Memorizing Scripture: Wisdom

Originally published by Church on Morgan, Daily Rhythm Reflection, December 8, 2017.

Throughout December our focus is on memorizing scripture, beginning with to “guide our minds,” leaning on God’s word for wisdom and instruction.

The Bible is God’s Word, so as we read and memorize scripture we gain fluency. Then, as we seek God’s guidance for our lives through prayer we are able to hear his voice more clearly as the truths of scripture are reflected back to us with verses we have learned.

Jesus models this rhythm for us, quoting scripture close to 80 times throughout his life, which certainly suggests he considered it be both valuable and important. One of the most famous moments was when he was tempted in the desert. Jesus leaned on scriptural truths for strength in the battle:

After fasting 40 days and 40 nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered:

“It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Matthew 4: 2-4

The passage Jesus cites is Deuteronomy 8:3, where Moses recalled God’s faithfulness in providing manna for the Israelites when they hungered in the wilderness, reminding them that God alone was their true source of life.

What an encouragement those words must have been to Jesus, and what an encouragement to those who later heard and recorded the story, as Jesus made important connections between that Old Testament truth and its fulfillment in him, the word made flesh, our bread of life.

If it’s wisdom and instruction you seek, there’s no better place to begin than Proverbs, which is called “the book of wisdom”; it affirms the value of this very rhythm:

When you walk, they will lead you;
when you lie down, they will watch over you;
and when you awake, they will talk with you.
For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light,
and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life. 

Proverbs 6: 21-23

Read more about the Daily Rhythm of memorizing scripture: Memorizing Scripture: Worship

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