Cherishing God

Psalm 119:11

I have stored up or hidden your word in my heart,
[so] that I might not sin against you.

The Hebrew word for "stored up" is, "Sapan" The meaning is: to hide, conceal, store up; to treasure, cherish;

So what does it mean, "to store up or hide your word in my heart? First of all, just for the record, he is talking about God's word, the Law of Moses. But many, many people have read the Law. Fathers, parents, have passed the Law down to their children. But this seems to be something different. The writer has cherished the Law and buried it in his heart.

To hide God's Word in our heart is, I believe, far more than memorizing it or learning it. To memorize or to learn involves using your brain. We can learn how to multiply 5 x 5. We can learn how to build things with wood, we can learn how to roast coffee or to make clothes or to cook nice food. But the knowledge of cherished childhood memories, or the memories of a loved one or a special vacation, these become buried in our hearts. To be sure, we remember them with our brain. But they have become part of who we are, they influence the way we think and feel, the way we respond to life.

"Hiding God's Word in our heart begins when we begin to cherish and treasure his words. Cherishing His Words begins when we begin to truly love Him. As we love Him, we will begin, more and more, to truly cherish Him and His Words. His Words will become part of our inner self, part of our own personality.

As Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 3:18, "And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit."

Beholding the Lord happens in various ways but almost always involves contemplation, mindfulness, a deliberate and loving turning of your heart toward the Lord. To cherish Him and to cherish what He says is the path for hiding His Word in our hearts. And all this, that we might not hurt our Lord, that we might not sin against Him.