10 You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, 11 persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. 12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:10-17, New International Version)
A few days ago I got an email from a reader asking me a question about what I would say falls best into the category of Bible study. Her question was, “DrB. I am in a women’s Bible study and our leader gave us an assignment to memorize Psalm 150. I balked a bit at the assignment. I have a Bible, I don’t see why memorizing Scripture is important. All she said was, ‘it’s important.’ What do you think? Is it really that important?”
My reply, “Not being a part of your study group, I have no idea what her purpose would be in making such an assignment. So, I really don’t know why your teacher made such an assignment.”
But, you asked me what I thought. This has nothing to do with your teacher or her reasons. This is strictly my opinion.
I read a book in seminary titled, Teaching the Bible to Adults and Youth by the late Dr. Dick Murray. It featured several different types of Bible study that are important to Murray’s Bible Study Solution. There are three or four I have used in the past, one of which is, “You Teach the Bible Through Memorization.”
Dr. Murray made a strong case for memorizing Scripture. If I were to ask you right now, where you sit, do you have a Bible with you? I suspect most people probably do. If you have a smart phone, it likely has at least on Bible app on it. But when Dr. Murray wrote his books, no one had smart phones. The book, first published in 1987 was when cellphones were just coming into their own. There were no apps and most people couldn’t afford one. Also, they were almost exclusively in your car, not in a pocket or purse.
So, when Murray wrote, there is a good chance, if you needed to quote some Scripture, if you didn’t have it memorized, chances are, you were out of luck because most of us would not have been carrying a Bible as part of our day to day norm.
OK Keith, enough of the history lesson. We have smart phones now. Why would we need to memorize Scripture.
Corrie Ten Boom wrote, “Gather the riches of God’s promises. Nobody can take away from you those texts from the Bible which you have learned by heart.”
Evangelist Charles Spurgeon said, “Be walking Bibles.”
And David wrote in the Psalms, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”
The late Senator John McCain told of the extensive work he and his fellow prisoners of war did in an effort to have Scriptures. He said that they asked the guards for Bibles. The guards said they didn’t have any. Years later, after their release, they found that many Bibles were sent to the prisoners but none were given to them.
As Christmas approached one year, they really went to work. They wrote down every Scripture they could remember. That was there Bible, the Bible they used to celebrate the birth of Christ.
Had their been a Bible in McCain’s or any other prisoner’s possession when captured, it surely would have been confiscated.
Together, they had a Bible that could never be taken away. The Scripture we have memorized, the Scripture we have on our hearts can never be taken away.
So yes. We do have a need for memorizing Scripture. It’s your Bible.
Seeking the Genuine,
Copyright 2020, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved
Pondering with Dr. B.
Where’s Your Bible
Perritte Memorial United Methodist Church.