“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness“. – 2 Timothy 3:16
This is the classic text used when discussing what Christians believe about the Word of God, the Holy Scriptures, the Bible. We believe that the Bible is inspired by God and useful in our daily lives in all seasons, times, and cultures. The Bible has a lot to say about itself. The longest chapter in the Bible, Psalm 119, is 176 verses of praise and delight in God’s word. I want to give you 4 statements this Psalm makes about God’s word that will refresh and focus our personal devotion and enjoyment of God’s word.
God’s Word is Good
119:7 – I will praise you with an upright heart, when I learn your righteous rules.
119:39 – Turn away the reproach that I dread, for your rules are good.
119:160 – The sum of your word is truth, and everyone of your righteous rules endures forever.
When we say the Bible is good, what we mean is that it is fair, right, and on the side of life and light. Ultimately, it reflects the one who speaks the word, God. The words of God are good, because God is good. In Mark 10:17-18 a rich young man comes to Jesus and asks, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus responds, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.” The words of God in the Bible may not always make us comfortable, that was certainly the case for this young man, but they will always be for our good if we love God and his ways.
God’s Word is Helpful
119:9-11 – How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
119:105 – Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.
119:147 – I rise before dawn and cry for help, I hope in your words.
I mentioned in a previous post that the Gospel is good news because it invades bad territory. God’s word is helpful because we are in desperate need of help. God’s word lights up the dark and confusing world in which we live. It is an instruction manual for all of life. The Bible doesn’t give us every answer. You can’t ask the Bible what the answers will be on your math test. But it gives us principals and truths about God, ourselves, and the world that help us make decisions wisely. Questions like, “who should I marry or date?”, “where I should go to church?”, “how should I talk to my parents?”, “how should I behave at work or school?”, “where should I spend my spend money?”, and “how do I apologize and forgive?” All these questions have wisdom shone on them in the Bible. The Bible is helpful for young and old, rich and poor, men and women. The Bible is the helpful place we can find guidance to walk according to God’s design.
God’s Word is Delightful
119:16 – I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word.
119:35 – Lead me in the path of your Commandments, for a delight in it.
119:162 – I rejoice at your word like one who finds great spoil.
We already talked about God’s word being good. That’s like broccoli, good for you and nutritious. But, God in his grace, didn’t just give us a good word, he gave us a delightful word. It’s like deep-fried broccoli; good for you AND tastes good. When something is “delightful” it brightens your day. The word of God is the perfect balance of encouraging you in your strengths, challenging you in your weaknesses, and pointing you to the God who is never-failing, ever-faithful, and eternally good. The Bible puts the hard, uncomfortable, and deadly things of the world in their proper place, under God’s control and power. And that is peace and delight in full!
God’s Word is Necessary
119:25 – My soul clings to the dust; give me life according to your word!
119:92-93 – If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction. I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have given me life.
119:159 – Consider how I love your precepts! Give me life according to your steadfast love.
These verses are so intense, David is claiming without God’s word, law, commands, and story, he is doomed. He is as good as dead; and that is the reality. Without God’s revealed word in the Bible we would never know about God’s revealed word in Jesus Christ. If we don’t live by God’s design we will die, lost in our sins, and without hope. If, by the Spirit, we walk according to the Spirit who wrote the words of Scripture and empowered the ministry of the Lord Jesus, we will find life and find to be more abundant.
God’s Revealed Grace
God could have left us to stumble in the dark, desperately trying to find the sacrifices and seasons that would please him most like the pagan gods of ancient times. But, instead, he revealed his will and word to us. He revealed it for our good, to help us, to give us joy, and because we need his word in order to live.