THY WORD HAVE I HID IN MY HEART
Words and Music by Ernest O. Sellers, 1869–1952
The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. (John 6:63)
O cleansing Word, O precious Word, Your promises are true;
They keep and purify my heart; Your truths are ever new.
God has made provision for each believer to live holy and pure lives—regardless of his or her environment. That provision is the power of His Word. The ability to live above the filth and evil in the daily world around us can be achieved only through listening to and responding to the truth of the Scriptures.
Portions of the wonderful 119th Psalm, with the majority of its 176 verses speaking pointedly regarding the importance of God’s Word, were paraphrased by Ernest O. Sellers and set to a melody in 1908 to provide us with a hymn that still has an important place in our hymnals.
The first stanza of this hymn is based on verse 105: “Thy Word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.” Stanza two is based on verses 89 and 90: “Forever, O Lord, Thy Word is settled in heaven. Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: Thou hast established the earth, and it abideth.” The third stanza is taken from the 44th, the 62nd, and the 164th verses of this psalm: “Seven times a day do I praise Thee, because of Thy righteous judgments. At midnight, I will rise to give thanks unto Thee, because of Thy righteous judgments. So shall I keep Thy law continually forever and ever.” The final stanza is based on the 41st verse: “Let Thy mercies come also unto me, O Lord, even Thy salvation according to Thy Word.”
For the chorus of his hymn, Mr. Sellers used the words directly from Psalm 119:11. They provide a strong closing summary for the reason we hide God’s Word in our hearts: “Thy Word have I hid in my heart—that I might not sin against Thee.”
Thy Word is a lamp to my feet, a light to my path alway, to guide and to save me from sin and show me the heav’nly way.
Forever, O Lord, is Thy Word established and fixed on high; Thy faithfulness unto all men abideth forever nigh.
At morning, at noon, and at night I ever will give Thee praise; for Thou art my portion, O Lord, and shall be thru all my days!
Thru Him whom Thy Word hath foretold, the Savior and Morning Star, salvation and peace have been brought to those who have strayed afar.
Chorus: Thy Word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee.
For Today: Psalm 119:11, 41, 44, 62, 89, 90, 105, 164; 2 Timothy 3:16, 17
Take one of these choice verses from Psalm 119 and let it saturate your life. Carry with you verse 11 in this musical form—