WE YEARN FOR THE WORD
Have you ever studied through Psalm 19:7-11? If we would use one context of statements in Scripture to describe the awesome nature of the word of God, it would be this context. It seems that David came to climax in these statements concerning his appreciation for the word of God. In these inspired words, he also wanted us to appreciate the impact that God’s word should have on the hearts of the faithful. Therefore, we must take this journey through his metaphors as he seeks to reveal his heart of appreciation for all that would come from the mouth of our Creator.
As David progresses through Psalm 19:7-11, he uses several words to refer to the word of God: law, testimony, statutes, commandment, fear, judgments. Every word presents a different angle of definition of the word of God and its effect on the beliefs and behavior of the faithful. Through the use of so many words in reference to the word of God, David seeks to apply the word of God to every conceivable aspect of our lives.
I. Identity of the word of God:
“The law of the Lord is perfect …” (Ps 19:7). When one feels that the word of God was dropped from heaven into his hands, then there is response from the heart of the believing receiver. The response is in the fact that one seeks to mold his beliefs and behavior around to what he reads in the Bible. He is transformed. His life is as that which the Holy Spirit has exhorted, “And be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Rm 12:2). God’s law is perfect for transforming the character of the obedient. Paul wrote, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God … so that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tm 3:16,17).
“The testimony of the Lord is sure …” (Ps 19:7). The word of God is steadfast and unchanging. It is such because it originated from One who is of an unchanging nature. God is of the nature and behavior as that which was expressed by the Hebrew writer. “… so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong encouragement, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us” (Hb 6:18). Because God assures us of His promises, our trust in His word is not only wise, but it makes us wise because we so trust in Him. Therefore, we ask wisdom of God. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God who gives to all liberally and without reproach. And it will be given to him.” (Js 1:5). The most common (simple) person can trust in God’s testimony simply because God comes through on His promises.
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation nor shadow of turning” (Js 1:17). God’s word makes common people wiser than the most educated man on earth who has no knowledge of God. This is true because the common believer has invested his soul in the testimonies of God. It is as James wrote,
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruit, without partiality and without hypocrisy (Js 3:17).
“The statutes of the Lord are right …” (Ps 19:8). When in any dilemma to make a decision, one can always have confidence that making a decision based on the directions of God’s word is right. When one lives in such a manner after the instructions of God’s will, then he can rejoice in the satisfaction that he is being led by His Father. The obedient Christian seeks to bring glory to God by living in harmony with divine instructions. Paul wrote of such in the following words: “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” (Cl 3:17).
“The commandment of the Lord is pure …” (Ps 19:8). As opposed to the darkness that comes with a life of sin, the word of God brings pure light. It is the light that shines in the darkness. It is the light in which we walk (1 Jn 1:7). And because we walk in the light of His word, the blood of Jesus keeps us pure of sin. Though some may claim to be enlightened by the wisdom of the world, the wisdom of the world is only darkness if not possessed by one who has allowed the light of the word of God to brighten his way. Psalm 119:105 is still true. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
“The fear of the Lord is clean …” (Ps 19:9). In this context, the word “fear” refers to the word of God. This is an appropriate word since those who believe in God should respond with fear in reference at what He says. Because the “fear” (word of God) comes from God, then it is eternal as God. God’s word exists without end. “The word of the Lord endures forever” (1 Pt 1:25).
“The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether” (Ps 19:9). The word of God is inerrant, and thus, when the Lord speaks, what is said is true and right (See 2 Tm 3:16,17). Our God cannot speak against Himself, neither can He speak that which is false (Ti 1:2). It would be superfluous to say that “God is good for His word.” God is God and what He says is always truth. What He promises will always come to pass. He does not act in any way that would bring His being or character into question.
II. Desire for the word of God:
Newborn babes cry for the milk that sustains their lives. It is only natural for them to yearn for nourishment when they are hungry. It is the same with Christians. Peter wrote, “… as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word so that you may grow up to salvation” (1 Pt 2:2). Though gold is precious, and can buy many possessions and activities, the word of God gives eternal life. And because it gives life, its taste to the soul of man is sweet.
Obedience to the word of God brings both warning and reward. Through His word, God is warning of impending destruction that will come upon all those who do not obey the gospel (See 2 Th 1:6-9). But in being obedient to the instructions of our Father, there is the coming fulfillment of the promise of which Jesus spoke. “Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Mt 25:34).
Anyone who would claim to be a believer in the existence of God must conclude that this God in whom he believes would communicate to His creation. There would be no sense in believing in a god that would not communicate with man. Only false gods are mute. But the true and living God seeks to reveal His presence, not only through that which He created (Rm 1:20), but also through words of instruction. This He did through the prophets of old. “For the prophecy did not come in the old time by the will of man, but holy men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Pt 1:21).
God revealed His instructions for His creation in order that we not wander aimlessly in a world which we could not understand. Once we conclude that the Creator has communicated, then it should be the yearning of every person to seek out this communication as the newborn babe thirsts for the sustenance of life. It is only natural for all of us to so yearn. Once we set our course to know God, then the Bible becomes our source of life. The true believer cannot help himself but to search the Scriptures daily. As there is no need to exhort an infant to drink the sustenance of milk, there need be no exhortations to the true believer to study his Bible.