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BEAUTIFUL, WONDERFUL WORDS OF LIFE
This psalm is a treasury of contemplations on the Word of God. Of the 176 verses in Psalm 119, virtually all of them reference the scripture in one way or another. Its form is acrostic; the first letter of each set of eight verses begins with one of the 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet. In terms of poetry and form it is a wonderful piece of literature.
Focusing on verse 11, its simple message to us is of infinite value. How does one hide God's Word in one's heart? By memorization, contemplation and meditation thereon. Why is this important? While ignorance of the law is no excuse, knowledge of the law can provide a hedge against its violation.
It's a very simple formula for us as parents, teachers and ministerial leaders. Teach the Word, preach the Word, explain the Word, live the Word - as we inculcate our kids with the Word of God we can inoculate them from the hazards of scriptural ignorance.
To use a current events analogy, one of the major problems faced in today's political discourse is ignorance of facts, historical, social, political, etc., resulting in uninformed opinions, positions and votes. In the same manner, ignorance of scripture can result in equally misguided thinking. When the goal is as important as avoiding offense against the Sovereign of the universe, intimate familiarity with His standards is a key prerequisite.
I'm grateful our parents involved my brothers and me in scripture memorization as kids, also helping us learn the meaning and import of what we memorized. That sense of clarity was rounded out as a teen by education in a Christian school and involvement in Bible Quiz. Following the Old Testament mandate ("You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up," Deuteronomy 11:19NKJV), they gave us a firm foundation.
Perhaps you weren't blessed with that kind of heritage. That's okay; now is as good a time as any to begin. Immerse yourself in His Word. Consume it voraciously; learn of His ways able teachers. As Paul said, "Behold now is the accepted time . . .." (II Corinthians 6:2, NKJV); start now, don't wait, hide it away while there is time.
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