Psalm 119:9-11 says “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to Thy word. With my whole heart I seek Thee; let me not wander from Thy commandments. I have laid up Thy word in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee.” The psalmist was definitely a fan of memorizing the Torah (the Old Testament saints didn’t have the New Testament).
When I became a Christian in college, I started getting involved with the Navigators. The Navigators were not just focused on seeing people become Christians. They were heavily vigilant toward making disciples. Their real purpose was in grounding men and women in the Word of God. As such, there was a major push to begin memorizing the Bible. We (Cheryl and I) obtained copies of the Topical Memory System (TMS: a series of sixty Bible verses) dealing with witnessing and living life. We completed the TMS and then started a lifelong project of memorizing every verse that the Holy Spirit laid on our hearts. I cannot tell you how many times we have experienced difficult circumstances in life and the Holy Spirit brings a memorized verse or passage to mind that provides peace or direction before we even have time to go to the Bible or seek Godly counsel.
Scripture memory has been one of the biggest blessings since coming to know Christ. I would highly recommend memorizing scripture. John 1:1 says “In the beginning was the Word as the Word was with God and the Word was God.” When we memorize scripture, we are literally taking Christ into our lives. God uses memorized scripture for many purposes. These include: responding to people in a godly way, controlling anger, accidents, fearful situations, sin, pushing to continue growing in Christ, connecting scriptural passages, praying scripture, cultivating trust in God, Memorized scripture is easy to meditate on. The Hebrew word for meditate means to think on, to muse, thoughtful deliberation, studying…
Deuteronomy 8:1-3 says “All the commandment which I command you this day you shall be careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the Lord swore to give to your fathers. 2 And you shall remember all the way which the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments, or not. 3 And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know; that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but that man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord.” Jesus quoted the last half of verse three to Satan when he was being tempted in the wilderness. Quoting scripture to Satan and his emissaries stops them clean in their tracks. It is important to memorize scripture because it constantly feeds our spiritual nature just as manna fed the physical Hebrews during their 40 years in the wilderness. Memorizing scripture is another form of gathering manna. It is work with untold benefits.
Scripture memory is also a way of countering temptation. Satan shutters when people memorize scripture. He cannot stand before the Word of God.