Today's Word of Encouragement
April 30, 2020
THE TREASURED WORD
Friday, May 01, 2020
Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You (Psalms 119:11).
The heart of the ‘Beth’ (B) section of Psalm 119 is also one of the greatest testimonies to the power of God’s Word in a person’s life - that I may not sin against God! (Psalm 37:31) The law of his God is in his heart; his steps do not slip.
Why do so many Christians, myself included, have such a difficult time with sin - sin of the head, the heart, the hand? Our attempts at curtailing sin often fail, not because we lack conviction, or desire, or genuine sincerity. It’s because we fail to appreciate and appropriate the power of God’s Word.
The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Ephesians 6:13) is the only powerful offensive weapon we have against Satan’s attacks. Why? Because it is powerful enough to defeat him. Jesus proved that in the wilderness temptations (Matthew 4:4,7,10).
Three words are key in this verse: treasure, heart, and sin. The key to unleashing the power of God’s Word in one’s life is to treasure it. The psalmist did not simply read or memorize God’s Word, or even appreciate it - he treasured it as the most valuable thing in his life. It constituted the secret power by which his life was governed. (C.F. Keil) “One is said to hide [treasure] the word in one's heart when one has it continually present with him, not merely as an outward precept, but as an inward motive power in opposition to selfish action.”
The Word of God is to be treasured in the heart. The heart, to the Hebrew, was not just the core of one’s being, it was also the seat of his affections. To treasure something in one’s heart is to love it more than anything else in life. When something is treasured in the heart, it is constantly in one’s thoughts and becomes the motivation behind his actions - it begins to control him.
The word sin is one of many Old Testament words that refer to rebellion and disobedience toward God. Here the word refers to moral evil, the breach of God’s moral law. Such sin begins in the heart and flows out of the life into conduct that is ungodly (see Exodus 20:3-17; Romans 1:18-32; Galatians 5:19-21).
John Gill wrote, “The word of God is a most powerful antidote against sin, when it has a place in the heart; not only the precepts of it forbid sin, but the promises of it influence and engage to purity of heart and life, and to the perfecting of holiness in the fear of the Lord; and all the doctrines of grace in it effectually teach the saints to deny all sin and worldly lusts, and to live a holy life and conversation.”
It is not enough to ‘try not to sin’. In fact, it’s impossible. The spiritual cancer of sin can only be removed by the two-edged sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. (Hebrews 4:12) For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
We have the unique opportunity to spend more and more time in the study of God’s Word because of the restrictions placed on us during this health crisis. We can sharpen the sword of the Spirit in our minds. We can treasure the Word of God in our hearts. I pray we will make good use of this time to do exactly that.