Crisp, cold air awakened me from a peaceful night of rest. It was the Sabbath, and I was camping in the Colorado Rockies with several friends. I wanted to get away from the campsite for a while to enjoy God’s Sabbath. I decided to take a short walk to a remote area on the mountain. There I could relax and work on my personal relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ.
As I walked I began to reflect on the magnitude of God’s creation. What a magnificent work He has done. I began to think of the size of the mountain I was climbing—wow! This is a huge piece of rock! Even more impressive was the spectrum of colors before my eyes. The different shades of green in the trees contrasted spectacularly with the grays and browns of the rocks around them. The clear waters in the creek flowed by with a tranquil sound. The setting was ideal because it separated me from the world, and provided an excellent opportunity to make the Sabbath truly a day set apart from all the rest.
King David’s Example
A thorough study of the book of Psalms can be one of the most inspirational studies we can do. King David was a master at putting events of his life in perspective. As times were going well in his life, and there was a potential for vanity, David would consider the works of God, and regain his perspective. In Psalm 8:3-4, David posed the question: “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?”
David knew the secret to the best relationship he could attain with God involved meditation. He was a man after God’s own heart. This should motivate us to imitate his actions and develop the same relationship with our Creator as David had.
If we take the time to deeply consider God, His character, His creation and His law, there should never be a shortage of subjects on which we can meditate. If you ask God to provide a subject on which you can meditate, He will definitely answer. David certainly did not find it difficult to meditate on a wide range of subjects.
Meditate on Significant Bible Personalities
King David is not the only example of a strong Bible personality who enjoyed great blessings from God based on their relationship. Abraham also had a close friendship with God. The Prophet Elijah is another example of a man worthy of deeper study.
The Bible prophesies that a man would come in the end time in the same spirit and power of Elijah. Herbert W. Armstrong fulfilled these end-time prophecies and prepared the way for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Have you ever meditated on how these two men were similar and how they fulfilled prophecies? Mr. Armstrong admonished us to meditate more frequently—in fact he recommended daily meditation! Have we taken his advice? We can meditate on this history of God’s Church. We can meditate on the great works God performed through Mr. Armstrong.
The book of Malachi provides some specific prophecies about this end-time Elijah and the Work he would do. It also describes those who would understand these prophecies and their fulfillment. Malachi 3:16 lists common characteristics of those who obey the instructions set forth by the end-time Elijah: “Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.” Did you catch that? Those whose names were written in the book of remembrance “thought upon his [God’s] name.” Through meditation upon God’s very name, we gain precious insight into His character. The Philadelphians described here are zealous for God’s truth, and like David and the end-time Elijah, they spend a great deal of time meditating on God.
If we are to study effectively, we must meditate regularly. The Laodiceans lack zeal for God and His truth (Revelation 3:14-20). This is one of the Laodicean characteristics we all must overcome if we want to live according to the Philadelphian standard described in the Bible.
As I neared a remote location on the mountain, I took a break to read from the Bible. I read for a short while, then packed up my Bible and continued my journey. This provided an opportunity to meditate on what I had just read.
We gain deeper understanding of what we read if we review in our minds what we have just covered. For example, if you hurriedly devour a delicious dessert and don’t take the time to enjoy its taste and texture, then you won’t get nearly as much pleasure from it. The same principle holds true for Bible study. After partaking of this spiritual food, take time to “chew it up.” Don’t just “swallow it whole.” A short period of reflection both before and after we study will greatly enhance our understanding of our studies.
Do we take the time to study, meditate and prove the revealed truth God gives to us? God expects us to prove all things (1 Thessalonians 5:21; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3, 15). God is revealing new truth to His Church, but we each have the responsibility to make sure that we “get it,” and that includes meditating on it.
Meditate on the Law
Notice God’s instructions to Joshua: “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success” (Joshua 1:8).
One of God’s first commands to Joshua as He commissioned him to lead Israel was to meditate on the law. God admonished Joshua to focus his study and meditation around the law—sound advice for us today. God said this would lead to prosperity and good success.
By the end of my journey, after a morning of solid meditation, I felt as though I had properly used meditation, in conjunction with prayer and study, to deepen my relationship with God. Great men of the Bible have set us an example of using meditation to learn more about God. Following their example, we can develop a Philadelphian relationship with God and prepare to become born members of His Family. This is one of the most powerful tools God has given us to communicate with Him. Using it will yield rewards greater than we can imagine.
As I returned to camp, I came across a bighorn sheep. This majestic animal was a treat to see up close. God had provided yet another reminder of how magnificent His creation is. The image of the sheep in the awesome setting in which I was able to spend the Sabbath will never leave my memory. God has promised to reward those who diligently seek Him, and on this day, I certainly felt rewarded.