Have you ever thought about what life would be like if God had never spoken? What if He had never communicated with man? What if He had never given us His written Word?
We would know there is a God, because “the heavens declare the glory of God” (Ps. 19:1). But how would we know what He is like? How would we know what pleases Him?
Had God not chosen to speak, to reveal Himself, we would have no standard for right and wrong. We would not know how we are to live. We might experience some vague sense of guilt when we sinned, but we would not know why; nor would we know what to do about our sin. We would have no way of communicating with our Creator. Our lives would be pointless and frustrating.
Imagine having to go through life without knowing anything of the promises of God, the commands of God, the love and mercy of God, the will of God, or the ways of God.
Thankfully, we do not have to exist in such a spiritual vacuum. God has spoken He has revealed Himself to man. Have you ever stopped to consider what that really means?
The Power of His Word
There are many natural wonders on our planet. And man has engineered, designed, and produced many scientific and technological marvels. But none comes close to equaling the wonder of those three small words found in the first chapter of Genesis: “And God said . . .”
Think of it! The eternal God and Creator of the universe, the One who holds all the bodies of water on the earth in the palm of His hand, the One who uses the continents as his footstool, the One who measures the span of the universe with the width of His hand—that God has spoken to us, His finite but infinitely loved creatures.
In the spiritual realm, God has given us many marvelous gifts—divine wonders that make us stand in awe of His greatness, His power, and His love. The creation of the world, the incarnation of the Lord Jesus, the miracle of the new birth—each of these marvels is inextricably linked to the Word of God.
When God said, “Let there be light,” there was light. The “mere” spoken Word of God brought into being our entire universe. The apostle Peter reminds us that “the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God” (2 Peter 3:5).
God’s Word was active, not only in creation, but also in the incarnation. When the Lord of glory came to this earth as an infant in Bethlehem, God was speaking. “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14).
It is that same Word, planted by the Spirit of God in our hearts, that causes us to be born again: “Since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God” (1 Peter 1:23).
Delighting in His Word
The older I get and the more I delve into the riches of God’s Word, the more I find myself cherishing it, standing in awe of it, and delighting in it “like one who finds great spoil” (Ps. 119:162).
I think this is what the psalmist must have felt as he contemplated the portion of God’s Word that existed in his day. Throughout Psalm 119, King David seems hardly able to find adequate words to describe what he feels about the Word of God:
Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors. . . . Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day. . . . How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! . . .
Therefore I love your commandments above gold, above fine gold. . . . Your promise is well tried, and your servant loves it. . . . Princes persecute me without cause, but my heart stands in awe of your words (Ps. 119:24, 97, 103, 127, 140, 161).
David was not the only one to feel this way. No other book in history has received the acclaim and adulation given to the Bible. Listen to what some renowned men and women have said about the Bible:
This great book . . . is the best gift God has given to man. —Abraham Lincoln
To what greater inspiration and counsel can we turn than to the imperishable truth to be found in this treasure house, the Bible? —Queen Elizabeth II
The Bible is the greatest benefit which the human race has ever experienced. . . . A single line in the Bible has consoled me more than all the books I ever read beside. — Immanuel Kant
The Bible is God’s chart for you to steer by, to keep you from the bottom of the sea, and to show you where the harbor is, and how to reach it without running on rocks and bars. —Henry Ward Beecher
I hold one single sentence out of God’s Word to be of more certainty and of more power than all the discoveries of all the learned men of all the ages. —C.H. Spurgeon
More Precious Than Gold
Even more important than what men 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; 2 Peter 1:21); it is profitable for our lives and walk (2 Tim. 3:16); it is perfect (Ps. 19:7); it is of greater value than any among of gold or silver (Ps. 119:72); it is sweet to the taste (Ps. 19:10; 119:103; Ezek. 3:3).
The power and 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 “Hound 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 on 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 “one who is full loathes honey, but to one who is hungry everything bitter 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 or go to the Internet 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.
If you have ever traveled in the Middle East, you are probably familiar with the utmost reverence that Muslims accord to their holy book, the Qur’an. You will never see them placing a copy of the Qur’an on the floor or treating it casually. Rather, the Qur’an is to be kept above the level of their heads and above all other books in the room.
They treat their holy book with great care, keeping it wrapped in a special cloth and placing it on a special stand when they wish to read it. They believe that every word in the book is holy and that it should be highly respected.
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?
Adapted from A Place of Quiet Rest © 2000 Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth. Published by Moody Publishers. Used by permission.