Summary: Scripture is a blessing that many of us take for granted, a tool that will establish us well for spiritual battles and develop us as individuals in life and in character.
We are blessed to live in part of the world where we are able to still share scripture openly. There are countries in where the sharing of God’s word is illegal, where people would love to have access to read the Bible openly but do not. There are other places where the Bible is held in very high reverence, I had a Pakistani Territorial Commander in Sri Lanka who if you placed the Bible on the floor next to your seat would shake his head, as to treat the Bible as a common thing was close to blasphemy.
Today I want to look at scripture, this tool of our faith and see why we should write it on our hearts, why we should saturate ourselves with it.
Let's look at three passages from the Old Testament.
Deuteronomy11:18-19; Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
Proverbs 3:1-3 My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity. Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.
Proverbs 7:3 Tie them on your fingers as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart. bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.
I also want to look at:
How did Jesus respond the temptations that were placed before him by Satan. Quite a bit to discuss here.
We have possibly all read an instruction manual of some type. A how to maintain that piece of machinery, connect the tele to the internet in the old days the VHS player or in more recent history the DVD player to the TV and the aerial, oh yah the frustration. Just as a matter of interest does anyone here still have a reel-to-reel tape recorder. Well kids there’s some ancient history that fell out of use in the 70’s. What about a recipe book, who’s used one this week, or more likely googled a recipe? There’s an electrical trade saying that goes like this, “As a last resort read the instruction manual.” Most tradesmen would like to give it a go whatever it is first eh. God in the Bible has given us a manual for our very existence
We see these passages in the Old Testament that refer to God’s Word and what to do with it; that say something like; write it on your heart, keep it in sight, commit it to memory, pass it onto your children…
In Proverbs 3:3 and 7:3 there’s even a reference to writing them on your tablet. Pretty high tech for the time.
The Bible when it refers to the heart generally does not mean that organ that pumps blood around your body but refers to the whole being, all of a person from head to toe, emotions, intellect, spirit, so that we are completely engaged in the matter it is referring to. Write scripture on your heart so that your heart…your whole being from the centre out is engaged in it.
Lets’ have a little look at the context of these scriptures that are referring to the writing of the word on our hearts and the other actions that we should engage in .
The passage of Deuteronomy 11:18-19 is an interesting one. The Hebrew people had escaped Egypt, that had passed through the Red Sea as God had drawn the waters back on each side and trapped the Egyptians beneath the waves. The law was given to Moses, who had come down from the mountain to find his people worshipping a golden calf idol. Moses broke the tablets in anger and fasted and plead with The Lord for him not to destroy his people. God heard Moses and preserved the nation.
I just want to point out here there is a common theme we come across in scripture and you will hear this a bit from me is that the nation of Israel sins, the nation of Israel is judged and then God in his mercy forgives them, the theme is sin, judgement, grace. If we look at our own journeys this is a common theme. Often this is the pattern we have seen in our own lives that has us in this place.
So, this passage in Deuteronomy after new tablets of the law were made and God rewrote the law on them and Moses came down from the mountain and placed them in the Ark of the Covenant, sounds like a God movie title. Moses instructs the people to fear the Lord. Interestingly he uses these words about God; “He is your praise, he is your God, who performed those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes. Your forefathers who went down to Egypt were seventy in all, and now the Lord your God has made you as numerous as the stars in the sky.’” Deuteronomy 10:21-22.