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26. The Thumb: Meditation

Purpose: The purpose of this session is to realize that meditation is “soaking up” God’s word.


1. The disciple will receive biblical instruction for meditation.

2. The disciple will experience meditation on Psalm 1.

3. The disciple will be prepared to meditate in Scripture.

Scripture Memory

I will meditate on your precepts and focus on your behavior. I find delight in your statutes; I do not forget your instructions.

Psalm 119:15-16


1. Mutual prayer and sharing.

2. Discuss the worksheets in this session.

3. Review Scripture Memory.


The thumb represents that which enables us to grasp firmly and get the most from the Word. This is the ongoing practice of meditation. It is interesting how meditation is central in the practice of many Eastern religions, and is also practiced by many for relaxation, etc. This is not what we are talking about. Meditation, in the sphere of our study of the thumb on the hand, is meditation on the Word of God and the Person of Jesus. It is not ambiguous but directed and focused.

Years ago, during the ministry of Dawson Trotman, I heard him give the following illustration of meditation. "A cow eats grass as it grazes early in the morning. When the sun gets hot, it will lie in the shade of a tree, and through the use of a unique elevator system it will bring up the grass from one stomach and thoroughly masticate it. When this is finished, it will put it into another stomach, having gotten from it everything possible in the way of nutrients." In some sense, this is a crude illustration of meditation. It is more than perusal. It is beyond rigorous study. It is literally living in a thought or verse from Scripture, allowing it to bathe us, to infiltrate our thinking and very being. It is soaking it up, drawing nourishment from it, and allowing it to become a part of us. It is filling our thoughts with our Savior's Person. In the passages that follow, there are biblical statements about meditation and the value in our lives that comes from this practice.


1. Joshua 1:8 tells us that we should meditate _______ and ________ . What is the result of meditating on the Word, according to this passage of Scripture?

2. Psalm 1:1,3 talks about the blessed or happy man. What does the "happy man" do?

What is the description of this man?

3. Psalm 19:14 speaks of our inner condition. What is the reference to meditation in this verse?

How can this become a reality for us? Philippians 4:8; Psalm 119:89.

4. Psalm 104:34 describes the quality of our meditation upon God and Christ. In your own words, write what the Psalmist says.

5. When is a good time to meditate in the Scriptures, Psalm 1:2; Psalm 63:6?

What is necessary for this kind of meditation on the Person of Christ, the Father, and Scripture?




6. What progression of behavior is taught in 1 Timothy 4:13-15 that might relate to meditation?

1 Timothy 4:15 seems to imply that following meditation there should be _________________ and ______________________ .

Project for Meditation

Passage: Psalm 1

Read Psalm 1 twenty times slowly. Check the spaces off as you read.

( This is a blessed exercise, please don’t miss the value of it because of the time it takes.)

List the key words that impact you as you read this Psalm. You may want to use a dictionary to get a more expanded understanding. Think deeply about these words. What meaning do they have for you?

Words Personal Meaning









Read the Psalm again slowly five times. _______ Check when finished.

In your own words, summarize the significant meaning(s) of this portion of Scripture.

To people experiencing what kind of circumstances would you highly recommend this Psalm and the exercise you have just gone through?





Passages for Future Meditation

Romans 8:1-4

Psalm 34

Psalm 37

John 15:1-14

Philippians 4:5-9

Colossians 3:1-4

Psalm 91

Hebrews 12:1,2

John 1:1-14

James 4:11-17

1 John 5:9-13

Romans 12:1, 2

Matthew 11:28-30

Galatians 6:1-5

Isaiah 53

John 10:27-30

Summary and Key Concepts

Meditation is not a study, as we have seen. Rather it is living in a thought or verse from Scripture. Our study can enhance our meditation, and vice versa. Memorization enhances both. Draw nourishment from God’s Word through the meditation He calls us to perform.

Related Topics: Discipleship

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