If you were ever stranded on a deserted island and had no access to any reading materials or cell phones, how many Bible verses could you reconstruct from your memory banks? How about your children if you have any? Do your teenagers know the Bible verses they need to withstand the temptations they’ll face?
The Bible was written to be memorized. Take Psalm 25 for instance. It has 22 verses. The Hebrew alphabet has 22 letters; so when we find a passage like this with 22 verses, it’s likely an acrostic. Verse 1 begins with the Hebrew equivalent of our letter A. Verse 2, with the Hebrew equivalent of our letter B. It continues this pattern all the way through verse 22. They call that a mnemonic which is a device or a pattern that assists someone in remembering something. David, who wrote Psalm 25, wanted to make it easy to memorize.
When you look at Psalm 119, it is actually composed of 22 segments arranged as an extended acrostic. Proverbs 31 also has 22 segments. So, in other words, these Bible verses were meant to be memorized. Before we had many print versions of the Bible, people were forced to memorize portions of God’s Word. Now we have access to God’s Word in many forms. I can pull up scripture on my phone and read it anywhere. The problem comes when memorization becomes a lost art due to easy accessibility. Something that is so good can actually be harmful.
Just remember, whenever you store away a verse in your mind, it becomes a concealed weapon. As the great theologian Barney Fife says, “Your whole body becomes a weapon.” The Word becomes a light, a lamp, and a two-edged sword. It is available 24/7 and can “fix” our thoughts as we fix our thoughts on Jesus and His Words.
This Sunday is Grandparent’s Day at the Church. Bring your grandchildren or your grandparents and enjoy the gift of many generations worshiping together. Pictures will be taken and available for your memories sake in the weeks following. Don’t want to forget those special times either. It’s going to be a great Sunday.
What verse or passage of scripture are you working on? Start small and work your way up.
Joy in Jesus!
Rev. Mike McClurg
Senior Pastor, Findlay First Church of the Nazarene