God’s WORD keeps us from SIN or, SIN keeps us from God’s WORD: "Now acquaint yourself with Him, and be at peace; thereby good will come to you. Receive, please, instruction from His mouth, and lay up His words in your heart. If you return to the Almighty, you will be built up; you will remove iniquity far from your tents." (Job 22:21-23)
The above passage is part of the final speech of Eliphaz in which he castigates Job more viciously than any times in the past. Eliphaz has already assumed that Job is wicked, and his wickedness has brought about God’s judgment upon his life (22:1–5). In fact, Eliphaz brings out a list of past sins of which Job must be guilty of (22:6–20). However, towards the end of his speech Eliphaz turns around from his vitriolic attack and speaks eloquently on the forgiveness of God as he appeals to Job to repent from his sins (22:21–30). Little did Eliphaz know that God had already certified Job that "there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil" (1:8).
In making his speech, Eliphaz was actually urging Job to repent and be reconciled to God in order to be restored to favor with God, and thereby regain his material prosperity as well. Eliphaz both knew and feared God, but where he faulted was that he directed his diatribe at the wrong person using all the wrong assumptions. In reality, what Eliphaz wanted was that Job would repent and make things right with God thereby ending his present trials. Eliphaz wanted Job to return back to God (22:21–23), surrender his pride (22:24–25), and recognize that God will hear and answer his prayers (22:26–29). If he did all this, he could become God’s channel of blessing to others!
One of the highlights in the final speech of Eliphaz was when he urged Job to get acquainted with God and be at peace with Him. The way to do that was to receive the instructions from God’s Word, and hide God’s Word in his heart. God would then build Job up to a place of honor if he removed all sins from his life. This was in line with what the Psalmist tells us: "Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You!" (Psalms 119:11) This also brings us to the all-important truth that we should be well aware of: God’s Word will keep us from sinning against God, or, our sins will keep us from God’s Word! It is our decision to choose between God’s Word and sins in our lives!
There is great value for us when we memorize and hide God’s Word in our hearts. The Open Bible has listed six crucial benefits for us when we memorize scripture from an early age:
- God’s Word keeps us from sinning against God (Ps. 119:11)
- God’s Word provides comfort to us in times of trouble (Ps. 119:52, 92)
- God’s Word helps us to stay our minds upon God (Ps. 43:3)
- God’s Word provides us daily sustenance for our spiritual lives (Deut. 8:3)
- God’s Word provides us continual and ready guidance in all the situations of our lives (Prov. 6:20–23)
- God’s Word provides the basis for formal and informal instruction of our children (Deut. 6:6, 7)
However, we can safely assume that Jesus was hiding the Torah in His heart as He was growing up, and His strong command of the Old Testament scriptures was evident in the way he resisted the temptation of Satan (Luke 4:1-12) and the way He answered the people at various times in His public ministry. Let us also emulate our Lord Jesus as we read, reflect and memorize God’s Word every day, which will make us successful in the eyes of God and people.