The Bible

 

October 20, 2013   Psalm 19    The Word  

    This psalm opens with the heavens declare the glory of God.   I preached on heaven last week and mentioned that some may think that heaven will be boring.    Just look at all the color around us with the leaves of the trees.   All of stones that Revelation mentions have their own brilliant color and they are in the New Jerusalem.   A good illustration of the Trinity comes from world-renowned scientist Dr. Henry Morris.  He notes that the entire universe is Trinitarian by design.  The universe consists of three things: matter, space, and time. Take away any one of those three and the universe would cease to exist.   But each one of those is itself a trinity.    Matter = mass + energy + motion and space = length + height + breadth and time = past + present + future.    Thus the whole universe witnesses to the character of the God.   The ehavens declare the glory of God. 

    Every Christian needs to be in the bible.   Actually every person needs to be in the bible.   We need to be in the book.  None of us would do well with just one meal a week but many Christians spiritually live on just that.   Jesus said man shall not live by bread alone.   Moses told the children of Israel that God had humbled them in the desert for those 40 years to teach them that man does not live on bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.  Yes a person can live on bread alone and be alive but not really alive.   They are not spiritually alive in God’s eyes.   You are really not living if you are not feasting on the word of God.   It is our strength and our joy.   The bible and the word of God is our life and it is our sanity in these crazy days.   The word of God is life.   David the Psalmist said it is sweeter than honey and more precious than gold.   Psalm 1 tells us that the person who meditates on the bible day and night shall prosper in everything that they do.   We are born again by the word of God.  John 1:1 in the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God.   He was with God in the beginning.  

     Samuel Chadwick said, "I have guided my life by the Bible for more than sixty years, and I tell you there is no book like it.   It is a miracle of literature, a perennial spring of wisdom, a wonder of surprises, a revelation of mystery, an infallible guide of conduct, and an unspeakable source of comfort.   Pay no attention to people who discredit it, for I tell you that they speak without knowledge.    It is the infallible Word of God itself.    Study it according to its own direction. Live by its principles.   Believe its message   Follow its precepts.   No man is uneducated who knows the Bible, and no one is wise who is ignorant of its teachings."   Wisdom comes from God. 

    The Bible is the most unique book ever written because it claims to have God as its author.    It may have been written over a period of 1600 years, on three continents, and by over 40 different men.   Most of us probably do not know that there are at least 7 different authors who wrote Psalms.   David wrote at least 75 of the 150 Psalms.    Some of the Psalms we are not sure of the human author.      Yet it had only one author – GOD. 

     2 Peter 1:20-21  Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation, for the prophecy never came by the will of man,  but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.    2 Tim 3:16-17  16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.  What is every good work?   Well it could be giving a word of advice or counsel or maybe sharing the gospel to someone who is unsaved.    It could be praying or using a spiritual gift such as healing to minister to someone.    1 Thess 2:13  For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because, when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectually works in you that believe.   It is inspired, that is it is “God-breathed”.   The bible declares that it is the word of God.   I read that the expression “the Lord said” or “the Lord spoke occurs over 2000 times in the OT alone.  

   The psalmist says in this passage that the word of God is sweeter than honey and the honey comb.  It is sweeter than ice cream or chocolate.   It gives life just as a hot bowl of soup gives life on a cold New England day.     As we grow in our love for God so we will grow in our love for the things of God such as His word.   It is life.   In Peter we read being born again not of corruptible things like silver and gold but by the precious word of God.   Jesus is the word of God.    The bible should be a priority for us.   We should be reading the bible, singing the scripture, studying the bible and meditating on it day and night.    In the book is blessing and in the book is life and truth and the truth of this book will set you free.   It can put your feet on the solid rock.   It can stabilize your path and fill your life with good things.   The words of this book give joy and peace.  

              In Revelation scripture says blessed is the man that reads the words written therein.   We need to hear it preached and taught.  We as a church hold to this book and honor it.  We do not worship the bible but we are to obey and live by the bible.    In Deuteronomy 6 it is written these commandments that I give to you today are to be upon your hearts, impress them upon your children.   Talk about them when you sit home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.     One would think that God is telling us to make his word a focal point of our life.  This world will burn up some day but 2 things are eternal the souls of men and the word of God.    

       This is a paraphrase of Psalm 19 by Lynnea Tanner.  “The law of the Lord is without flaw, putting our soul back to wholeness.  The things the Lord reveals are unwavering, consistent in their nature, giving great understanding to the unlearned.   The basic principles God has laid out are right making the heart glad.   The things God has told us to do don’t have mixed motives behind them, helping us to see clearly.   Respect for the Lord is clean and will last forever.   The judgments of the Lord are accurate and can be counted on. They are wholesome in entirety.   These are treasures that should be sought after more than wealth and give more pleasure than chocolate or chocolate covered raisins.   Also by them God’s followers are warned; there is great reward in keeping them.   Who is able to see his own mistakes?    God can certainly see our mistakes and our sins.   David in this passage is praying keep me from sin.   Do not let sin rule over me.   Sin is powerful and David did not want to be controlled by sin.  

      What should we do in these difficult and terrible last days continue in the word and preach the word.   Jesus said if you continue in my word you will be my disciples indeed.  What is needed in these last days is the word of God.   What do we need in these last days?   It is not more money or more leisure but we need the word of God.   How do we stay away from sin?   The Psalmist said your word have I hid in my heart that I may not sin against you.   Meditate on it day and night so you can prosper.   Let the word saturate your life.     

    Think of the promises in the bible.   In the bible we have the promise of salvation and heaven.   We have the promise of forgiveness.  We have the promise of reward in heaven.  We have the promise of God’s protection and his presence.   We have the promise of God’s blessing.   We have the promise of God’s love grace and mercy.   There is the promise of Jesus coming again.  There is the promise of reward and judgment.  We will be rewarded according to what we have done.  The Psalmist tells us in this passage that God’s words can be trusted.   God is faithful even though we are not always faithful.  The word of God gives us joy.   We all can stand some more joy.   There is joy in God’s word.   The word of God is sure and totally righteous.  The word of God warns us.   We get a heads up from the word of God.   And those that keep the word of God are rewarded.   There is great reward in keeping the words of this book.   We like the rewards that are offered in this world and I would say that the rewards that come from God are far more important and lasting.  

     We certainly live in a day when the word of the God is not looked up to by most people.  Many people are far more interested in their horoscope than the bible.   The bible tells us that in the last days men will be looking for teachers that tickle their ears.  They will not endure sound doctrine.  People will want to hear the things that flow with their life.  People want their sin.   Jesus said men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil.   Many in fact most see the bible as out of date and not relevant.   But the bible is relevant.

        It is the most relevant book ever because God inspired men to write it.   It is amazing that the bible is so relevant.   I have some old prep CPA accounting study books from the 1970’s.     How relevant do you think they are today?   I am sure no one would take some legal books and study them from 1900 to pass the bar exam today.   Those studying to become doctors would not waste their time looking at medical books from the 1800’s.   Things do change but Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever.   How timeless the word of God.   The bible still speaks to hearts today and changes lives.  God’s word makes the simple wise.  Jesus said none of his words will pass away.   Not one little mark will pass away.  Heaven and earth will pass away and there will be a new heaven and earth but not the bible.  Many things that we do will pass away but not the bible.  People need something that is relevant in their lives.   People need to be involved with something that lasts and has real value.  I think that most people want their lives to count. 

   It has been said -A Bible in the hand is worth two in the bookcase.   - God’s word is like salt in the back of your car in the winter. It’s a lot more useful when you take it out and apply it.  God’s words are life and alive.  God’s word is meant to change lives.  It is not merely head knowledge.   Knowledge can make folks proud.  Scriptures should make us dependent upon God and it should sweeten our lives.   David said God’s words were sweeter than honey.  Probably all David had of God’s word was the Pentateuch - the first 5 books of the bible also known as the law.  It also had history in it.   It did not have the gospels in it and the story of Jesus and the early church.  David loved the law of God.   It was sweet to him.  It was life to him. 

    Have you ever sat down to read the bible and find that your mind goes to many things that you should do.   Satan will chip away at you seeking to get you away from the bible.  He does the same with prayer.   The devil fears your prayers.   He will attack your walk with God.  Like a snake he will seek to strike at your walk with God and an important part of your walk with God is the bible.  We need to make firm commitments to read the bible.   It is good to pray that God would reveal himself to you as you read the bible.   We look for relationship and not so much knowledge.  Some of us have never read through the New Testament.   If you read 3 chapters a day you can read through the New Testament 4 times in one year.   That is a worthy goal.   I hope this precious book is sweet to you.   I trust as you read it that you feel God’s presence and blessing around you.