Psalm 119:11, I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you. (NIV)
What a simple verse. This entire chapter is a testimony of the strength we find in God’s holy Word. What a great resource this chapter is in finding the treasure we have in the Bible. And here we find one of the reasons we need to memorize God’s Word. It keeps us from sin. Not the act of memorizing it keeps us from sinning, but when we encounter those circumstances where sin could occur we find strength in God’s Word for us to repel the evil one and those evil desires that reside in us as well. When we are confronted with a situation, at that point it’s too late to run to God’s Word and look for strength. It needs to be in us and ready for recall and application at a second’s notice.
I don’t know about you, but memorizing Scripture is a chore for me. I’m not a good memorizer. When I was younger I belonged to an organization called the Bible Memory Association. We were given books of Scripture that we had to memorize — sections each week — and then we receive rewards for our hard work. Because of those sessions I still can recall the entire first chapter of the Gospel of John. What a gem that passage has been for me in so many circumstances. On the other hand as an adult one night while I wrestled with thoughts that were not God-pleasing words from Romans 8 came to me taking my mind off the mischief at hand. I’m not saying I’m perfect or even accomplished at this thing called memorization, but I have experienced its benefit in my life both in youth and adulthood.
In adulthood do you struggle like me to memorize the Bible? Has your hard work paid off in a closer walk with God?
Father God, thank You for Your Word. I pray Your Holy Spirit will help us to stay at this great task of memorizing it and using it to stay close to You in all we do. Thank You for the great treasure we find in it and You as we memorize. We pray these things in Jesus Name, Amen!
from the archives, June 22, 2011