Meditation has been likened to the cow chewing it’s cud. The picture is of eating, swallowing, bringing the matter back up to chew on again over and over again.
I was reading a chapter in a new book by Jeremy Walker in which he quotes Iain Murray, on the subject of “The Puritans on Maintaining Spiritual
Supposing we had lived in Puritan times and we went to our pastor with the regret that while we believed in God‟s love it did not move us very much. If the pastor had reason to think that the complaint was being expressed by a genuine Christian it is certain that one of the first questions we would face is this, “How regularly are you spending time meditating on what you say you believe?” Their judgement was that hearing sermons, even reading the Bible, will do little good if that is where we stop. “Meditation,” says Brooks, “is the food of your souls, it is the very stomach and natural heat whereby spiritual truths are digested. A man shall as soon as live without his heart, as he shall be able to get good by what he reads without meditation. . . . They usually thrive best who meditate most. Meditation is a soul-fattening duty; it is a grace-strengthening duty; it is a duty-crowning duty.
And consider these words by J.C. Ryle on the same subject:
Occasional retirement, self-inquiry, meditation, and secret communion with God, are absolutely essential to spiritual health. The man who neglects them is in great danger of a fall. To be always preaching, teaching, speaking, writing, and working public works, is, unquestionably, a sign of zeal. But it is not always a sign of zeal according to knowledge. It often leads to adverse consequences. We must make time occasionally for sitting down and calmly looking within, and examining how matters stand between our own selves and Christ. The omission of the practice is the true account of many a backsliding which shocks the Church, and gives occasion to the world to blaspheme.