September 4, 2008

This Book Shall Not Depart from Your Mouth

Joshuah 1:8-9, God said to Joshuah:
"This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."

People sometimes ask me, "How do you remember so much of what the Bible says?" My answer is, first of all, that God has put the desire to know His Word in my heart. But that desire started when I first began to actually read the Bible. That is where it starts. Often people who do not know much about the Bible say to me, "I read it, but I just don't understand it." I simply encourage them by saying, "Just keep reading it. Even if you don't understand it all at once, if you keep reading, as time goes on it will begin to all make sense." That is my experience, and I hope that others will do the same by the grace of God. Nevertheless, this does not mean we don't need sincere preachers and teachers, especially God as our teacher (John 6:45), but I am saying that it all begins by simply reading.

So today, I was motivated by the verse above to memorize Psalm 119. Today was the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, which is "Aleph." The Psalm was written as an acrostic poem, which means that the poem is alphabetical, with each stanza beginning with a different letter of the Hebrew alphabet. It has 22 stanzas for the 22 letters. It is the longest Psalm in the Bible, and it is all about God's precious Word!

I decided to write out what I memorize to help me keep it in my head, so here it is in the English Standard Version (without looking):

Psalm 119
Blessed are those whose ways are blameless,
who walk in the law of the LORD!
Blessed are those who keep his testimonies,
who seek him with their whole heart,
who also do no wrong,
but walk in his ways!
You have commanded your precepts
to be kept diligently.
Oh that my ways may be steadfast
in keeping your statutes!
Then I shall not be put to shame,
having my eyes fixed on all your commandments!
I will praise you with an upright heart,
when I learn your righteous rules.
I will keep your statutes,
do not utterly forsake me!


Doug P. Baker said...

Ah, what a beautiful one to choose! Did you know that as William Wilberforce would walk to work (that is, to the Parliament), as he left his house he would begin Psalm 119, and he would finish it as he walked into the building. This was his favorite, and it kept him strong during his incredibly long and difficult battle against slavery.

cj said...

Hey, I really liked that A to Z post about yourself! I think I'll do the same on my blog:)

Although, I don't really have any idea what the question, "Tag Five More" means. Maybe I'll make some of my own questions:)

Now I'll read this post!

Stephanie said...

"Just keep reading it"

Good advice. :)

Psalm 119 is such a great chapter to "hide in your heart"!
I've recently re-commited to memorizing Philippians. I finished the first 2 chapters and then my dilligence sadly died. I have a friend that's memorizing it with me though and we're determined to finish this time!
I hope your memorizing goes well.

penn (chief sinner) said...

That is good to know. It is cool that Wilberforce memorized Psalm 119 on his walk to work, because I memorize Psalms on my long drive to work. It is really a testimony to God's amazing grace that William Wilberforce worked so hard to end slavery as a Christian who loved God's Word.

That's cool if you fill out the A to Z thing. You can turn the questions back into bold type if you'd like. I don't know what that "Tag" means either apparently. I really think it would be way more interesting if you add your own questions ;) LOL!

I hope you really do finish Philippians with your friend. Chapter four has some great verses... the whole thing is full of verses everyone should memorize!