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Thursday: Memory and Song — 17 Comments

  1. Back in the "good old days", we were told we had to learn scripture so that we had something to fall back on when our Bibles were taken away from us during the time of trouble. I don't think my parents took all that much notice of that injunction and we learned our memory texts for fun. We learned our doctrinal texts and sat the quarterly examination for the kudos of getting 100%. One thing that became obvious to me was that anything to do with the Bible was treated as something enjoyable in our family home. It was not a chore.

    Some of us mourn the passing of route learning of scripture in the modern context and look back on the "good old days" with a bit of nostalgia. I am not so concerned about the memory aspect but am concerned that in the modern Christian/Adventist culture we have forgotten about the enjoyment of Scripture. When I read some of the curriculum goals of lesson study it is more about doctrinal reinforcement rather than appreciation and personal "enjoyment". We sometimes treat daily Bible reading as a sort of morning enema, a cleanout before the day begins, so it is any wonder that there is a decline in personal Bible reading.

    Today we have access to more Bibles than we can poke a stick at. I have ready access to about 30 translations (many more if I go online) of the Bible on my phone and since my phone is always with me it is easy to look something up. The fact that I do read them on my phone, often at odd moments of the day is a testament to parents who taught a love of scripture when I was a child.

    Here is the first scripture I learned:

    The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
    He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
    He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
    Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
    Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. Psalm 23 KJV

    This Scripture made a lot of sense to me as a kid. We had a flock of 200 sheep and I helped my parents and grandparents move the sheep from paddock to paddock. Grandad knew his sheep and would take time to point out to me a particular sheep that we had rescued from a patch of thorns (Blackberry vines), or another that had been an orphan that we had brought up. The connection between Scripture and life was real and is something that powers my appreciation of scripture decades later.

  2. Thanks Maurice. As a kid I remember learning verses of the Bible and really enjoyed doing so. It was fun learning the thirteen verses for S.School among others. With my friends I would play who could repeat a chosen verse as fast as possible. One was "My son if sinners entice thee consent thou not", and of course the famous Psalm 23. I immediately responded to your post because in my adult life the Psalm 23 has become more significant to me. It was in the scanner.I was repeating Psalm 23 in mind for assurance. Then I got the dose. As soon as the needle left my body I felt that warmth and thought, 'this might be how prisoners feel when they get the deadly injection.' The thought mingled with the Psalm I was still repeating. Then it happened. I started going into anaphylactic shock.

    (Anaphylaxis causes your immune system to release a flood of chemicals that can cause you to go into shock — your blood pressure drops suddenly and your airways narrow, blocking breathing. Signs and symptoms include a rapid, weak pulse; a skin rash; and nausea and vomiting.)

    I was impressed to repeat the 23rd psalm aloud. I did just that but softly because I didn't want the medical team to think I was crazy. Something terrible was happening to me. I pressed the emergency button. Again I was impressed to repeat the 23rd psalm aloud and I did claim it now. The doctors came to my side.Two of them along with The nurse that gave the injection who now had panic written all over her face. One doctor asked if I had had shell fish. I had the time to say no I don't eat that. Then I felt my throat tightening and breathing became difficult.

    Even though it seemed like the end I trusted God to save me. The doctor ordered the same nurse to give me another injection, this time adrenaline, the antidote. I became better apparently. I ended with six months therapy from the consequences.
    Medically, I came back from far but I had the treasure of that psalm 23 and the God it speaks about with me... and this is just the first tale. God has saved me in far worse circumstances of medical negligence. Yes the God of the Psalm has brought me back from further. It is good to have his words hidden in our heart. Blessed be God almighty and gracious.

  3. Thank Maurice
    Great memories from growing up in worship when we went around the room saying our favorite text. I continue the culture with my kids and now more than ever reading the Bible from genesis onwards. 2 chapters each time. It has helped our family so much reading it together. Each of us taking a few verses. When we read the psalms. I would then sing the related song to them. It allows me teach them why we believe what we do and use the scripture as guidance.

  4. Have you ever heard a phrase spoken that triggered a memory of a jingle that would then stick in your head? Yes, those jingles that we heard over and over until, without our intention, they were deeply engraved in our memory. Some here today could probably recite word for word those popular jingles still. This is how memory works.

    Perhaps you can recall word for word a favorite hymn that you have not sung since a youth. Repetition and familiarity.

    Imagine such repetition and familiarity with the word of God. One thought would trigger a verse of scripture indelibly etched into the brain that would bring comfort, strength, hope, or courage at the moment it is needed. Perhaps you find them being recited in your prayer, as they often will echo your desire and give perfect expression to your thought.

    What we are most familiar with seems to stick in our memory the most, like it or not. God's faithful people will be like the prophet who exclaimed, "Thy words were found and I did eat them, and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart, for I am called by Thy name, O Lord God of Hosts".

  5. Early in the morning I still rise to pray and study, It always starts my day off in the right way.

    As young people we memorized scripture and songs - at school, church and at Campmeeting. During the day as I go about doing those things needed to keep our home going the many choruses we sang come back to me. Although I cannot carry a tune any longer the melody and words are in my mind and help me throughout the day.

  6. Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it. Prov 22:6

    This text, like all the other bible text is very powerful. Those who have children, or even us can testify about being led to Christ at an young age and either being taught to memorized passages or sing from the church hymnal. At a young age some had doubts about this Christianity thing, or just wanting to do our own things different from the ways of the bible or we chose to sing our own songs different from spiritual books and hymnals.
    I grew up with some pathfinder knowledge, we memorized passages from the bible- still remembered some. I embraced singing from the hymnal, still do but also sing other gospel music. I enjoyed and still do, having morning devotions, and evening (sometimes), but to welcome in and close the sabbath is special, whether at home or in the church.

    When the children came along I did what Deutro 6:10 says, to the best of my ability and knowledge. Brought them up in Adventure, Pathfinder, Sabbath School classes, night church, night socials- in all aspects of church life, they were taught scriptures and singing gospel.
    As they got older, things began to shift in their lives. They were now thinking for themselves and thought their morning sleep was more important to them because of more homework from school and sleeping patterns (staying up late). But I always encouraged them sternly, told them as long as they were at home what I expected of them. When not there, sometimes they had devotion, sometimes not. But I always let them know the time will come when they are adults they will need those devotions to fall back on. Sometimes I felt the rebellion from them and knew it was Satan fighting again God through them. I did my best in love.
    Now they are adults and on their own, I still encouraged them to serve God (although they go to church). I remember them about the importance of keeping the sabbath holy. I encouraged them to play the right music in their vehicle. I will ask them to change it to something a little gospel when I am in their vehicle. Sometimes they tries to change my channel when they are with me, I gently turn it back. They would ask me if their is nothing else I listen to.
    Now, in our group chat one sends out the text for the day, every day. In our group chat yesterday one said- I'm gonna read the Bible from front to back...starting this week (read/audio). Another said- child I need to get back to my daily devotions. But honestly I don't even be trusting THIS Bible they have now that's had documented change. I need an original Hebrew Bible with the actual right terminology. Another stated- Well not sure where u gonna find it... I'm turning into mom...Devotion in the morning and night.
    I always used the King James bible, but it is up to them what bible they choose to study from, salvation is personal. The Holy Spirit is there to guide them.

    The bible told us what to do. What we do have long lasting influence on our lives and the generations to come. Ex 20:5 The Lord said, he will visit the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate him, shew mercy unto thousands who love him and keep his commandments. When we obey our parents(even they might/might not embrace our beliefs) in the Lord, our children will obey us in the Lord, even if it takes years to come to fruitation. Eph 6:1

    • Thanks Lyn, Your post brought me to tears thinking on my own childhood and then raising my 3 children. I too did the best I could, homeschooling my children, Adventist Academy for one of them (before it closed), reading scripture and Spirit of Prophecy, going to campmeeting, Sabbath School Weekly,singing scripture songs, encouraging them to hide God's word in their heart,teaching them to have their own relationship with the Lord through their own morning devotions. My 2 boys left the church in their early 20's, my daughter in her mid 20's is still devoted. We have a group of young adults at our church that have been friends since they were in Juniors and still get together regularly to worship and have fun. My heart breaks for my boys. But I know my God is faithful and my prayer is that someday,those early days, and the seeds planted will spring up in my boys hearts and bear fruit.Thanks for your post, it encouraged my heart. Psalm 119:11 encourages my heart as well, I learned it as a scripture song as a child and the tune is what immediately pops into my head when I read it.

      • I will lift up my eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. Ps 121:1

        Tammy dont give up on them, keep praying for all of your children and the children in the church. Why? the Lord will hear your prayers. You have done what you knew what was right. You took them to the well of living waters, now they have to drink for themselves from the spring of living waters.
        Some years ago I was praying and pleading for one of my children who had gone astray. I was asking the Lord what I did wrong in training my child? I told him all he asked me to do, I did. Then I heard the familiar voice with the words- "my child did not rebelled against me, but against him. When I heard those words, I started pleading and praying even more for my child because I knew it is a terrible thing to rebel against God.
        Keep praying for all the children in and out of the church.

  7. Having good text messages to remember in times of trouble is something very precious, although it is commom to this generation not to really care for a good piece of written insight. Imagery, videos, sounds, all together have kind of replaced the imagination. On the contrary, our access to good literature and dozens of different versions of "classics" (such as the Bible) are all in the palm of our hands. But, "why do we need memory when we store data"? For sure, when we extrapolate more than a few lines to cover, attention is hardly achieved, imagine reading a whole chapter of the gospel writers? Thank God for music, because there are still plenty of good songs with good messages to stick to the ears and take them to the heart.

    "addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart," Ephesians 5:19

    "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God." Colossians 3:16

  8. Bible verses that inspire songs.(No copyright I own to this)
    1. A Shelter in the Time of
    Storm—Hymn #528
    “Each one will be like a shelter from the wind and a refuge from the storm, like streams of water in the desert and the shadow of a great rock in a thirsty land.” (Isaiah 32:2)

    2. How Great is our God—Chris Tomlin
    “. . . Lord my God, you are very great; you are clothed with splendour and majesty. The Lord wraps himself in light as with a garment; he stretches out the heavens like a tent
    . . .” (Psalm 104:1,2)

    3. Face to Face—Hymn #206
    “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12)

    4. Shout to the Lord—Darlene Zschech
    “Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy . . . For you make me glad by your deeds, Lord; I sing for joy at what your hands have done.” (Psalm 47:1; Psalm 92:4)

    5. I Know Whom I Have Believed—Hymn #511
    “That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.” (2 Timothy 1:12)

    6. In Christ Alone—Stuart Townend, Keith Getty
    “That is why we labour and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Saviour of all people, and especially of those who believe.” (1 Timothy 4:10)

    7. Great is Thy Faithfulness—Hymn #100
    “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease . . . Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Genesis 8:22; Lamentations 3:22,23)

    8. Ancient of Days (Blessing and Honour)—Jamie Harvill, Gary Sadler
    “As I looked, thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze.” (Daniel 7:9)

    9. Amazing Grace—Hymn #108
    “Then King David went in and sat before the Lord, and he said: ‘Who am I, Lord God, and what is my family that you have brought me this far? And as if this were not enough in your sight, my God, you have spoken about the future of the house of your servant. You, Lord God, have looked on me as though I were the most exalted of men’ . . . He replied, ‘Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!’” (1 Chronicles 17:16,17; John 9:25)

    10. Revelation Song—Kari Jobe
    “Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.’” (Revelation 4:8)

  9. When I was in college, I used to do colporteur work in the summer in order to pay for my school bill. My canvassing partner was taking a strong medication that made him very sleepy. On a particular Sabbath morning, since there was no Adventist church in the town we were selling books, we went up a solitary hill in order to play church.

    It was my turn to ask the Sabbath school questions. I was reading one question, and discovered that my partner was sound asleep. That was the end to our Sabbath School that day.

    On another occasion, we came back from work to the place we were staying at. It was very hot and I beat him to the shower. When I was done I found him naked waiting for his turn at the shower, and there was no way of waking him up. I was afraid he might get pneumonia if I left him asleep on a mosaic floor. I dragged him up underneath the shower and turned the water on. This woke him up.

    I have fond memories of school and colporteur work.

  10. When I opened the Scripture to look for one of my favorite verses, my eye fell on Deut.3:15-30. God has memory and God inspired the Song of Moses; Deut.32:1-52. What a gift to us!

    God could see 'this people' forsake Him, to break His covenant which HE had made with them. In His anger, He hid His face from them. The people recognized this saying: "Are not these evils come upon us, because our God is not among us"?
    v.19 - Now therefore write ye this song for you, and teach it the children of Israel: put it in their mouths, that *this song may be a witness for me against the children of Israel*.
    v.21 - And it shall come to pass when many evils and troubles are befallen them, that *this song shall testify against them as a witness*: for it shall not be forgotten out of the mouths of their seed: for I know their imagination which they go about, even now, before I have brought them into the land which I sware.
    v.22 - Moses therefore wrote this song the same day, and taught it the children of Israel.

    Deut.32 starts with - "Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. God, having heaven and earth as His witness, is addressing His people and all generations that are called by His name - that includes us. It is a good thing to ever so often read 'the Song of Moses' to remind ourselves were we came from and who the God is we have put our trust in.
    v.18 - Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee.
    Yes, God works in mysterious ways. 🙂

    My favorite verses:
    Deut.31:6 - God will never leave us or forsake us if we remain faithful and keep trusting Him.
    Matt.24:35 - He is the same throughout eternity - there is no 'shadow' when He turns.
    Psalm 23 - v. 26: 'Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever'.
    Psalm 19 - The mighty song of Praise to the Lord. v.14: 'Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength and my redeemer'.

    I have a really bad memory when it comes to words, or names for that matter; I remember circumstances. My memory was not trained to retain long Bible passages, but melody will bring back the words of songs.

    One of my very favorite songs provides for my imagination the place for a personal visit with my heavenly Father:
    "I come to the garden alone while the dew is still on the roses, and the voice I hear falling on my ear, the Son of God discloses.
    And He walks with me and He talks with me, and He tells me I am his own; and the joy we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known.
    He speaks, and the sound of his voice is so sweet the birds hush their singing and the melody that He gives to me within my heart is ringing.
    I stay in the garden with Him, though the night around me is falling, but He bids me go; through the voice of woe His voice to me is calling.
    And He walks with me and He talks with me, and He tells me I am His own; and the joy we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known".

    You can see, this visit with the Father extends from morning to evening - all day long! 'through the voice of woe HIS voice to me is calling'. His voice comes through, penetrating all circumstances we find ourselves in - God's voice is clearly - stay faithful!

    • I must say Josiah that Brigitte, Robert Whiteman, Phil, RG, Shirley, Paul, Inge, Kenny, and many others deserve our Kudos also.
      Happy Sabbath.

      • All praise belongs to the LORD!🙌

        May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart always be acceptable in thy sight O LORD, my Rock and my Redemeer

      • John - Thank you for your kind consideration! It's always a heartwarming blessing when the melody of God's voice resonates in the hearts of His children.
        Happy Sabbath to all!

  11. it's a blessing to learn about the Lord ...am thankful and blessed by the lesson...be blessed everyone.


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