Thursday, October 11, 2012
I have hidden your word in my heart
Someone then asks, why should you hide what you need to use? Most times we tend to hide two categories of things: those that we are ashamed of, like our nakedness, and those that we treasure and may lose to thieves. So to hide is either to avoid exposure or for safekeeping. Can we say the same for God's word? No! His word is both meant to be exposed and to used daily. Let's see how.
David as young man shows us the holy precaution which he had taken to prevent his falling into sin. His heart would be kept by the word because he kept the word in his heart. All that he had of the word written, and all that had been revealed to him by the voice of God, -- all, without exception, he had stored away in his affections, as a treasure to be preserved in a casket, or as a choice seed to be buried in a fruitful soil: what soil more fruitful than a renewed heart, wholly seeking the Lord? The word was God's own, and therefore precious to God's servant. He did not wear a text on his heart as a charm, but he hid it in his heart as a rule. He laid it up in the place of love and life (Proverbs 4:23), and it filled the chamber with sweetness and light. These words are health to the flesh.
We must in this imitate David, copying his heart work as well as his outward character. First, we must mind that what we believe is truly God's word; that being done, we must hide or treasure it each man for himself; and we must see that this is done, not as a mere feat of the memory, but as the joyful act of the affections.
But why? That I might not sin against thee. Here was the object aimed at. As one has well said, -- Here is the best thing -- "thy word"; hidden in the best place, -- "in my heart;" for the best of purposes, -- "that I might not sin against thee." This was done by the Psalmist with personal care, as a man carefully hides away his money when he fears thieves, -- in this case the thief dreaded was sin. Sinning "against God" is the believer's view of moral evil; other men care only when they offend against men. God's word is the best preventive against offending God, for it tells us His mind and will, and tends to bring our spirit into conformity with the divine Spirit. No cure for sin in the life is equal to the word in the seat of life, which is the heart. There is no hiding from sin unless we hide the truth in our souls. The word and sin are mutually exclusive; no one hides both in the same casket or carries them in one basket.
A very pleasant variety of meaning is obtained by laying stress upon the words "thy" and "thee." He speaks to God, he loves the word because it is God's word, and he hates sin because it is sin against God himself. If he vexed others, he minded not so long as he did not offend his God. If we would not cause God displeasure we must treasure up his own word. The personal way in which the man of God did this is also noteworthy: "With my whole heart have I sought thee." Whatever others might choose to do he had already made his choice and placed the Word in his innermost soul as his dearest delight, and however others might transgress, his aim was after holiness: "That I might not sin against thee." This was not what he purposed to do, but what he had already done: many are great at promising, but the Psalmist had been true in performing: hence he hoped to see a sure result. When the word is hidden in the heart the life shall be hidden from sin.
The only thing that we need to not hide is sin. Proverbs 28:13 says that " he that covers his sins shall not prosper; but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy." Nathaniel Hardy once said, " Indeed, since it is impossible to cover, why should we not discover our sins? Conceal not that which God knoweth already, and have thee to make known. It's a very ill office to be the devil's secretary. Oh break thy league with Satan, be revealing his secrets, thy sins to God."
The best thing, in the best place, for the best of purposes.
Adapted from Spurgeon's Archives, Treasury of David.