This is part two of this article. Click here for part one.
Some Christians wonder if the reward of memorizing Scripture is worth all the work involved. God’s answer is a firm, “Yes.”
Deuteronomy 6:6–7 says, “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”
Obviously we need to have Scripture memorized in order to obey this commandment. Only by memorizing passages from the Word of God will we be able to fulfill this important commandment. Sadly, this fervent admonition was not followed.
Judges 2:10 says, “And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.” This ignorance of the Word of God, and of God Himself, left the next generation so spiritually weak that they strayed into the sinful paths of the world and suffered terrible consequences. We must not take lightly the need to memorize Scripture.
On the other hand, God offers promises and prosperity to those who hide His words in their heart and meditate upon them. God told Joshua, “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” (Joshua 1:8).
David spoke of the security that God promises to those who hide His Word in their heart saying, “The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein forever. The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment. The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide” (Psalms 37:29–31).
The Word of God is also a protection against the traps of sin as we read in Psalm 119:11, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”
As we are to walk in the steps of Jesus, perhaps His example is the most important. When the devil tempted Christ in the desert, He responded by quoting the Word of God as a weapon against our deceitful enemy. Not only the devil, but also the Pharisees, Sadducees, priests, and scribes attempted to trap our Lord in some error. Time after time our Master’s response was to quote Scripture.
The apostle Peter admonished Christians; “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” (1 Peter 3:15). There is no better preparation to be ready always to give an answer than to be able to quote Scripture. Paul called the Word of God our “Sword of the Spirit” to battle against and defeat Satan. To have Scripture memorized is to be armed and protected every moment. To not have Scripture memorized is to be exposed to spiritual warfare, unarmed.
Spiritual maturity is described in Romans 12:2 as a process of ceasing to be “Conformed to this world” and beginning to be “transformed by the renewing of your mind; that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Therefore a change in our thinking is indispensable for Christian victory. What better way to transform our thinking than to have the very thoughts of God kept in the memory of our mind?
The command of Colossians 3:16 is to, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” This gives us a picture of abundant, not little memorization.
We must recognize that our God-given memory was not given to us only for the temporal things of this world. It is a function created by God for great purposes described in His Word. Its use for these purposes will bring abundance of power and well-being to our lives, our families and our ministries. To abandon the use of our memory for the purposes of God will bring consequences that can hinder our lives, our families, and our ministries more than we think.