After spending 400 years in Egypt living as slaves, the children of Israel were delivered by God when He sent a plague in which all the firstborn Egyptians died. Then Moses led the people through the wilderness to the Red Sea. Although Pharaoh pursued the Israelites and thought he had trapped them, the Lord parted the sea so that they could cross over on dry land. Afterward the water returned and drowned the Egyptian army.
When they finally reached the edge of the territory God had promised to give them, Moses sent 12 men to spy out the land. Joshua and Caleb came back to report that the land was good and that the Lord would certainly help them conquer it. But the people chose to listen to the bad report of the other 10 spies who told them the inhabitants were too powerful for them to overcome.
Instead of meditating on the promises and power of God, the people’s thoughts were consumed with fear. Rather than trusting and obeying the Lord, they wanted to appoint a leader to take them back to Egypt to become slaves once again.
This is an example of erroneous meditation. They evaluated the situation based on their own abilities and left God out of the equation.
Although Joshua and Caleb focused on the Lord, the people could only think about themselves and the possibility of defeat and loss of life. They chose to depend on themselves rather than on God. We all have this same choice. Will we depend on the Lord for every aspect of our lives or rely on ourselves? Will we set our focus on the world and its pleasures, pursuits, and fears, or on God and His sufficiency to handle everything?
The Benefits of Meditating on Scripture
Godly meditation is a conversation with the Lord. As we read and think about His Word and seek to understand what He is saying and how it applies to our lives, the Holy Spirit guides our thoughts and questions. Without the Lord’s presence with us, His Word guiding us, and His Spirit helping us, we would be unable to live righteously in this world.
If we’re not listening to the Lord by meditating and reading His Word, we are missing His best for our lives just as the Israelites did when they refused to believe and obey Him. They lost the Promised Land and suffered 40 long years of wandering in the wilderness.
God’s Word is His holy, eternal gift to every one of His children. He doesn’t want us to think and live like the world around us. His plans for us are more wonderful, righteous, and fulfilling than anything the world can offer. That’s why we must listen to the Lord, let the Scriptures sink into our hearts, and let go of everything else that distracts or hampers our ability to meditate on Him.
Wrong Attitudes That Hinder Meditation
Primarily from Dr. Charles Stanley
Today fear still grips many people as they react to all the uncertainties and dangers around them and forget about God.
We all meditate on something. The issue is whether we will choose to dwell on God’s Word, which is healthy and spiritually uplifting, or focus on ourselves, our fears, or worldly desires. God’s blessings await us when we make Him our priority, but if we leave Him out, painful consequences are sure to follow. The Promised Land or the wilderness stands before us. What we choose to dwell upon will determine which way we will go.
What will be your RESPONSE?
Heavenly Father we have come to understand, apart from You we can do nothing. Please help us to be like Caleb and Joshua and stand up for You when we’re in the minority of thought and seek your guidance and direction in our lives. All to often we disobey you my making decisions on our own which is contrary to You Word. Please forgive us for our sins and guide us down the road less traveled. Amen.