“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Praise be to you, O Lord; teach me your decrees. With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth.” (Psalm 119:11–13, NIV)
When people first look at Psalm 119, they are amazed at its length. After they read it, they are amazed that the entire psalm covers one topic (God’s Word). When they ponder Psalm 119, they are amazed by the depth that one man could derive from a single topic.
In the verses above, the psalmist directs us to do two things with God’s Word. First, we are told to hide God’s Word in our heart. Now, this is not the kind of hide where you bury something and virtually forget it’s there. The psalmist tells us to hide God’s Word in our heart so that we might not sin against the Lord. The hiding that the psalmist describes is like the safe-keeping of something that is very important and must be used again and again. It is like memorizing a truth and then living by it. Since earliest biblical history, it has been the practice of the faithful to memorize the Word of God. The thought was that if one memorized the truth, it would be at the ready when needed. This is a practice I began a long time ago and have neglected most recently. I invite you to join me in trying to memorize a verse a week. Remember, we do it as more than a task. We do it so that the truth of God’s Word is available when we need it and so that we do not sin against God.
Second, the psalmist tells us to recount the Word of God with our lips. We need to exercise our spiritual minds by not only filling it up with truth but by dispensing that truth with our lips to the world around us. It is only when we can speak a truth in context that we can say that we truly understand it. We need to utter the truths of God’s word in our daily lives. Ultimately this is our testimony. The world around us will come to know what Jesus means to us as we are able to communicate the significance He has in our daily lives.
In these few verses the psalmist has prescribed a very important process for each of us. This is to be a lifelong process. We are to hide God’s Word in our heart (memorize it) and then recount it (speak it) appropriately to ourselves, our loved ones, and to a world that so desperately needs to hear it.