And I shall lift up my hands to Your commandments, which I love; and I will meditate on Your statutes.
The first phrase, And I shall lift up my hands to Your commandments, could be considered the simple act of lifting our hands into the air. But what does it mean to lift our hands to Your commandments? There has to be an association between the love the psalmist has for the commandments and his commitment to meditate on them.
Spurgeon says, “It was natural that he should reach out towards a law which he delighted in, even as a child holds out its hands to receive a gift which it longs for.”1
Matthew Henry explains that “I will lift up my hands to thy commandments, which denotes not only a vehement desire towards them (Ps. 143:6)—’I will lay hold of them as one afraid of missing them, or letting them go’; but a close application of mind to the observance of them—’I will lay my hands to the command, not only to praise it, but practise it; nay, I will lift up my hands to it, that is, I will put forth all the strength I have to do it.’”2
When you love God’s word, you will meditate on it. You will want to be thinking about it. You will want to understand it. You will want to learn how to apply in to your life. You will want to share it with others. This is the essence of the Christian life!
The psalmist understands the need to meditate on the word. This goes well beyond a cursory reading. It is a determination to be thinking about the truths of Scripture throughout the day. He is dwelling on them for the benefit of his own personal understanding and application. He is dwelling on the Scripture in anticipation of ministering to others.
O how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day.
Meditation is essential to the Christian life. When we are faithful to meditate, we will:
- Be ready for divine opportunities that the Lord brings our way
- Be prepared to battle sin
- Be prepared to face the unexpected circumstances of life
- Learn to respond to our enemies biblically
- Learn to think like our Lord
1 Spurgeon, C. H. (n.d.). The Treasury of David: Psalms 111-119 (Vol. 5, p. 230). London; Edinburgh; New York: Marshall Brothers.
2 Henry, M. (1994). Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible: complete and unabridged in one volume (p. 918). Peabody: Hendrickson.