Thy Word Have I Hid In My Heart
Scripture: Psalm 119:9-16 (Today's sermon is taken from verse 11)
Sermon preached at Gospel Light Christian Church Singapore
on 18 July 1999
Introduction: The Psalmist says "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee" (Psalm 119:11), implying that he would fall into sin if God's Word was not in his heart. He was aware of his sinful nature that needed to be "transformed" by God's Word (Romans 12:2). Jesus described God's Word as spiritual food saying "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God" (Matthew 4:4). Most Christians do not grow spiritually, are too weak to overcome temptation in their lives and serve God because they are spiritually undernourished. Furthermore, Satan as "a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Peter 5:8). However, Satan is easily defeated if we resist him (James 4:7 "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you) with "the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Ephesians 6:17).
Memorize: We are repeatedly commanded to meditate and memorize God's Word so that it will be in our hearts. Deuteronomy 6:6 "And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:" Proverb 3:1 "My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:" Proverb 4:20-21 "My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart." Proverb 6:21 "Bind them continually upon thine heart, [and] tie them about thy neck."
The Lord Jesus faithfully memorized God's Word. When He was tempted by Satan in the wilderness, He resisted each temptation by quoting from Deuteronomy (Matthew 4:1-11). The Lord and His apostles also quoted many verses from the Old Testament in their sermons.
Many Christians claim that they cannot memorize scripture because they have poor memories (though they are often able to remember many trivial things). If God commands us to memorize scripture, then obviously He will enable us to do so since He never commands us to do something that is impossible.
(1) Success - Everyone desires to be successful. The word "success" is found only once in the King James Version Bible as in Joshua 1:8 where the formula for success is also given: "This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success."
(2) Happiness/joy - Jeremiah 15:16 "Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart:" Psalm 1:1-2 "Blessed [is] the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight [is] in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night." The word "blessed" can also be translated "happy."
(3) Stability - Psalm 1:3 "And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water,…" A tree that is planted by the rivers of water is constantly supplied with nutrients and relatively unaffected by weather changes.
(4) Fruitfulness - Psalm 1:3 "…that bringeth forth his fruit in his season;…" Much of our labour is futile because we are not labouring in God's will because His Word is not in our hearts.
(5) Wisdom/guidance - Jesus said "Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures…" (Matthew 22:29). True wisdom is only found in God's Word. Psalm 119:99 "I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies [are] my meditation." Psalm 119:105 "Thy word [is] a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."
(6) Victory over sin - Psalm 119:11 "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee."
(7) Comfort - Psalm 119:50 "This [is] my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me." Psalm 119:92 "Unless thy law [had been] my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction."
(8) Freedom from anxiety - Psalm 119:165 "Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them." Isaiah 26:3 "Thou wilt keep [him] in perfect peace, [whose] mind [is] stayed [on thee]: because he trusteth in thee."
(9) Witnessing/preaching - Psalm 19:7 "The law of the LORD [is] perfect, converting the soul:…"
(10) Teaching - Deuteronomy 6:6, 7 "And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children,…" 1 Peter 3:15 "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and [be] ready always to [give] an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:"
Conclusion: However busy we are, we must take time to memorize scripture. We must not be discouraged by previous failed attempts to memorize because of wrong methods, poor motivation, etc. After God commanded Joshua to memorize scripture, He encouraged him by saying "Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest" (Joshua 1:9).
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