Has that ever happened to you? You were rescued by a verse from Scripture? I am talking you were about to do something very stupid, very sinful, and a verse comes to mind to alarm you from the danger in which you are about to enter. Did you know that was biblical? Did you know that was the Holy Spirit speaking to you?
“Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” (Psalm 119:11)
The psalmist was obeying a command from God by hiding Scripture in his heart. A command you ask? Yes, directly from God.
“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.” (Deuteronomy 6:6)
The benefit of a parent having memorized Scripture is that when teachable moments come up with our children, we will have a verse to teach them that applies to the situation, which is exactly what God said in the verses following Deut. 6:6.
“You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” (Deuteronomy 6:7-9)
The word “shall” is very important because it is an imperative. As an air traffic controller whenever I read the word “shall” in the FAA Handbook 7110.65 that meant it was mandatory. Neither the pilot nor the controller had any other options; you did what the regulation required.
So if I shall have God’s commandments in my heart; if I shall diligently teach God’s commandments to my children and I do not do so, I choose not to do so, then I am disobeying God’s command. And if I am being disobedient to God then I must…let me see…what is a good word for disobeying God’s laws? Oh yeah, I S-I-N…sin…I sin! I SIN?!!
See how much simpler being a Christian is when we stop confusing God’s Word? We are to read, meditate, and memorize God’s Word and when we choose not to do so, we sin. How simpler can it get than that?
Oh great Bro Dave now you’ve made Bible study burdensome. No I haven’t; go back to Psalm 119:11b for the reason… “that I might not sin against you.”
How many of you want to sin against God? No one? Good, then here is your reason to learn Scripture. King Solomon taught a great reason to learn Scripture, which he called wisdom:
“Then you will walk safely in your way, and your foot will not stumble.” (Proverbs 3:23)
Who here does not want to go through the day walking safely and avoiding temptation and stumbling in their walk with Jesus? Would you not like to be able to speak these words from David?
“I was also blameless before Him, and I kept myself from my iniquity.” (Psalm 18:23)
Oh would that American Christendom be able to say that…oh would I.
It has been a long time since we heard from our old friend Matthew Henry. What does the great 17th Century commentator have to say on this subject? I leave you with his words as a source of encouragement.
“To original corruption all have added actual sin. The ruin of the young is either living by no rule at all, or choosing false rules: let them walk by Scripture rules. To doubt of our own wisdom and strength, and to depend upon God, proves the purpose of holiness sincere. God’s word is treasure worth laying up, and there is no laying it up safe but in our hearts, that we may oppose God’s precepts to the dominion of sin, His promises to its allurements, and His threatenings to its violence. Let this be our plea with Him to teach us His statutes, that, being partakers of His holiness, we may also partake of His blessedness. And those whose hearts are fed with the bread of life, should with their lips feed many. In the way of God’s commandments there are the unsearchable riches of Christ. But we do not meditate on God’s precepts to good purpose, unless our good thoughts produce good works. I will not only think of thy statutes, but do them with delight. And it will be well to try the sincerity of our obedience by tracing the spring of it; the reality of our love by cheerfulness in appointed duties.”
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Copyright © 2009 David Jeffers