More than words…
Esteem these words highly; see the value of them for yourself and for others, and ultimately for the Glory of God. Click To Tweet
The Word of God is so “living” that you can read a verse innumerable times and then suddenly see something in it you never saw before! This occurred a few months ago when I read Proverbs 7:1 in the Amplified: “My son, keep my words; lay up within you my commandments [for use when needed] and treasure them.” (emphasis mine) Perhaps Solomon was saying to his son, “Don’t just store up my teaching and instructions (which are according to the Word of God) as knowledge; esteem these words highly, see the value of them for yourself and for others, and ultimately for the Glory of God as the Holy Spirit brings them back to your remembrance when needed.” The word “treasure” in Hebrew, “tsaphan”, can mean “reserve, protect, esteem, hide …”. In other words, when we hear, receive, take into our hearts the Word of God, we are to do so purposefully, realizing that there is great benefit to ourselves and others, and pleasure for the Lord, when we let the Word of God dwell in us richly, abundantly (Col.3:16).
” … precept upon precept, line upon line … “
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Isaiah 28:10 reads “Precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little.” We have learned that when the Lord says something twice it’s very important, and He wants us to pay special attention to what is said or written. Think of an empty treasure chest, and as you discover and receive treasure you start placing it in the chest, layer upon layer – i.e., you are laying up for yourself treasure. In our case, as God’s children and by His Grace, as we continue to hear and receive the Word of God, day after day, we are “heaping up and storing for ourselves treasures in Heaven, where … thieves do not break through and steal.” (Matt.6:20) The chest or heart typically doesn’t fill up all at once; it’s little by little, “here a little, there a little.”, but nonetheless we are hiding it richly, abundantly in our hearts.
“Wise men store up knowledge … ” (Prov.10:14a)
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The Amplified Bible adds “[in mind and heart].” Another Proverb confirms this: “Hear counsel, receive instruction, and accept correction, that you may be wise in the time to come.” ( Prov.19:20, emphasis mine) Comparing Scripture with Scripture, and spiritual with spiritual, we find that (1) the Lord Jesus Christ is the Word of God (Rev.19:13); (2) He is our Wisdom (I Cor.1:24,30); and (3) “In Him all the treasures of [divine] Wisdom … and [all the riches of spiritual knowledge … are stored up and lie hidden.” (Col.2:3) What motivation this gives us as believers to keep hearing and reading and laying up in our hearts the precious Word of God! As we step out in faith on what we have received, we are aver increasingly getting to know Him! This is indeed a wise and worthy investment.
The benefits of storing up and treasuring the Word of God are boundless … for us, for others, for the Lord Himself.
When we read verses in the Bible that instruct us to store up the Word of God and hide it richly in our hearts; to daily take it in ( Prov.8:34), esteeming it above our necessary food (Job 23:12); indeed to throw our very lives upon it and into the quest for it as Ezra did (Psalm 119), we might take pause and consider why we are strongly directed to do this. Yes, the Word of God is Eternal; it is pure and will never pass away; it heals, delivers, and directs; it divides the soul from the spirit and exposes the thoughts and intents of the heart (Heb.4:12). Now let’s consider the benefits for the Lord, for others, and for us personally by our storing up His Words in our hearts. The awareness of how profitable this practice is causes us to not only lay it up in our hears but also to treasure what we’ve taken in.
Having thoughts and words acceptable to God
When He sees His Word being laid up in our hearts line upon line, promise upon promise, how delighted He must be! Click To Tweet
Jesus declared in Matthew 12:34, ” … out of the fullness (the overflow, the superabundance) of the heart the mouth speaks.” When we read David’s prayer in Psalm 19;14, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable to You, O Lord … “, we’re reminded that he also wrote Psalm 1:1-3 where we see the benefits for the person who receives the Word of God and ponders it night and day. This person is “blessed”, spoken well of by God, because He is looking always at our hearts, not at our outward appearance and behavior (I Sam.16:7). Imagine when He sees His Word being laid up line upon line, promise upon promise, in our hearts how delighted He is! Another blessing for the Lord is mentioned by Ezra in Psalm 119:11 – “Your Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against You.” , a practice which benefits others also …
Having a word in season for the weary
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“The Lord God has given Me the tongue of … one who is taught, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary.” (Isa.50:4) The Word is what refreshes those around us who are worn down. The Lord told Isaiah to tell the weary Jews in Isaiah 28:12, “This [i.e., receiving the Word of God line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little there a little …”] is the true rest [the way to true comfort and happiness] that you shall give to the weary, and, This is the true refreshing …”. And even to other believers who are not weary the abundance of the Word of God in our hearts will supply fuel for us to speak out to each other in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, thus encouraging and strengthening other saints, as well as ourselves (Eph.5:19). Yet another benefit to others of our treasure-filled hearts is that “Those who fear You will see me and be glad, because I have hoped in Your Word and tarried for it.” (Psa.119:74)
having “a continual feast [regardless of circumstances”
The Bible tells us of the abundance of benefits for believers who invest time, energy, their very lives, in storing up the Word of God in their hearts. Psalm 1:1-3 was mentioned above, where we see how blessed (spiritually prosperous, spoken of well by God, fruitful) the man is who takes in the Word of God and meditates on it day and night. Proverbs 15:15 is an unusual but bracing promise: “All the days of the desponding and afflicted are made evil [by anxious thoughts and forebodings], but he who has a glad heart has a continual feast [regardless of circumstances].” What makes it glad? The Words of God! What is the feast? The table He has “set before us in the presence of our enemies” (Jer.15:16; Psa.23:5). When I set my heart and mind to learn how God thinks, I am able to “be wise in the time to come” and to keep myself calm in the day of adversity” (Prov.19:20; Psa.94:12,13). Furthermore, the words that I continually lay up as treasure “will lead me when I go, keep me when I sleep, and talk with me when I waken.” (Prov.6:20-22)
More valuable than gold, silver, and precious stones
The Word of God continually received, faithfully meditated upon, abundantly stored up in our hearts is of inestimable value – to us, to others, and to God Himself. Is it any wonder that Solomon said “the gaining of it is better than the gaining of silver, the profit of it better than gold, more precious than rubies … ? (Prov.3:14,15) Is it any wonder we treasure it? A sound investment, indeed!