Psalm 119:11 is a precious verse that we all should know and practice.  It says, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”  King David’s intent in writing these words is remarkable.  HE DID NOT WANT TO SIN AGAINST GOD!  Of course David had sinned against the Lord greatly in his life.  His prayer of repentance and confession in Psalm 51 is both touching and instructive.  We read his words in Psalm 51:1-3, “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.”  This reveals the heart of one who felt great pain in that he had sinned against his Lord.  His confession shows the heart of a truly repentant man.

This is the voice of one who knew what it was to sin, and his desire now is that he might not sin against the Lord.  It is important that we realize that all sin is sin against the Lord.  In Genesis 39, Joseph was being seduced by Potiphar’s wife.  Notice his response to her in verse 9, “…how then can I do this great wickedness, and SIN AGAINST GOD?”  In David’s prayer of confession in Psalm 51, he says this in verse 4, “Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight…”  May we all realize how terrible sin is, even sin that we might consider small and insignificant.  The Lord notices it and is grieved by it.  May it be our heart’s desire to resist sinning against God.  May we also learn, as David did, the necessity of confessing our sins to the Lord.  1 John 1:9 tells us, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

David knew the source of power that it would take to prevent him from sinning: “Thy word have I hid in my heart…”  We need to know God’s Word.  We need to be in His Word constantly.  We need to value the Word of God.  Job knew the value of God’s Word.  He said in Job 23:12, “…I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.”  It was more important to Job to feed his spirit than it was to feed his body.  Can you say that?

David ‘hid’ God’s word in his heart.  The word literally means “to hide, to protect, to esteem, to lay up.”  The New American Standard Bible put it like this, “Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You.”  I believe that captures the meaning of this verse more fully.  It’s not enough just to read God’s Word.  It’s not enough to memorize verses.  It’s when we ‘treasure’ His Word that it has its effect upon our lives.  When we treasure God’s Word, we read it with a passion to know more about our Lord.  When we treasure God’s Word, we study it to understand its depths.  In it we look for daily instruction, realizing that with all the contrasting voices we hear in the world today, the Word of God does not change, its teachings are perfect and timeless.  When we treasure God’s Word, it gives us the direction and strength to resist sinning against our precious savior.

David hid God’s Word in his ‘heart’.  This was much more than head knowledge.  David made the Word a part of Himself and his life.  The word ‘heart’ is used metaphorically to mean the center of who we are.  That includes our intellect and our emotions.  It is the essence of our being.  He had said in verse 10 of our chapter, “With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.”  He speaks of his ‘whole heart’.  Every bit of who he was.  The world is full of ‘half-hearted’ Christians today, and that is a shame.  We try to find room in our hearts to love both the Lord and the world.  That is impossible to do!  1 John 2:15 is very clear, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”  Dear fellow believer, may we seek the Lord with our ‘whole heart’ and leave no room for anything else.  When we do that, He will give us a love for all things proper and beneficial, and then we can truly ‘treasure’ His Word.  (207.4)