Calvin: ". . . That I might not sin against you."

Time Posted on October 11, 2010 User River La Belle

When I first decided to memorize Psalm 119, I thought it would be a good idea to have some good Puritan and Reformed books to read alongside so as to help me understand and apply it all in a better way. In John Calvin's Sermons on Psalm 119, he exposits every verse very profitably. I came to what he has to say about this well-known verse, and thought it was worth sharing.

  

Verse 11: I have stored up your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

When David speaks after this manner, “I have hid your word or promise in my heart,” he well declares, that if we have but only a wandering knowledge, that it will not hold us in, but that the Devil will by and by win upon us to oppress us, with temptations, and in the end to cast us down headlong. What must we then do? It is not enough that we have been at church, and heard what hath been there said to us, and that every one of us has mumbled to himself some one thing or another, but the word of God must be settled in us and be hid in our heart, to wit, that it may there be residing and continually abiding: and to have received it with such an affection, as that it be as it were imprinted in us. If this be not so, sin will reign in us, for it hath natural habitation with us: For all our senses are wicked and corrupt, all our wills and desires are enemies to God, unless God’s word be well hidden in our hearts.

 

Moreover, we are to understand, that David did not here vaunt himself of his own power and strength, as though he were in admiration thereof: but the spirit of God speaking by his mouth, intends to give us a mirror, wherein we must be confirmed, to wit, that we must not have only our ears beaten with the Doctrine of salvation, and receive it in our brain: but that it should be hidden in our heart, to wit, that we should lay it up as in a Treasure house.

 

For this saying, to hide, signifies that David did not study to be ambitious to set forth himself, and to make a glorious show before men: but that he had God for a witness of that secret desire which was before him. He never looked to worldly creatures, but being content that he had so great a Treasure, he knew full well that God who had given it him, would so surely and safely guard it, as that it should not be laid open to Satan to be taken away.

 

Saint Paul, in 1 Timothy 1:19, also declares to us, that the chest wherein this treasure must be hid, is a good conscience. For it is said, that many being void of this good conscience, have lost also their faith, and have been robbed thereof. As if a man should forsake his goods and put them in an open place, without shutting of any door, it were an easy matter for thieves to come in and to steal and deprive and spoil him of all: Even so, if we leave at random to Satan the Treasure which GOD hath given unto us in his word, if it is not hidden in this good conscience, and in the very bottom of our heart as David here speaks, we shall be spoiled thereof.


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Tag memorization, sin, Calvin

18 responses to Calvin: ". . . That I might not sin against you."

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Georgette Galvin

Thank you, River, for this blog! Perhaps you just saved my life. I'm having a bad time of things at this point in my life, pity parties and all, and I don't have a good conscience. I didn't know Satan can steal what is in our heart. I would hate to lose God's word that I have stored up. Now, after reading your blog, instead of doing what I know I shouldn't do, I'll spend my time with God and in meditation on his word. Thanks for waking me up!!

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River La Belle

Praise God that he led me to write this!! I will be praying for you, Georgette!
By the way, have you heard of the Rebelution? I strongly recommend that you check it out at www.rebelution.com. I think you will find more help there. :D

As a side note, look for a book by my dad's co-author that is due to come out next year, called Living With a Clean Conscience.

May the Lord bless you as you strive to glorify him.
In Christ,
River

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Georgette Galvin

No I haven't heard about Rebelution, but I will check it out.
Thanks again.

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Nikki Brown

Hi Georgette. I just wanted to interject here and suggest that maybe you have taken a piece of what River says and believed in your heart that Satan can take something from you that the Lord has given you. Remember the Lord gave Satan permission to take all but Job's life from him. Which are all the things given to Job by God. God gave it all back and then some.

But, I just wanted you to have comfort in knowing that the Good Lord can recall anything to your mind that you have learned or even just heard in a sermon or reading a blog. ROMANS 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. I take that as he will do right by us if we just love him and try as much as humanly possible to live with His purpose in our hearts.

There are stories of victims of the holocaust who recalled entire chapters of the Bible and wrote them down for them to share with others. They didn't have that memorized they maybe just read it once or twice but, God used them in their horrific circumstances for his purpose. Maybe you are struggling for someone else's encouragement. Blessed be you who are struggling to be used by God... Isn't that something to think about! I pray for you as well!

But, be encouraged the Lord will consecrate your efforts in memorizing! I know this in my heart! Satan can't take that away from us! Thank you for letting me edify you both! You are a blessing to this wonderful network! God Bless you, River and Georgette!

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Alex Watt

http://www.therebelution.com/ is a great resource. Do check it out.

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Dakota Lynch

I guess I'll jump on the band-wagon here and echo the words of Alex and River: check out the Rebelution. It's a wonderful thing to get involved in.

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River La Belle

Hey Alex, are you a Rebelutionary forum member? You can find me on there and we can PM. Just a thought.

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River La Belle

@ Nikki Brown- Thank you for that point. I didn't think about that!

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Phil Walker

Curious about the Rebelutionary blogs. Are people there encouraging teenagers to rebel against the trivial gospel and return to a passion for Scripture? It seems like Scripture is more and more absent from Christian colleges. May God raise up young people to change that.

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River La Belle

Not only that, Phil, but the Rebelutionary Forums (you can apply and be admitted) and Blog (open to the public) encourage teenagers to rebel against the disgustingly low expectations that people have in general. An example: the authors of the book (Do Hard Things), that started this wonderful movement were Googling "low expectations" and the like to research for their book. They came across something that was similar to what they were doing and were really excited to find that someone else had the same mission! They read through the article and were extremely disappointed.

It was written for parents about how to raise the responsibility level (and thus, the parents' expectations) of their teens. The article told the parents how to get them to do BASIC CHORES (ooooooh. . . .aaaaaaah. . .) take out the trash, make his or her bed, etc. But the saddest part was the FINALE, Top Rank of responsibility: CLEANING THEIR ROOMS. :( Does that make you depressed or what? But that's how it is.

And that's what these two brothers are fighting against. www.therebelution.com

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Dakota Lynch

Phil, you might remember Alex and Brett from the 1st year of Bible Bee. I'm pretty sure they spoke about the importance of memorizing Scripture before it all got under way.

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Josiah DeGraaf

Yes, Dakota; they spoke the night before they had semi-finals and finals.

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Phil Walker

Dakota, I do remember them and got to speak to them after the presentations they gave. I was very encouraged and impressed by their maturity and focus in their Christian ministry. However, they don't seem to be including a commitment and passion for Scripture as a central point of their ministry. This is OK as they have to be obedient to the calling God has for them and they are doing wonderful work for the kingdom. It just seems like there is nothing more worthwhile to "rebel" against than the church's rapid and extreme departure from Scripture and departure from the true Biblical God. There is also no better time to "rebel" against the practical (while still being "well trained" to say nice things about the Bible we ignore) disregard of Scripture, then when we are teenagers with a sharp mind and wide-eyed optimism ready to actually believe, test and bank on the outrageous Biblical promises and claims the adult Christian world dismisses as "100% true" but trivial.

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River La Belle

Yes, Phil, that is one of the unfortunate things about the Harris boys. In their book, while not totally absent, Scripture is noticeably lacking. Fortunately, on the Rebelutionary Forums there are several posts and lots of passion about Scripture. I think you can read the posts as a guest, but not be able to comment. . .

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Phil Walker

River, great to hear that others are using the Rebelution venue to champion Scripture. May God continue to inspire the next generation to truly know Him through His Word and not settle for a watered down (often unbiblical) Christian culture.

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River La Belle

Alex, are you a member on the Rebelution Forums???

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Alex Watt

River, I am not a member of the Rebelution Forums. Are you?

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River La Belle

Yes, Alex, I am. I would encourage you to get involved, but I can see that you are already quite busy. :) Still, the Forums provide much encouragement and many resources to help you in your daily battle against sin, and in your daily battle to make this world a better, more God-glorifying place. . .


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