Summary: It is such a blessing to rejoice with the knowledge that the Lord has not forgotten us. What a joy to have the priceless understanding that our God is real, that He cares for us, is concerned for our welfare and will encourage us by speaking to us through His precious Word.
THE BENEFITS OF THE WORD OF GOD
TEXT: PSALM 19:7-11
It is such a blessing to be reading the Word of God, and have the Spirit apply it to our soul, as the tears of joy and thankfulness flow, and our hearts rejoice with the knowledge that the Lord has not forgotten us. What a joy to have the priceless understanding that our God is real, that He cares for us, is concerned for our welfare and will encourage us by speaking to us through His precious Word.
The 19th Psalm was written by King David to “The Chief Musician.” According to Wikipedia, it is part of the Jewish, Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Protestant Liturgies, and the composers Bach and Haydn were both inspired by this Psalm and set it to music. The renowned 20th-century Christian philosopher and author, C.S. Lewis, said, “I take this…to be the greatest poem in The Psalms and one of the greatest lyrics in the world.”
It starts out by proclaiming the wonders of God’s creation, then David goes on to even more highly praise the Word of God and its benefits. He says the Law of the Lord is perfect, meaning not just the teachings of Moses, but the whole of Scripture; that it is able to convert the soul from death to life. The Psalmist goes on to guarantee us, that in this world, where we are filled with uncertainty and doubt, His Word is sure and is able to give wisdom that the world cannot give. He says that God’s statutes are so right that they make our hearts rejoice in their truth; that His commandments are pure, able to help us to cure our spiritual blindness.
The Psalmist goes on to say that His Word puts fear in us, (not craven fear, but reverence for and awe of the Lord). That holy reverence for Him and His Word has the power to sanctify our hearts, and place in us a desire to be more like Him. We next learn that God’s Word endures forever. Though this world and all things in it are ever-changing, His Word is eternally the same, so we can count on it. We learn too that His Word is to be more desired than all the riches the world had to offer: more valuable than the finest, 24-carat gold; also, that they are sweeter than honey, and by His Word, we are warned to keep away from sin.
We see the emphasis that Jesus places on the absolute importance of His Word in the 6th chapter of John. Early in the chapter we read of Jesus multiplying five loaves of bread and two fish, enough to feed 5,000 men, plus the women and children. The next day, some of the same people came looking for Him. From the context, we learn they came looking for another meal, because Jesus said, “You seek Me, not because you saw the miracles, but because you did eat of the loaves, and were filled” (John 6:26). Jesus then said, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life” (John 6:63).
Jesus was emphasizing that without God’s Spirit intervening and changing our hearts from those of stone, into hearts of flesh that love God, there is no hope for eternal life. It is impossible to believe in Jesus for salvation without receiving His word and feeding on it. Just having a mere intellectual understanding of His words will accomplish nothing of an eternal nature and benefit. A person can read His words all day long, but unless the Spirit enlivens His words to help us spiritually receive them it will be to no avail.
I want to share with you some thoughts about the Word of God that came from what some may say is an unusual source: the actor, Denzel Washington. He is the son of a Pentecostal minister. He has always been very outspoken about his Christian faith and reads the Bible daily. I watched a YouTube video of him speaking to the graduates at Dillard University in New Orleans, encouraging them to "put God first."
He said, “I've been protected, I've been directed, I've been corrected, I've kept God in my life, and He's kept me humble…” I agree with his statement, that the Lord has done the same for me, and to me, by my connection with God is through His word. I added the word: “Connected” to Denzel’s statement.
My points are: Through the Word of God, we are Connected, Directed, Protected, and Corrected.
I. THROUGH GOD’S WORD WE ARE CONNECTED
A. There are some people who we refer to as “loners,” but even those people want to be connected to something: maybe it is the TV, or video games, or the solitude of nature, or even reading. But I think it’s safe to say that most people want to be connected to someone -- another person, or to some group, or a movement.