Summary: How does God's word guide us? We must resist the pull to turn away, remain on the right path, refresh ourselves with the sweetness and reshape our affections to line up with God's word.
GUIDED BY GOD’S WORD
The Bible is a book beyond all books as a river is above a stream. The Bible is a book beyond all books as the sun is above and beyond a candle in brightness. The Bible is a book beyond all books as the wings of an eagle is above and beyond the wings of a sparrow. It is supernatural in origin, eternal in duration, inexpressible in value, immeasurable in influence, infinite in scope, divine in authorship, human in penmanship, regenerative in power, infallible in authority, universal in interest, personal in application, and inspired in totality. This is the Book that has walked more paths, travelled more highways, knocked at more doors and spoken to more people in their mother tongue than in other book this world has ever known or will know -- Dr. R. G. Lee
Today we are concluding our series “The Greatest Book.” God's Word provides us with the guidance we need … provided we utilize it. Today we will look at a passage in Scripture that does two important things for us: It tells us WHY God's Word is the best guide through life and also tells us HOW to make God's Word our guide through life.
Psalms 119:97-104 Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long. 98 Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me. 99 I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes. 100 I have more understanding than the elders, for I obey your precepts. 101 I have kept my feet from every evil path so that I might obey your word. 102 I have not departed from your laws, for you yourself have taught me. 103 How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! 104 I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path.
David begins by extolling his love for God's Word. His love for it is shown by His meditation on it. We talked about this 2 weeks ago. The Hebrew word for meditate has the idea of rehearsing or going over again and again. I like the analogy of “marinating” in God's Word—soaking it up and allowing it to seep deeply into our lives.
Why should we join David in loving and meditating in God's Word? Why should we read the bible? We should love it because it is the best guide we have to get us through life.
a. It's better than your enemies (v. 98)
David contrasts God's Word with three alternatives; three other places people look for guidance. He begins by saying the bible is a better guide than listening to our enemies. Enemies are those who are hostile towards us, those who attack us. You may be thinking, "Who looks to their enemies for guidance on how to live?" Actually, a lot of people do. They resort to level of enemies. People say things like “Well if they are going to play hardball; then so are we!” God's Word makes us “wiser” than our enemies. The Hebrew word used here has idea of skill. I other words, the bible gives us a better way than the way of our enemies.
Years ago in Haifa there were a gong of smugglers who would use donkeys to transport items into Israel. During one sting operation the caravan of donkeys was intercepted but the smugglers got away. However, the policeman who was on the case knew his bible. Isaiah 1:3 says “The ox knows his master, the donkey his owner's manger, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand.”
He simply starved the donkeys for a few days and then let them go and sure enough they went all the way back to their owners hideout and the smugglers were caught.
b. It's better than your educators (v. 99)
Many people look to those who are educated or influential for advice. The bible has many teachers within it’s pages. Paul calls himself a teacher in 2 Timothy 1:11. However, human teachers are fallible and can be mistaken. God's Word gives “understanding” that is inspired and authoritative. It is better than the wisest words that man can give.
Most people in the teaching profession today, especially in college or higher education, have a vastly different worldview than you do. College professors are at least five times more likely to identify themselves as atheists than the general public. More than half of all college professors view evangelical Christian students unfavorably.
Years ago Ben Stein made a film called Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed showing how academic freedom is being suppressed in North American colleges and Universities. He interviewed many teachers who were not hired or fired for even exploring the possibility of intelligent design and for not supporting Darwinism. I recommend you see it!