Why Should We Hide God's Word in Our Hearts?
When I was a little girl, I remember gathering in our tiny living room as my younger sister and I did our best to recite the latest assigned Bible verses from our parents. And one of the earliest verses I learned was Psalm 119:11 from the King James Version: Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
As a five-year-old, I committed this verse to memory out of love and respect for my parents. I didn’t realize they were following God’s leadership and were actively laying a foundation in my heart of dependence on Christ and His word. In obedience to scripture, they accepted Deuteronomy 6:5-7 as a sacred trust: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
From life experience, mom and dad knew their daughter would face countless trials and troubles on her life journey and they were making sure I could say with confidence, “Thy word have I hid in my heart.”
While they couldn’t have known the specifics, my parents anticipated my life’s path littered with much joy as well as grief, difficult decisions, broken hearts, discouragement, and more. And even though they couldn’t shower their young family with the riches of this world, they bestowed a legacy of immeasurable worth and the absolute greatest treasure of all—the word of God.
Psalm 19:7-9 speaks of the Lord’s laws, statutes, precepts, commands, and decrees. And in glowing terms, verses 10–11 lay out the amazing benefits of leaning on His precious words. They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them thy servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward.
Thankfully, there’s no age exclusion on hiding God’s word in our hearts. From ages five to 105, “in keeping them” there is truly great reward.
What Does 'Thy Word Have I Hid in My Heart' Mean?
Some Bible translations of Psalm 119:11 use the word, “treasured,” instead of, “hid” or “hidden.” This provides an image of something of great worth and value that we long to enfold in our inner selves or our hearts.
Treasuring or hiding God’s word in our inner being goes far beyond simple memorization—though committing words to memory is a great place to begin. The living word of God is not for us to simply think fondly or emotionally about, like a family antique or heirloom, but a treasure of infinite value and substance that will transform our lives and equip us to live victoriously for Christ.
As an example, I have treasures handed down to me from my grandparents and parents, and I cherish the privilege of ownership. I protect each item and keep them safe from theft or abuse. But I haven’t hidden these earthly treasures in the deepest places of my heart. These items are unable to change me from the inside out, and to draw me closer to my Heavenly Father through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Only the words from our Creator God have the power to transform and renew from within.
Why Do We Need to Hide God's Word in Our Hearts?
Meditating over Scripture and absorbing God’s wisdom into our minds and hearts has incredible benefits, far beyond the greatest benefit package ever offered on this earth. Even our Lord Jesus quoted scripture to fight Satan’s temptation in the desert (Matthew 4:4, 7, 10), and He is our ultimate example of righteous and faithful living!
When we hide God’s word in our hearts today, the Holy Spirit will bring these precious words to mind at the precise moment of our need. Are we longing for peace and comfort in a difficult season? The words we poured over and treasured in Philippians 4:6-7 will spring to our thoughts and become a soothing balm over our spirits: Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
In times of great stress and anxiety, I have personally prayed and recited Isaiah 26:3: You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. This Scripture was tucked into my heart years ago and is brought to mind by the Holy Spirit in His perfect timing.
How Can Scripture Help Us Combat Sin?
Imagine how the following verses could make a difference in our war against sin:
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand (Ephesians 6:13).
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21).
But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high (Psalm 3:3).
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us (Hebrews 12:1).
Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me (Psalm 119:133).
In our daily battle against sin, a strong and mighty sword is ready and available for our use!
What Does the Bible Say about God's Word?
In the Bible we learn that God’s word is a lamp for our feet, lighting our way in the darkness (Psalm 119:105). We are admonished to not only listen to the word but to obey, as well (James 1:22). And Isaiah 40:8 provides a beautiful image of the enduring nature of Scripture: The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.
The Holy Scriptures are, “alive and active,” and they testify to the life-giving benefits of opening our hearts, minds, and souls to God’s word.
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
And I love Psalm 119:130 because of the promise that even in my simple understanding and abilities, God’s words will light my way: The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.
Whether by Scripture set to music, verses taped on the fridge and mirror or studying with a friend or family member, there are exciting and creative ways to treasure the scriptures and to hide God’s word in our hearts. Setting aside time to ponder and pray over God’s love letter to us is the best stewardship of our inner lives. And the ongoing benefits of sweet communion with the Holy Spirit, peace in troubling times, and a mighty sword in the battle against sin, combine to provide a life-giving spiritual investment that will echo throughout eternity.
For some great ways to memorize Bible verses, check out this article by Tessa Emily Hall here.
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/coffeekai
Leigh Ann Thomas is passionate about encouraging others to seek God’s best. She has penned four books, including Smack-Dab in the Midlife Zone—Inspiration for Women in the Middle, and Ribbons, Lace, and Moments of Grace—Inspiration for the Mother of the Bride.
You’ll find Leigh Ann on an adventure with her sweetheart of 37 years, getting silly with her grands, or daydreaming story plots on the front porch.
This article is part of our larger resource library of popular Bible verse phrases and quotes. We want to provide easy-to-read articles that answer your questions about the meaning, origin, and history of specific verses within Scripture's context. We hope that these will help you better understand the meaning and purpose of God's Word in your life today.
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