Why should we go to the trouble of memorizing the Bible? Here are some reasons:
1. God has commanded us to memorize His Word – “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart” (Deuteronomy 6:6). Likewise, God says in Deuteronomy 11:18: “Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul . . .” Memorizing God’s Word is our God-given duty. Therefore, every obedient child of God should engage in learning and remembering God’s Word.
2. The habit of remembering and meditating on the Word of God in our minds helps us to obey it. Deuteronomy 30:14 says: “But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.”
3. The memorization of God’s Word would prevent us from sinning against God. Psalm 119:11 declares: “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Likewise, Psalm 37:31 promises that the keeping of God’s Word in our hearts will prevent us from backsliding from God – “The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.”
4. Learning God’s Word by heart has the promise of great blessings, even spiritual and physical prosperity. Joshua wrote: “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success” (Joshua 1:8).
5. It prevents our mind from vain and sinful thoughts by filling it with the truth of His Word. Since memorizing and recollecting the Scripture would require much exercising of the mind on the Word of God, it will crowd out less edifying thoughts. Through Scripture memorization, one can easily obey Paul’s exhortation: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8).
6. It equips us to fight off the temptations that the devil would bring to us. Christ is our example on this point. In Matthew 4 and Luke 4, He resisted Satan’s temptations each time by citing Scripture. Paul states that the Word of God is a weapon in spiritual warfare: “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17).
7. It increases our understanding of the verses that are memorized. To memorize, one must know every single word and dwell on every single word. While doing this, one naturally asks oneself, “Why this word?” Meditation on each word will, through the Spirit, give one a deep understanding of the verse and reveal meanings that are hidden in a cursory reading. Psalm 119:99 affirms this spiritual benefit, when it says: “I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.”