I remember when I was young and going to Sunday school, each week we would receive a Bible verse that we were supposed to memorize. The following week we would be given the chance to recite the verse from memory in exchange for a small reward of some kind.
I don’t memorize much Scripture anymore. When I need to find a particular verse for a topic, I just Google the topic with the keyword Bible. If I don’t have a computer with me (which is super rare), I search the concordance of my Bible. I read my Bible regularly; I just don’t memorize much of it anymore. I know a few of the more famous verses from memory, but that’s only a tiny portion of God’s Word.
Does this sound wrong to you ladies? It probably should, and here’s why:
1. What if I lost all of my Bibles? How much Scripture would I remember? One of my favorite fictional books is Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. It’s a story of a world where no one reads anymore and books have been outlawed. People found to own books are punished, and all of their books are burned. I know we don’t live in a world that extreme, but what if something happened and you lost your copy of the Bible and were unable to replace it? What Scriptures would you be able to remember? How much detail would you remember of God’s great miracles? How much of God’s Word would you be able to pass on to another person?
2. It’s commanded and helps us live for God.
To me, this is the far more important reason to memorize Scripture.
Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes (Deuteronomy 11:18 NKJV).
Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You (Psalm 119:11).
How do you make decisions when you don’t have a Bible at hand to look up the right approach? You rely on your memory of what you’ve read in the Bible, right? (I hope you are making that part of your decision-making process!) Wouldn’t you want to have as much biblical information at your fingertips as possible whenever you needed it?
The truth is that originally, the Word of God was not mass-produced. Israelites couldn’t just run to the store and pick up a new copy of the Old Testament when they misplaced their original. Gentiles couldn’t just Google for the gospel. They had to rely on the few shared, hand-copied books of the Bible available, and those were usually found in the temples or in people’s memories. Most people didn’t have copies of the Scriptures on their bookshelves at home.
If they wanted to be comforted by Scripture in the middle of the night, they had to rely on their memories. For the first Christians, it wasn’t a question of whether or not they wanted to memorize God’s Word; they did it because otherwise they’d only ever hear it when they went to temple. That would be little help to them when life was hard or they were having an especially difficult week.
We need to “hide” God’s Word in our hearts, not just so we can avoid sinning against Him, but so that we have His hope within easy reach whenever we need it.
Ladies, what tips do you have for memorizing Scripture? Share them with us in the comments!
The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, and his tongue talks of justice. The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide (Psalm 37:30-31).
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