Summary: In America we are blessed in ways that the world can only dream about and hope for. A return to the basics of the Bible would go a long way toward healing a wounded nation.
GOD’S WORD DELIGHTS CHILDREN OF GOD WHO OBEY ITS PRECEPTS
A collector of rare books ran into an acquaintance who told him he had just thrown away an old Bible that he found in an old box in his grandmother’s attic; he said that it had been printed by Guten-somebody-or-other. “Not Gutenberg!” gasped the collector. “Yes, that was it! Gutenberg!”
“You idiot! You’ve thrown away one of the first books ever printed. A copy recently sold at auction for half a million dollars!” “Oh, I don’t think this book would have been worth anything close to that much” replied the man. “It was scribbled all over in the margins by some guy named Martin Luther.”
Folks, the Bible is valuable but not because it’s an old book . . . Gutenberg printed the first copies of it . . . Martin Luther may have scribbled his name in it. The Bible is valuable because it is the living, eternal Word of God! And no other book can be compared to it.
Probably the most pungent expression of the value of God’s Word – at least that I know about - is R. G. Lee’s description of the Bible:
“The Bible is a book beyond all books, as a river is above and beyond a rivulet . . . as the sun is above and beyond a candle’s brightness . . . as wings of an eagle are 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. The Bible 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 any other book this world has ever known or will ever know.”
No other Psalm speaks more eloquently about God’s Word than the 119th - and because this psalm contains 176 verses arranged as an acrostic based on the Hebrew alphabet, we shall exercise our privilege of studying it for six sessions . . . and today we begin with the first section Aleph – Psalm 119:1-8 . . .
Could the purpose of the psalm be stated more clearly? God’s Word tells us how to know God and, once we know God, we discover that obedience to His Word is our pathway to being blessed by Him.
It is obvious that the psalmist understood that to truly “know” God is to live as blameless a life as possible and, as life is lived blamelessly, the blessings of God are showered upon His children accordingly. You might even say that what we see here is an “obedience-reward” principle at work – not too different from parental “obey the rules- receive a reward” strategies employed by some moms and dads to motivate their children to be and do good - and not just at Christmas Time!
Would you agree that to first know God and then know Him better ought to be a major objective of the Christian Life? Maybe a better way to state it would be, “The Christian’s goal is to be God’s and to do God’s Will”. As children of our Heavenly Father, we certainly do want to be and do good, yes, yet much more importantly we must aim to please HIM in terms of who we are . . . what we do . . . in every way, every day.
What about this business of “blameless” living? Can it really be said of me or you that any one of us is “blameless”? After all, did not our sins help nail Jesus to the Cross? No and Yes. No, it cannot be said of any of us that we are without sin. Yes, the sins of mankind including mine and yours sent our Savior to the Cross.
HOWEVER, freely and lovingly He bore our sins on the tree to free you and me from the penalty we deserved - all because of the grace of God who loved us and sent His Son to die for us. Grace intervened on our behalf . . . saved us . . . sanctified us . . . brought us safe thus far . . . is leading us Home. Indeed:
“God’s Grace is sufficient for every need!” Whereas we share the blame, the shame, the disgrace of sinning against God, our Father so loved that He gave! And in response to His giving, we repented of our sins and thereby received
His gift of salvation, and in addition, we received the gift of the Holy Spirit of God to guide and empower us to walk in the ways of the Lord . . . lead us in the paths of righteousness . . . keep us from straying . . . to bring us back when we go astray.