Our Bible urges us to memorize God’s Word. We are told to hide it in our hearts (Ps. 119:11), to make it our delight by meditating on it day and night (Ps. 1:2) and to make sure His words do not depart from our mouths (Joshua 1:8).
So how do we do that?
Well, Menelik II, the 19th century emperor of Ethiopia, had an idea. He was a powerful ruler who asserted his country’s independence and expanded its territory. Somewhere along the way, he came in contact with some Christians and adopted some “Christian” ideas.
When he got a headache, he would tear off a corner of a page in the Bible and eat it. When a stomach problem persisted, he would yank off a section of a page and chew it for a while, always asserting that he felt better afterwards.
One day, he had a massive stroke and demanded that the Bible be brought to him. He tore out the pages covering the entire books of I and II Kings and ate them all. And then he died.
I am confident that is not what the Spirit of God has in mind for you and I! Hiding His word in our hearts is the intentional practice of ruminating on His words. It is the activity of thinking seriously about His message, finding practical ways to apply its truths and observing how it ultimately changes our attitudes and behaviors.
The Hebrew word for “meditating” means to muse over something. But that definition sounds a bit mild. A second definition states that the word carries the idea of a growl, a growl like a lion might do as he stalks his prey.
As we read, memorize and think about a section of scripture, a verse or even a single word, we are walking around that truth a bit. We are observing all the facets of its teaching. We are spending time seriously considering the implications. Then we can pounce and “kill off” the poor attitudes and actions that crop our in our hearts.
So, this week, let’s laugh at old Menelik and instead hide God’s word in our hearts the most effective way. Grab some coffee (or the beverage of choice), find a quiet corner, open your Bible and identify a portion to focus on. Take your time. Mull it over. Speak with your heavenly Father.
Ask Him to “open our eyes that we may see wonderful things in your Law” (Psalm 119:18).