The Beauty of Repetition
Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you. (Phillippians 3:1)
When driving a nail, even the most skilled carpenters typically require a few swings of their hammer. This technique ensures that a nail is driven in straight and that their thumb remains attached to their hand. It is simply more effective to take your time, begin hammering lightly, and then finish with a couple swift and firm swings. I suppose you could try to do it in one big swing, but the results would often leave a lot to be desired.
The Same Way
The Lord seems to take the same approach concerning truth being deposited into our hearts. Much like hammering a nail, the Bible introduces a truth and then hits it again and again. The Bible is a book of repetition. Yes, the settings, stories, and characters change, but the main truths seem to be repeated over and over. It’s as if the Lord knows we will need to hear them frequently if they are to be hammered into our hearts.
If you have children, you know just how important repetition is. As we train our children how to behave and function, we find ourselves repeating some statements until we are tired of saying them. Children seldom learn how to complete a task on their first attempt and often don’t listen to simple instructions unless they are repeated.
It is quite the same way with the children of God.
And the Lord understands our frailty and weakness and graciously repeats what is important.
Focus On This
The repetition of certain truths and subjects should cause us to consider their importance. Surely the Lord is not repeating Himself simply to hear His own voice. What gets repeated tends to be what we should focus on.
Christianity is not about learning the spiritual fads of the day or obtaining special revelation. It is primarily about focusing on the simple truths long-term and allowing them to change our lives.
The temptation to chase fads and become distracted is very real. The repetition of the Bible seeks to keep us safe from practicing such foolishness. We don't have to guess what is important or where we should place our focus. We don't have to speculate about what the content of our prayers should consist of—we are told. There is safety in repetition.
Hammered in Deep
There is a striking reality and beauty that comes with repetition. Just as the repeated swings of a hammer drives a nail deep and secure into a piece of lumber, the repetition of the Bible is able to drive spiritual truth deep into our hearts. And once it is embedded deeply into our souls, it will stay there forever. The circumstances of life won’t pull it out or cause us to abandon it; it is there to stay.
Some Questions to Ask Yourself:
What truth does the Lord seem to be 'hammering' into my heart at the present time?
What are the seemingly simple truths that are repeated throughout Scripture on which you should focus?