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I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.
~ Psalm 119:15
I will meditate in thy precepts
[T]o meditate is turn over in your mind. It is to think on something, turn it over, look at it mentally from different angles, and to search a matter out thoroughly. Among various eastern idolatries, meditation is the pursuit of an alternative consciousness or even sought as an end in itself where the mind is emptied. This is done to relieve stress or to bring yourself into one with all things. Regardless of any benefit, real or imagined, that is not the meditation taught in the Bible.
God instructs us to meditate on His Word, that is to think on His Word (Psalm 1:2). Those who do not meditate on Scripture are called forgetful hearers (James 1:23-25). It is through thinking deeply on the Word that we hide it in our hearts.
Biblical meditation always has a good object. Here it is God’s “precepts.” The Psalmist is resolved to think carefully on the commands of God. He is going to savor the sweetness to bring out every drop of goodness from God’s law.
And have respect unto thy ways
Respect is similar to meditation. It means to look at intently and connotes to regard with pleasure, favor, or care. The “ways” refers to a well-trodden path. The whole statement is that he will meditate on the words of God and behold the works of God with joy.
We don’t want to overstate the case, but this verse reveals an important principle. We cannot understand, much less behold with pleasure, the works of God apart from the words of God. To some, the rigorous study of Scripture, including the mental discipline of meditation, is too scholastic. They prefer experience or a relationship. However, apart from the words of God we cannot understand His works and then we don’t really know Him.