Digging Deeper: Treasuring the Word



Your Word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You. Psalm 119:11


Most Christ-followers would be familiar with Psalm 119:11. Some translations use “store up” or “hide” in place of the word “treasured”. You, like me, may have heard many folks say this has to do with memorizing Scripture. No doubt memorizing the Word is important as we follow Christ.


But does Psalm 119:11 encourage us to do more than merely memorize Scripture? What does it really mean to treasure the Word in my heart? And why is treasuring the Word important for us as Christ-followers? Here is what Jay Adams shares on this:


The word treasure in Psalm 119:11 has in it the idea of “laying up” or “storing up” treasures. It sometimes also connotates “hiding” or “concealing” something in order to protect it. But the most important qualifying phrase in this verse is “in my heart”. (1)


As a Biblical Counselor, I ask the Lord to help a couple cooperate with Him in His transforming work in their individual lives and in their marriage. Without the heart really changing with God’s help, there will only be temporary change in a person’s behavior. We need our hearts to be transformed, and God uses His Word, rightly understood, in that transformation process. We call that transformation process “sanctification” – looking more like Jesus and less like me as time goes by.


So we need the Word working deeply in our hearts so that God can do His transforming work. And we find God exhorting us to do this in many places, not just Psalm 119:11. Such as this familiar passage in Deuteronomy 6:


These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:6-9


Adams goes on to further explain what treasuring the Word means from this passage:


When Moses writes of the Scriptures being “on the heart”, that means more than our phrases “in your heart” or “by heart”, which more or less have to do with memorization. The preposition “on” is used in this expression to convey the idea of affecting the heart – we might translate it “riding herd on the heart” (i.e., continually guiding and directing the heart). When the Scriptures lead the inner life (the heart) they will control what one thinks (Scripture on the forehead), does (Scripture on the hand), what goes on in his home (Scripture on the doorpost), and even what he does when he goes out (Scripture on the city gates). These passages, then, refer to the controlling and guiding power of the Bible. Plainly, God intended the Bible to play a practical part in everyday affairs. (1)


So after reading that, you may have the same question as me: Is God’s Word continually guiding and directing me? And while we both would like to answer “Yes”, I think it would be prudent to ask the Lord to help me see if, indeed, these four areas (thinking, doing, and what happens inside and outside of my home) are being directed by Him through His Word.


A few questions to help us see the true answer to the question, Is God’s Word continually guiding and directing me? You and I would be wise to ask these and other similar questions as we read and meditate on God’s Word:

  • What truth from this Scripture can I see bearing fruit in my life?

  • What does it look like for me to believe and obey this Scripture in a genuine, non-superficial way?

  • Is there a truth from what I read that is being overshadowed in my life by the world’s influence or my own selfishness?

  • What does the Lord want me to understand and think as a result of reading this passage?

  • As a result of my answers to these questions and my understanding of the passage, is there a sin I need to confess and/or something I need to repent of? (2)

Jay Adams goes on to share one more passage that further connects the way that God’s Word is supposed to be transforming us:


Let the Word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:16


Not sure I need to comment much on that passage. I think, as Christ-followers, we all want the Word of Christ to richly dwell within us. The real question for you and me is, what steps of faith and action is the Lord calling me to do so that it will become a reality, and will I do them?



Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your Word! Help me to spend the rest of my life growing in what it means to treasure Your Word. Not so I can be puffed up with knowledge, but so my heart will be continually transformed. And as a result, my thinking and my actions, both inside and outside of my home, will be in line with Your will and Kingdom purposes. In the Name of Jesus!!



Application Section:

1) Take some time to read and re-read Psalm 119:11, Deuteronomy 6:6-9, and Colossians 3:16 in different Bible translations. Ask the Lord to continue to grow your understanding of treasuring His Word. Share what you are learning with your spouse and/or other close friends.



2) Review the questions below and pick one to focus on as you read a passage of Scripture. Respond to the Sprit’s leading however He might prompt you.

  • What truth from this Scripture can I see bearing fruit in my life?

  • What does it look like for me to believe and obey this Scripture in a genuine, non-superficial way?

  • Is there a truth from what I read that is being overshadowed in my life by the world’s influence or my own selfishness?

  • What does the Lord want me to understand and think as a result of reading this passage?

  • As a result of my answers to these questions and my understanding of the passage, is there a sin I need to confess and/or something I need to repent of? (2)





Sources:

(1) Jay Adams book, What to Do on Thursday. Copyright 1982, 1995, Timeless Texts.

(2) These questions were taken or adapted from 3 different online posts show below. There are some other thought-provoking questions, in those articles, that any Christ-follower can use to help us understand and apply Scripture as we dig deeper into His Word:


Watermark Church Heart Check Post Link Here

The Gospel Coalition 8 Questions Post Link Here


Open the Bible 15 Questions Post Link Here




Written by Glen Solberg, Abiding Marriage 2022. All Rights Reserved.

Your Help/Feedback: We at Abiding Marriage would love to hear your thoughts on this month’s article in Digging Deeper into God’s Word. We welcome your email to info@AbidingMarriage.org