“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psalm 119:11).
The heart is the very center of man, the deepest part, which involves our thoughts, our feelings and our volition (I Pet. 1:22; Prov. 4:23; Matt. 5:8; Heb. 4:12; etc.). It is the part of man to which God appeals when He speaks to us through His revealed will (Acts 2:37). This intimate core of our being is the part of us in which God’s word is to find a permanent, undisturbed lodging.
God’s word is to be hidden in our hearts. Just as baby Moses was hidden from Pharaoh or as the two Hebrew spies were hidden by Rahab, so God’s word is to be hidden in our hearts (Ex. 2:2; Josh 2:4). It is to be hidden from the reach of satan who will gladly snatch it out of our hearts that it cannot influence us any longer (Luke 8:5,12). It is to be so deeply rooted that no weeds can choke it out (Luke 8:7,14). It is to be meditated upon daily (Psalm 1:1-3). It should ever be our delight and our counselor (Psalm 119:24; Rom. 7:22).
Some people can recite quite from memory a letter or a statement from loved ones now removed from their presence. Each word is like a beautiful note and all notes together like a beautiful melody. These words are so easily remembered because that person touched their heart. They remember not the words of the grocer nor the orations of public officials but they remember those simple, unremarkable words which reached their heart because that is where that person lived–in their hearts.
How much more should the word of God so impact our lives so that it is ever on our tongues and our meditation all the day long? We must let the word of Christ dwell in us richly (Col. 3:16). Timothy knew the Scriptures from a child, instilled in him by his precious mother and grandmother (II Tim. 1:5; 3:14-17). What a precious jewel it is when a family, united in love, studies God’s word together.
It is said of Thomas Campbell that:
“The holy oracles were not only always on the table, but daily in the hands of his family, children, and servants. They were read in the family every morning; a portion was memorized every day, and recited every evening. They were, again and again, reviewed and recited at special intervals; whole epistles were committed to memory, and repeated especially on Lord’s day evenings. Thus the Divine word became, as it were, incorporated with the minds of his household.
‘Attending church,’ or ‘going to meeting,’ as it happened to be called, was, in his family, a rather grave and serious matter. Every member of the family, child or servant, that attended church, “went to meeting” with the understanding that he or she was to give an account of what was spoken; not only of the text or topic, as it was called, but also a sort of synopsis of the discourse. In fact, this review was a miniature of the sermon or lecture, as it happened to be called.” (Alexander Campbell, Memoirs of Elder Thomas Campbell, together with a Brief Memoir of Mrs. Jane Campbell (Cincinnati: H. S. Bosworth, 1861), 265-267.)
Oh, that the word of God were so adored today by those professing faith in Christ. If it were, there would be no unwanted efforts to memorize it, just as one does not set out to memorize a letter by a loved one. It cannot help but be remembered, when it is in the heart. This is what God wants of us.
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest (Hebrews 8:10-11).
Does the Word of God abide in your heart?
Eric L. Padgett