Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Joy of Memorization

Personally, I find it very fun to memorise certain passages in the Bible. They're so beautiful and majestic, that, well... it makes me just want to memorise for the joy of it. I've tried memorising Colossians 1 too (but haven't managed to complete memorising the entire chapter yet). And I can remember Isaiah 53 by heart. It's such a moving passage that I cry everything I read it. There are so many beautiful passages in the Bible that I want to memorise. For fun, I have memorised Psalm 23 and a few other verses in Spanish too.

Why do I want to memorise so much, in this age of PDAs and smartphones? Because I read that our less-educated brothers in China - peasants some more! - have memorised entire chapters of Matthew! So, we educated Singaporeans (especially university-trained graduates!) really have no excuse not to store up God's words in our educated brains! "I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you."

I remember reading about this old American grandfather who had a stroke that robbed him of the ability to understand ANY language, whether spoken or written. He could still see and hear, but he just couldn't understand any words at all. But... even though the stroke took away his capacity to understand language, he could still recall the Psalms by heart, because he had memorised the Psalms so deeply by heart, that not even brain damage could erase God's word from his memories. Yes! This is the iron standard. Memorise God's Word till it becomes hard-wired (literally) into your heart and mind. Then even if you get struck by a stroke or something terrible, God's Word will still be with you to encourage you in your darkest moments and nothing can ever take away His Word from you, because you treasured His words so much.

Memorising God's word also helps us be alert and ready to fight spiritual battles at the drop of a sword. Like how Jesus instantly rebutted Satan's temptations with 3 quotations from Deuteronomy. If Satan were to tempt us too, how long would we take before we could come up with the right Scripture to counter the devil? Remember that Satan actually quoted Scripture out of context to tempt Jesus to test God. If we don't have God's words at the ready, then... we'll be like guards who have been given enough bullets to bring down a tank, but never load their rifles with any bullets. Then when the enemy suddenly ambushes them, the guards have no time to run back to the guardhouse and load their rifles with bullets...

Of course, we also believe in meditating on Scripture, not just memorising. But both are important. Not just meditating, but memorising too. :)

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