, allowing someone else to immerse you beneath the water.
Before you’re baptized you need to repent of your sins? The Bible tells you nay except you repent you all shall likewise perish. We need to have a change of mind about our sins. It has to result to a change in lifestyle. Luke 13:3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
We also need to confess Christ before men. Matthew 10:32-33 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. We should not be ashamed to say that I believe in Jesus Christ.
Like I said before we also need to be baptized. When we do that the Lord has promised to add us to His church. Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Jesus promised before He went to the cross that He was going to build His church. He built that church. On the Day of Pentecost we know that there were many people that heard Peter preach the gospel. The Bible tells us in Acts 2:47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
If we have obeyed the gospel, but haven’t been practicing the things that have been taught from scriptures we need to repent and reapply what we have and what we know by asking the Lord to forgive us and get back on the road.
If you are here this morning and stand in need we ask you to come as we stand and sing.Print
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