From the end of the earth I call to you….Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.(Psalm 61:2)
Our aim in studying the Godhead must be to know God Himself the better. Our concern must be to enlarge our acquaintance, not simply with doctrine of God’s attributes, but with the living God whose attributes they are. We must seek, in studying God, to be led to God. It was for this purpose that revelation was given, and it is to this use that we must put it.
How are we to do this? How can we turn our knowledge about God I to knowledge of God? The rule for doing this is demanding, but simple. It is that we turn each truth that we learn about a God i to matter for meditation before God, leading to prayer and praise to God.
We have some idea, perhaps, what prayer is, but what is meditation? Meditation is the activity of calling to mind, and thinking over, and dwelling on, and applying to oneself, the various things that one knows about the works and ways and promises of God. It is an activity of holy thought, consciously performed in the presence of God, under the eye of God, by the help of God, as a means of communion with God. It’s purpose is to clear one’s mental and spiritual vision of God, and let His truth make its full and proper impact on ones mind and heart. It is a matter of arguing with oneself, reasoning oneself out of moods of doubt and unbelief into clear apprehension of God’s power and grace. It’s effect, is ever to humble us, as we contemplate God’s greatness and glory, and our own littleness and sinfulness, and to encourage and reassure us as we contemplate the unsearchable riches of divine mercy displayed in the Lord Jesus Christ.
J. L. Packer
While no one knows what the word, Selah means, which is found at the end of seventy one of the Psalms, many biblical scholars believe it means to pause and to think about what has been said in the psalm. The opening psalm tells us that those who walk in the blessings of God meditate, think about, focus on the Word of God.
“Blessed [fortunate, prosperous, and favored by God] is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked [following their advice and example], Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit [down to rest] in the seat of scoffers (ridiculers). But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And on His law [His precepts and teachings] he [habitually] meditates day and night.”
We know that computers are subject to input. Whatever goes in comes out and so is our minds and hearts. Whatever we open our minds and hearts to will eventually become part of us and we will find that whatever is taken in will be what that comes out. If we think about knowing God in the way that we come to know other people, we must begin by being introduced. That’s usually the first step in relationship. When we first meet someone, we probably only know their name and observe how they are dressed. Our conversation is usually generic and surface. As we spend time with them, we listen as they share their thoughts and feelings and the more they tell us about themselves, the better we know them. In our culture, dating is supposed to be about getting to know each other so we can determine if we should marry. I realize that most only show and share their best attributes and only after the marital ceremony do we start to reveal the real us. Nonetheless, the principles of knowing someone are seen in this. As that relationship develops, assuming it is love based, each party will begin to anticipate the others need, desire and wishes. Eventually the relationship will become so developed that they can literally finish each other’s sentences. This is knowing instead of knowing about. Before the relationship begins, you can know things about that person. You may know where they work, how they dress, where they attended school, who their family is, and maybe even something of their hobbies and interest. But all the information you have about them isn’t enough for you to really know them. It is only when you apply what you know about them with spending time with them, listening to and observing them do you really come to know them. Getting to know someone presupposes that you are interested in them. You may know about someone without any interest in getting to know them and becoming involved in a relationship with them. If that’s the case, you acknowledge what you know about them is so but you never pursue getting to know them. We can pursue knowledge about God without ever desiring to know Him personality. But there is a vast difference between the two. We could read news reports and publications about individuals and accept what we read as truth about them but we will usually find what others may say about that person is not really who they are. But once you spend time with them, you begin to know them for who they are. I suppose one could go to church week after week and hear sermons about God but never know God. How do we know God? The same way we know people. It begins with an introduction that sparks in us a desire to know more than a name. It moves us to discover all we can know about Him and the best place to find that information is the Bible. It takes us into having conversations with Him-we call it prayer. It opens our hearts to listen, not just hear but to listen for the voice and expression behind the words. We think about what we know about God, we meditate on Him, thinking over and over about all that has been made known to us. Like the youth in their first love, we begin to be consumed with thoughts about Him and our hearts yearn to know more of Him. This yearning of our hearts captures His attention and He meets with us and reveals more and more of Himself and His heart so that we find as Enoch found that we, “walk with God.”
The psalmist gives us an understanding of how we might have this kind of relationship with God. “ In His law(word), he meditates day and night.” Filling our minds with the Word of God, thinking on the promises of God, considering the majesty and glory of God-all lead to knowing God and knowing Him at a deeper level than that of introduction. Consider Psalm 8 for example.
“O Lord, our Lord, How majestic and glorious and excellent is Your name in all the earth! You have displayed Your splendor above the heavens. Out of the mouths of infants and nursing babes You have established strength Because of Your adversaries, That You might silence the enemy and make the revengeful cease. When I see and consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have established, What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of [earthborn] man that You care for him? Yet You have made him a little lower than God, And You have crowned him with glory and honor. You made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, All sheep and oxen, And also the beasts of the field, The birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, Whatever passes through the paths of the seas. O Lord, our Lord, How majestic and glorious and excellent is Your name in all the earth!”
Think about it!
Dr. John Thompson