Psalm 119:11-13 – I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Praise be to you, O Lord; teach me your decrees. With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth. (NIV)
As I lay awake savouring the quiet cloak of darkness, listening to the beauty of silence, my eye was drawn to the luminous numbers of my alarm clock. I had set it earlier knowing that in order to arise and be on time for my early morning shift, I could depend on it to do its job.
Likewise, when we set God's Word in our hearts, we can also count on it to "go off" in our minds when we most need it. We can depend on it to do its job.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 – All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (NIV)
Throughout Psalm 119, the psalmist states that God's Word in his heart kept him from sin, counselled him, made him wise and victorious over his enemies, brought him delight, and directed him throughout life.
Nowadays, we don't tend to memorize much of anything, not even Scripture, as we have so many other tools available to remind us of the things we need and want to know. Though this is convenient in many ways, it may not always be wise. Food on the shelf is not the same as food in the stomach, just as Scripture on the page is not the same as Scripture in the heart.
When God's Word is recorded in our hearts, it becomes part of us, always there for the Holy Spirit to be able to access and bring to our mind when it is most needed. Memorization, though, is not always easy, and retaining what we have learned is usually even harder. With God's help, however, digging in to the sweet delight of His Word through the discipline of memorization is a meal well worth chewing and digesting, for as the psalmist's words attest, it can be counted on day by day to sustain us eternally.
Prayer: Father God, thank You for the availability of Your Word. Encourage us amidst our reading to commit portions to memory bit by bit, day by day, that we may be sustained eternally by Your truth. In Christ's name, we ask. Amen.