By Lewis C. Lampley
PURPOSE: To challenge the reader to faithfully apply God’s Word and then rely on it as an adequate resource for faith and practice.
A. The case for the reliability of the Bible.
1. The Bible is inerrant in its parts (Prov.30:5)
2. The Bible is infallible in its totality (2 Tim.3:16-17)
3. The Bible authoritative and final (Isa.1:2a)
4. The Bible is complete and true (John 17:3)
a. John 8:31,32
b. 2 John 1-3
c. 3 John 2-4
B. The case for Twentieth Century reckless faith.
Reckless faith goes to two extremes. At one end of the spectrum it looks within relying on feelings, inner voices, fantasy, or subjective sensations. At the other extreme it fixes its hope on some external human authority – the teachings of a supreme leader, religious traditions, or some other arbitrary canon, instead of (Sola Scriptura)! That is, Scriptures alone. Psalm 19 supremely summarizes two key vehicles of God’s self-disclosure. God's General Self-disclosure in the World (Ps.19:1-6), and God's Special Self-disclosure in the Word.
Psalm 19:7-11 highlights six characteristics of God’s Word and describes its effect in the life of ANYONE who embraces biblical truth. Every genuine believer needs to be like Job, who said, “ I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food” (Job ).
Let’s learn some old truths together:
I. GOD’S WORD IS PERFECT, RESTORING THE SOUL (v.7)
“Law” is Torah, emphasizing the didactic nature of Scripture. Here David uses Torah to refer to Scripture as the sum of what God has revealed for our instruction , whether it be:
A. Creed (What we believe)
B. Character (What we are)
C. Conduct (What we do)
1. “Perfect,” meaning “whole,” “complete,” and “sufficient.”
2. “Restoring,” converting,” “reviving,” “refreshing” and “transforming.”
3. “Soul,” (in Hebrew, nephesh) and refers to one’s person, self, or heart.
God’s Word is the perfect satisfaction for all that believes and obeys it!
II. GOD’S WORD IS TRUSTWORTHY, IMPARTING WISDOM (v.7)
A. “Testimony,” means a divine witness.
B. “Sure,” means unwavering, immovable, unmistakable, reliable, and worthy of trust.
C. “Simple,” comes from an expression meaning “an open door.” It depicts the image of a naive person who doesn't know when to shut his mind to false or impure teaching.
D. “Wise,” speaks not of one who merely knows some facts, but one who is skilled in the art of godly living. He submits to Scripture and knows how to apply it to his circumstances.
III. GOD’S WORD IS RIGHT, CAUSING JOY (v.8)
A. “Precepts,” are divine principles, and guidelines for character and conduct.
B. “Joy,” delightfulness and lasting joy.
Note well, because the Word of God is Perfect, Trustworthy, and Right. Hence, it must be prioritized in our lives. But there is more:
IV. GOD’S WORD IS PURE, ENLIGHTENING THE EYES (v.8)
A. “Commandment,” divine mandates which are authoritative and binding.
B. “Pure,” a better rendering could be “lucid” – Scripture is not mystifying, confusing or puzzling. The synonym “clear” is the best translation.
V. GOD’S WORD IS CLEAN, ENDURING FOREVER (v.9)
A. “Fear,” reverential awe for God that compels us to worship Him. Scripture, in the sense, is God’s handbook on how to worship Him acceptably.
B. “Clean,” speaks of the absence of impurity, filthiness, defilement or imperfection. Scripture is without sin, evil, corruption, or error.
VI. GOD’S WORD IS TRUE, ALTOGETHER RIGHTEOUS (v.9).
A. “Judgments,” means divine verdicts from the bench of the supreme Judge of the earth.
B. “Righteous Altogether,” its truthfulness produces a comprehensive righteousness in those who embrace it.
And so, since the Psalmist placed the utmost value on God’s Word – so should every genuine believer. False believers cannot apply and obey God’s Word, thus, making it the priority in all of life.