What does it mean to hide God’s word in your heart?
Its one of my favourite verses in the longest psalm, Psalm 119. Its all about the vitality of God’s word and how essential it is for us to read it and live by it. 176 verses of reminding in case you forgot.
But hide it in my heart? How am I to do that? I like the way The Message gives me a fresh perspective because I dig idioms: “I’ve banked your promises in the vault of my heart so I won’t sin myself bankrupt.”
The wording reminds me of Jesus’ instruction to his disciples to lay up treasures for ourselves in heaven, where neither thieves, nor rust can touch them.
Because of my connection to the world, my own sin, and other fallen people, circumstances and words can infiltrate deep inside me and eat away at the things that I’ve thought were untouchable. I need to internalise Scripture so deeply that nothing can touch that sacred place where I study it and it seeps through my skin and into my bones.
Once Scripture is part of me so deeply and fundamentally that its as good as part of my DNA, then I can draw on it to fight against sin. The Psalmist hid Scripture in his heart and he used it to resist sin.
Jesus was obviously immersed in Scripture, quoting it constantly. In fact, he quoted the book of Deuteronomy a lot. He quoted it when he was in the desert facing barrages of temptation from the enemy:
Man does not live on bread alone…
…Don’t put God to the test…
…Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.
Man does not live on bread alone…God humbles his people so that they will realise that they need God’s word more than anything else.
Don’t put God to the test…don’t doubt Him, or His love and concern for us. Kind of a refutation of Depeche Mode’s ‘blasphemous rumours’ (your 80’s cultural reference out of left field for the day).
Fear the Lord your God and serve Him only…He’s done it all for us so we should honour Him. Our way of life should be all about him.
I can’t just keep Scripture in the vault of my heart and keep it locked away. I find that when the vault stays locked for a while and I don’t venture inside to review Scriptural treasures, I’m more vulnerable to sin.
Sin: a game of whack-a-mole.
Scripture: a wooden hammer with heft that fits into my hand. Batter-up.