May 19, 2023
On Stashing and Storing
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"Your word I have treasured and stored in my heart, That I may not sin against You." Psalm 119:11 (AMP)
It was a sunny, 73-degree day, and I decided to take my laptop and some cold-brew coffee out to the back deck to continue whittling down my inbox in the fresh air.
But as I rounded the corner into the kitchen, I spied my husband already out on the deck, putting on the patio furniture covers, stashing away the pillows, and cranking down the umbrella.
"What are you doing?" I asked. "I was just about to take my coffee out there and work."
"Check your weather app, Frances," he chirped back, tossing in my middle name for a tease. Sure enough, in less than a half hour, the brightly colored radar showed severe storms headed our way. A high-wind advisory had also been issued, thus my husband's batten-down-the-hatches behavior.
In just a few hours, the meteorologists' predictions came true. Gusting winds, thunderbolts and lightning flashes ricocheted around our backyard. My husband's careful and timely preparation had thwarted any damage to our patio furniture - or anything that got in its way had the wind picked it up!
Psalm 119:11 gives us a glimpse of a person who spiritually prepares for future storms - specifically, the storms caused by temptations to sin: "Your word I have treasured and stored in my heart, That I may not sin against You." This depicts a person both treasuring and storing God's Word in their heart to prevent the damage of sin that results when we choose wrongly.
In the original rendering of this verse, the concept of both treasuring and storing Scripture is captured by a single Hebrew word: tsaphan. Upon studying this word, I can see why it is not easily translated into one simple English word.
Tsaphan on one level means "to hide, save up, treasure or store." But it doesn't stop there. It also portrays the acts of lurking, stealthily watching and ambushing! When we roll it all into one, we see just how to combat sin by having our hearts armed with the Word of God.
Just like my husband secured and stored away our patio furniture before a huge thunderstorm, we can treasure and store Scripture in our hearts and call it to memory when we need it for weathering the temptations of sin that blow our way. God's Word aids us in defending against Satan's schemes. We can stand armed and ready to pull out the weapon of the Word when we feel enticed, just as Jesus did in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11).
When I am tempted to lash out in anger, James 1:19 can invade my thoughts and remind me, "My dear brothers and sisters, understand this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger" (CSB). When I'm just about to open my mouth and let some gossip leak out, I can recall Proverbs 11:13: "A gossip goes around revealing a secret, but a trustworthy person keeps a confidence" (CSB).
Sometimes heartaches in life come from the wrong and sinful choices that we make. The fallout of such choices finds us anxious and regretful. But we can purpose to prepare for the temptations that lie ahead - before they reach us - by knowing that they're inevitably coming (John 16:33). We can not only read and study our Bibles; we can also commit verses to memory. We'll be better equipped to stand firm through life's storms when we prepare for them before they're here.
Let's prepare for the times of testing that most certainly come. When we treasure God's Word enough to store it in our minds and hearts, we stand ready to rely on its power in times of turmoil or temptation.
Father, thank You for the gift of Your holy Word that can help me defend against Satan's schemes and keep me from sinning. May I treasure Scripture greatly and store it up in my heart intentionally. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
OUR FAVORITE THINGS
If you are experiencing a difficult situation in life and need some direction and encouragement, you will find it in Karen Ehman and Ruth Schwenk's devotional Trusting God in All the Things: 90 Devotions for Finding Peace in Your Every Day.
If you'd like some ideas to help you memorize Scripture to prepare for trying times, grab a free, downloadable PDF titled "How to Stash God's Word in Your Heart" over on Karen's website.
FOR DEEPER STUDY
Proverbs 4:20-21, "My son, pay attention to my words and be willing to learn; Open your ears to my sayings. Do not let them escape from your sight; Keep them in the center of your heart" (AMP).
Have you ever tried to memorize any Bible verses? What obstacles did you face?
How are you motivated to memorize Scripture more intentionally when you think about how stashing God's Word in your heart can keep you from sinful behavior? We'd love to hear from you! Share your thoughts in the comments.
© 2023 by Karen Ehman. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
P.O. Box 3189
Matthews, NC 28106