Monday, August 17, 2009

Bible Verses

When I was in high school, I had the privilege of taking a two-year Bible study class for credit.  Our teacher, Kenneth Istre, was not only our preacher, but also a true student of scripture.

He believed strongly in the value of memorization, a concept that has fallen out of fashion in our schools today.  We memorized the books of the Bible, the names of the major and minor prophets, the kings of Israel, and Bible verses.

At the time, I mostly memorized because he required it, and because I wanted to do well enough on the final test to get credit for the class.  I also appreciated the poetic beauty of the King James version, which I prefer to all others even now.

As an adult, I have come to appreciate the value of memorizing scripture.

When I was so sick last winter, I couldn't even read.  I was too sick, too doped up, to make sense of anything I tried to read.

I had trouble following conversations, or understanding what the doctors and nurses were telling me.

But inside my head, like a never-ending tape, I could hear the verses of comfort I had memorized.

"I lift up my eyes unto the hills;  whence cometh my help?  My trust is in the Lord"

" He will give his angels charge over thee, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone."

" He took me out of the pit, and lifted me from the mirey clay.  He set my feet on a rock and established my path."

An unending stream of comfort and love, bathing me night and day, every waking moment.  All because one man expected me to memorize scripture.