In four passages in the Bible, you are given instruction on what to lay up for yourself. We’ll start with the passage in Deut 11:18. Lay up for yourself:
God’s words – Deut 11:18. “Therefore, shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul”. Eliphaz said in Job 22:22, “…lay up his word in thine heart”.
I went to a college youth camp in Glorieta, NM, in the summer after my freshman year in college. We were encouraged to read our Bibles and memorize scripture. I remember memorizing John 1 while I was there. Youth camp is always good because of the intensity, the excitement, and the atmosphere. When we left there, though, I quit memorizing God’s words, quit reading them, and soon forgot what I had memorized.
In Beeville, we had a few girls who could memorize lots of scripture. You couldn’t stump them. But this passage doesn’t say memorize. It says, “lay up these my words in your heart”. This is more than just memory work. The words are laid up in your heart like provisions are laid up in your pantry. They are intended to be used. And you replenish them and use them continually. For more on this topic see Scripture Memory.
Before we leave this passage look at Deut 11:19, because this leads to the next point.
Your parents’ commandments – Prov 7:1. “My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee”. You see this instruction flows from Deut 11:19.
I don’t remember too many commandments from my father. I don’t think he gave us many, and also I was gone away to school most of my teenage years.
But I do remember his commandment about seat belts. Early on, I didn’t always follow this commandment. I do now. However, he intended for me to follow it all the time. He wanted me to lay it up and follow it. I remember his commandments about gun safety, particularly quail hunting. I did lay up these commandments and continue to follow them to this day.
Parents be certain to command your children. Like the Rechabites in Jer 35:6-8. Children, your parents want you to do the same thing, lay up their commandments and follow them.
Over the years the Lord has taught me, through several life experiences, to lay up commands, because he intends for me to follow them all the time, regardless whether there is any chance of getting caught. Just lay them up and follow them. And that’s the benefit of laying up your parents’ commands. You get used to following orders.
Knowledge – Prov 10:14. “Wise men lay up knowledge”. Well, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. And the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. So, when you walk in the fear of God, you can discern knowledge that is worth laying up. You’ll need it in time to come and it will be available for you to give to others when they need it.
You must be disciplined to hear it, record it, review it, and live by it. Use some method or place to store and recall this knowledge.
Treasures in heaven – Matt 6:20. “…lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven”. This requires the same discipline that these other things do.
Money has lost so much value on earth. However, when you give it to the Lord to use in his work, you lay it up in heaven.
I believe that giving to the Lord is very wise. It has a two fold blessing. Giving to the Lord is insurance and investment. It’s insurance because the Lord will take care of you in desolate times. And they are definitely coming. It’s investment because the principal you give and the return on your principal are eternal.
Furthermore, you won’t be tempted to trust your riches. Prov 11:28 “he that trusteth in his riches shall fall”. You want to maintain a wise balance between what you give and what you withhold, Prov 11:24-25.
Lay up God’s words, your parents’ commands, wise knowledge and treasures in heaven. These are things that God has clearly instructed you to lay up for yourself.