Meditate on…what?

This is the third post on Meditation, in my series on Puritans. (use links to see previous posts you may want to catch up on!)

In more of a “how to” section, Thomas Watson continues his Treatise by giving ideas for subjects of meditation.  This chapter is helpful for one who is not used to contemplating on Scripture, and helpful in times when we want to drink from the fountain of living waters, but feel so lost and forlorn by life that we simply don’t know which part of Scripture to open.

“Some may say, ‘alas, I am so barren I know not what to meditate upon!’  To help Christians therefore in this blessed work, I shall show you some choice matter…The Attributes of God are the several beams by which the divine nature shines forth to us…” 1.  

“Meditate on the Holiness of God.  Holiness is the embroidered robe God wears: it is the glory of the Godhead, Exodus 15:11 ‘Glorious in holiness!’  Holiness is the most orient pearl of the crown of heaven…Meditation on God’s holiness would have this effect: it would be a means to transform us into the similitude and likeness of God. By frequent meditation on this attribute, we are changed into God’s image.” (Loc. 171ff)

“Meditate upon the Mercy of God.  Mercy is an innate disposition in God to do good; as the sun has an innate property to shine, Psalm 86:5 “You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and plenteous in mercy to all them that call upon You.”  God’s mercy is so sweet, that it makes all His other attributes sweet. Holiness without mercy, and justice without mercy, would be dreadful. God’s justice reaches to the clouds; His mercy reaches above the clouds…Meditation on mercy would be as a cork to the net–to keep the heart from sinking in despair.” (Loc. 199ff)

After discussing attributes, Watson discusses promises to meditate on, the love of Christ, sin and grace, eternity, among other topics.  Personally, I have pondered many of these topics simply as I see them in the Scriptures I am currently reading. Reading slowly through a book gives plenty of Scriptural ideas for meditation.  The year I spent plodding through Ephesians was so fruitful in my soul, I am forever changed by taking it slow and contemplating what was there. In an effort to ‘get things done’ we may not realize that some of the most fruitful times in the Word will be the slow, deliberate, musing. You don’t always have to read all of Scripture in one year. These times of slowly meditating will be beautiful, if you give yourself the freedom, the time, and the space.

  1. Thomas Watson, A Christian on The Mount: A Treatise Concerning Meditation, (Beth Maynard, 2012), Loc 151-157.

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