Psalm 119 is an interesting Psalm. Not only is it the longest chapter in the Bible, Psalm 119 devotes eight verses about God and His Word to each of the 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet.
Imagine doing that with our alphabet. Let's see, God's Word is altogether true, anointed, active, able to instruct, admirable, ancient, approved by God, and authoritative. It is also believable, blemish-free, beautiful, beloved, binding, blessed, blood-bought, and the bread of life. I could go on, but I think you get the idea.
Perhaps one of the most quoted verses in the Psalm is verse 11: "I have hidden Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You." Oh, I know what the excuses are for not memorizing Scripture. I never was good at memorizing, I can't remember the exact words and I just get them all mixed up, I could memorize Bible verses when I was a kid but I'm too old for that sort of thing now.
But aren't we constantly memorizing things? Phone numbers, addresses, names of our friends, birthdays and anniversaries of loved ones, driving directions to places we want to go, what time to show up at a party or church or a restaurant to meet friends, times of our favorite TV programs, where the glasses or silverware or plates go in our kitchens, which key unlocks which door or drives which car. We memorize these things for two reasons: they are important to us and we use the information regularly.
Hmmm ... couldn't we use those same methods in memorizing Scripture? Couldn't we find a passage that is important to us and reminds us how to live rightly? Couldn't we say that Scripture to ourselves over and over and over till it sticks in our heart and keeps us from sinning?
For instance, I am constantly fighting with my thoughts. There are so many things I think about that I shouldn't: What I want to say to people who don't do things I want them to do or are being negative and critical. I mean, how dare they? Right??? My thoughts are ugly and makes me want to say ugly things.
Then I remember Proverbs 15:1: "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." That causes me to calm my thoughts long enough to remember 2nd Corinthians 10:5 that tells me to "take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ." Shamefully, that's when I realize that my thoughts were about me and not Jesus, and I remember 1st Peter 4:8: "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." That's when God reminds me that His love, the sacrifice of His Son, covers my sins. I must love as He loved (John 13:34) which makes it possible for my love to cover the sins others commit against me.
Therefore, Psalm 119:11 proves to be true, for God's Word in my heart has once again kept me from sin. Enough talk. I'm off to memorize more Scripture, for I know I will be surely tempted to sin a couple of more times before I lay me down to sleep!
Verna Davis, author and speaker, lives in Frankton. She can be reached at Vrdspeaks@yahool.com.