Bound to the Book
The Bible is often regarded as a useless relic from a bygone age. As the horse and buggy were superseded by the internal combustion engine, and as the internal combustion engine itself will soon be replaced, so it is, some would contend, with the Bible. There may be a measure of historical or literary value in it, they say, but ultimately it is of no relevance to the needs of 21st-century people—and, indeed, may stand opposed to our progress.
In The Bondage of the Will, Martin Luther makes a staggering statement that cuts right to the heart of such flippant attitudes toward the Bible: “Nobody who has not the Spirit of God sees a jot of what is in the Scriptures. All men have their hearts darkened, so that, even when they can discuss and quote all that is in Scripture, they do not understand or really know any of it.”
We could never hope to understand God—or His word, for that matter—on our own terms. Man does not know God by investigation but by revelation, by God’s self-disclosure, by His very words. General revelation—what we see in God’s world—indeed points us toward Him, but, according to Romans 1:20-23, that revelation is only enough to condemn, for by nature we all suppress the truth we see there, preferring to worship ourselves and our idols than the Creator of all things. We need special revelation—God’s word—to enlighten our understanding and enable us to properly interpret what we see and experience in the world.
God has authored, and preserved, a book—His book—so that we might know Him. And in that book we have recorded for us a written record of God’s inestimable love for those who have turned their backs on Him. If that written record is the voice of God, if it is from the mouth of God, where else can you go to substantiate its truth? There is no higher authority.
Ultimately, we need new eyes to see Scripture’s beauty and authority. Once God grants us faith, we see His word entirely differently. The world may regard the words of the Bible as irrelevant or worse; but one look at the state of the world will remind us that it does not have all the answers, or indeed any of the answers that matter. Do not neglect your Bible. Ask God to work in you as you open it up to revive your soul, to make you wise, to bring you joy, and to light your path.
How is God calling me to think differently?
How is God reordering my heart’s affections — what I love?
What is God calling me to do as I go about my day today?
The Law of the Lord Is Perfect
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.
1The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above1 proclaims his handiwork.
2Day to day pours out speech,
and night to night reveals knowledge.
3There is no speech, nor are there words,
whose voice is not heard.
4Their voice2 goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.
In them he has set a tent for the sun,
5which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.
6Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
and its circuit to the end of them,
and there is nothing hidden from its heat.
7The law of the Lord is perfect,3
reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure,
making wise the simple;
8the precepts of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure,
enlightening the eyes;
9the fear of the Lord is clean,
the rules4 of the Lord are true,
and righteous altogether.
10More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
and drippings of the honeycomb.
11Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.
12Who can discern his errors?
Declare me innocent from hidden faults.
13Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins;
let them not have dominion over me!
Then I shall be blameless,
and innocent of great transgression.
14Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in your sight,
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
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