“My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips: When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches.”
Psalm 63:5, 6
Is it any wonder that the Bible describes David as being a man after God’s heart? David wanted to know the Lord, personally and passionately. A part of that pursuit included David, while upon his bed, remembering God and meditating on Him in the night watches.
The night watches refer to periods of time in the night, usually when sentinels would be assigned to watch or guard the city. What do we think about in the night watches? The night can be a time for worry and stress or a time of reflection and meditation. David found that it could be a time for praise and thanksgiving and for prayer and rejoicing.
He spoke of remembering God upon his bed and meditating on Him in the night watches. The word meditate means “to think on, to concentrate on, to ponder.” In a number of places, the Bible speaks of the benefit of meditating on the Lord. The mind is a powerful gift, and the way we use it will greatly influence our attitudes and our actions. Our thoughts can either be productive or destructive.
We must learn to control and to direct our thoughts to those things which are beneficial and profitable. The wrong kinds of thoughts can lead to discouragement, unbelief, strife, envy, bitterness, and a host of other undesirable attitudes. It is a great discipline to learn to focus our thoughts on God and to keep our minds stayed on Him. It is hard to worry or to be angry when we are concentrating on the Lord and His blessings in our lives. David said that when he remembered God and meditated on Him, his soul was satisfied and he joyfully praised the Lord. David’s thoughts about God brought a satisfaction and peace to his soul and a spontaneous praise for the Savior.
Learning to meditate on the Lord is a powerful spiritual exercise. We should meditate on God’s greatness. Think about all that He has done in creation, in history, and in our personal lives. Meditate on His goodness. It is good for us to dwell on the great love of God, His sacrifice for us on the cross, and the gift of eternal life. Think about His promise of an eternal home in Heaven, as well as the benefits He daily loads upon us. Our lives will be enriched as we learn to focus our thoughts and affections on God and eternal things.