God So Loved (Scripture Set to Music) by Nic Bancroft
You just sang that in your head, didn’t you?
There is something about music that helps us remember key information.
Case in point: while writing this blog post I was searching for more examples of songs used to help kids memorize key facts. I started playing this video about the 50 states in alphabetical order that rhymes. Dale, whose office is right next door to mine, jumps up, runs in to my office and starts singing along. I pause the video and he is able to finish the rest of the song – and the rest of the 50 states in alphabetical order!
He then shared with me another example of Yakko’s World singing the periodic table. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrHEe7QicnE
I kid you not, Jacob, whose office is also right next to mine, stands up, walks into my office and starts rattling off the elements of the periodic table to the same tune.
I am not exactly sure when the last time Dale or Jacob heard these songs, but my guess is that it has a been a while. And in our line of ministerial work, we don’t often have a need to recite the 50 states in alphabetical order or name all of the elements of the periodic table (I could probably name a dozen or so before I run out). I can confidently say that I have never needed to know the 50 states alphabetically or the periodic table for my job.
Music gives us the power to retain information that would be harder to remember on its own. This rule applies to children but stays with us throughout our life.
Test: sing along to a song that you liked from high school but haven’t listened to in a while. How many words do you still know? Probably a lot of them!
God has designed our brains in a way that when a catchy melody and words combine, we can retain this information for far longer than without the melody.
How do we use this to our advantage?
Deuteronomy 11:18 – “You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.”
Proverbs 7:2-3 “keep my commandments and live; keep my teaching as the apple of your eye; bind them on your fingers;write them on the tablet of your heart.”
Psalm 119:11 – “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”
Psalm 119:105 – “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path”
His Word guides us. It protects us. When we have Scripture memorized, our mindset is changed; our behavior is changed to reflect more like Him.
3) What if I’m not good at memorizing Scripture?
Set it to music!
Take the verse above Psalm 119:105 as example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6LC8cu03Ig
During our Sunday Worship services this weekend, we introduce a new song by We The Kingdom called “God So Loved”. It is the passage of John 3:16 set to a catchy melody. I’m excited for our church to be able to learn this song together…and hopefully have a way to memorize this scripture and set it in our hearts!
Your turn: what is your favorite example of Scripture set to music to help you memorize it?