A Different Kind of Meditation

Travis West

READ : Psalm 1; 119:97-104

. . . on his law he meditates day and night. (v. 2)

My mother-in-law has a small dog named Madgie—”the gift of the Magi,” I like to call her. My mother-in-law is an incredible cook, and lives by herself, so Madgie often benefits from the leftovers. When Madgie eats, her entire body convulses as she shovels the food down. She can't get it fast enough. You can hear her tongue and teeth working the food over as she chews and swallows.

The person who “meditates” on God's law in Psalm 1:2 is doing something similar. The Hebrew is hagah (ha-GAH). The word is used by the prophet Isaiah to describe the growling sound of a lion devouring its prey—the sound of a consumer wholly consumed by the task of consuming! The lion eating the downed antelope; Madgie eating leftover meatloaf and salad—these are the examples of how we are to meditate on the Word of God!

When we think of meditation we usually think of a Zen master or a yoga instructor attempting to quiet both mind and body. The Hebrews' image for meditation is much more active; in fact, it's almost the opposite of the Zen master. When we meditate on scripture we are to put all of our energy into it, like a spiritual workout. To hagah God's Word is to chew and swallow it so that it can be transformed into energy, vitality, and obedience. If we do this, we will be like a tree whose leaves “never wither.”


I want to love your Word enough to hagah it.