9.22.2011

A Precious Treasure

(Taken from A Quiet Place of Quiet Rest by Nancy Leigh DeMoss)

Even more important that what we think of the Word of God is what God says about His own Word. According to the Bible, the Word of the Lord is true (Ps. 33:4; 119:160); it is pure (Ps. 12:6; 19:9; 119:140, Prov. 30:5); it is righteous and fully trustworthy (Ps.119:138); it is eternal and stands firm in the Heavens (Ps. 119:89); it is divinely inspired (2 Tim. 3:16); it is perfect (Ps. 19:7) ; it is of greater value than any amount of gold or silver (Ps. 119:72); it is sweet to the taste (Ps. 19:10; 119:103, Ezek. 3:3).

The power and the authority of God's Word infinitely surpass that of any other book that has ever been written. As a troubled young seminary professor being pursued by the "Hounds of Heaven," Martin Luther experienced the supernatural, transforming power of the Word that later led him to write, "The Bible is alive, it speaks to me; it has feet, it runs after me; it has hands, it lays hold of me."

When we pick up a copy of the Bible, do we realize what it is that we are holding in our hands? Do we ever stop to think that this is actually the Word of God? As Augustine reminds us, "When the Bible speaks, God speaks!" In the West we have been blessed with such easy access to the Word that it is hard not to take it for granted.
Proverbs tells us that "A satisfied soul loathes the honeycomb, but to a hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet!" (27:7). To hungry souls in parts of the world that have never been allowed to own a Bible, the Word of God is exceedingly precious. But to those of us who can turn on the radio and hear the Word preached every hour of the day, who can walk into any bookstore and find the Bible of our choice, who have Bibles located every several inches on the backs of our pews, and whose shelves are bursting with Bibles, some of them unused- we may find ourselves in danger of adopting a casual attitude toward the Word of God.

The scripture says that God has exalted His Word above even His own name (Ps. 138:2). If God esteems His Word that highly, what should be our attitude toward the Word? In Psalm 119, David speaks of loving the Word, reverencing it, delighting in it, longing for it, trusting it, and fearing it. God says through the prophet Isaiah, "But on this one will I look: on him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at my Word" (Is. 66:2 emphasis added; cf. Ps. 119:161). What does it mean to tremble at the Word of the Lord? It means to have an attitude of reverential awe and fear. It is the opposite of a cavalier attitude toward the Word.
In Psalm 119, David can scarcely contain his joy as he rehearses the blessings and benefits he has received from the Word of the Lord. We learn that the Word of God has the power to keep us from sin (Ps. 119:9, 11), to strengthen us when we are grieving (v. 28), to comfort us when we are suffering (vv. 50, 52), to grant us freedom (v. 45), to give us understanding and light for our path (v. 104), and to give us peace and keep us from stumbling (v. 165). 
The Word of God will light your way; it will help you make right choices; it will heal your wounds and settle your heart; it will warn you of danger; it will protect you and cleanse you from sin; it will lead you; it will make you wise. It is bread; it is water; it is a counselor; it is life. It is satisfying; it is sufficient; it is supreme; it is supernatural. A hymn writer put it this way:

Holy Bible, book divine;
Precious treasure, thou art mine;
Mine to tell me whence I came,
Mine to teach me what I am.

Mine to chide me when I rove;
Mine to show a Savior's love;
Mine thou art to guide and guard;
Mine to punish or reward.

Mine to comfort in distress,
Suff'ring in this wilderness;
Mine to show, by living faith,
Man can triumph over death.

Mine to tell of joys to come,
And the rebel sinner's doom;
O thou Holy Bible divine,
Precious treasure, thou art mine
-John Burton (1173-1822)

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