The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold (Psalm 119 : 72)
The word of God is the most important thing in a church. If the word of God is relegated to the second place and other comes first, then something is wrong with the church. Sometimes to motivate and excite member to get into the word of God is liken a mother telling the son to eat vegetables, “Son, eat vegetables”, and the son replies, “Do you think I am a cow?” It is like she treats him like a cow. But it is so important because vegetables do health. Mothers will ask their children to drink milk. And the children will question, “Why must I drink milk?” Parents always ask their children to do something that is very useful but the children always fight the mothers. But you know that it’s just so important.
So, today we’ll spend the whole hour to convince us and to motivate us the importance of the word of God. Study the Bible for a life change, not study to make your head grow big. Study should not make our head grow big, but study should make us humble, to make us love God more, study should make us a useful Christian, study should make us become a useful member of the Kingdom of God. Let’s look at the eight characters of the Bible look at the word of God to motivate us. How they value the word of God.
The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes (Psalm 19 : 8).
The word of God to David is to strengthen him to be more faithful. The word of God is right and never wrong. Studying the word of God will never make us wrong, but helps us to be right. We know King David’s testimony that he made a great mistake in his life. But when he penned this Psalm in verse 8, the word of God gives light to the eyes. The eyes are the receptacle that we see, we understand. If your eyes are bright, you can see clearly, you are wise. And the word of God helps us to be that.
The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The statues of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple (Psalm 19 : 7).
Secondly to David, the word of God revives his soul. The law here is the entire doctrines of God, not just the law of Moses. It’s the whole precepts, the whole book in David’s time which is the Old Testament. And it revives, it restores what’s decay. We know that king David was once really down in the pit. He stole people’s wife, he killed people’s husband. And he was so down and out. But when he penned this Psalm, he says that the word of God revives his soul. Now, the word of God can restore us, it can stop decay. Many times we hear testimonies of life change. Why? It is because of the effect of the word of God. When the word of God comes into a person’s life, it revives the soul.
2. The Psalmist
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you (Psalm 119 : 11).
To the Psalmist the word of God protects him from error and sin. The Psalmist here prayed that God’s word will be hidden in his heart. It is preventive, it is a good defence. When we know the word of God, in fact we build up a defence around us. Because the word of God gives us discernment, helps us to understand. Therefore, it acts as a defence, so that we will not sin. It doesn’t mean that having the word of God you will not sin, but having the word of God will help us from sin. It prevents us, it acts as a defence.
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path (Psalm 119 : 105).
When you carry a lantern, it’s not like a torchlight, the lantern will show you just a feet in front of you. So, the word of God is like a lantern that we carry. It will not show you a mile away but it will show you perhaps one step, two steps or the next three steps that you are going to take. The word of God is never to confuse. Unfortunately there are peoples who study the word wrongly, or they hear some wrong doctrine and it confused them. Not because of the word of God confused them, but the people who interpreted the word. People who take the word and use it as a selfish purpose then it confused. Otherwise, the word of God never confused. The word of God never camouflaged, it is so direct. The word of God calls sin, sin. When Nathan the prophet came and told a story to David (2 Samuel 12), he did not make it so easy for David because David was a king, a number one man in the kingdom. He did not even tell David that perhaps on the day when you are off, on the day when your spirit is low, or perhaps you wake up but you did not fully wake up. He did not give king David excuses. In fact he just point directly and said, “You are the man”, period. You see that the word of God is just so exact, it never camouflaged. It reveals the word as truth. So, the Psalmist prayed that the word of God will be a lamp to his feet. Now when you study God’s word you realize that somehow along the way, you make better decisions in life, you become wiser. It is through the understanding of the word of God.
“Is not my word like fire,” declares the Lord, “and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces? (Jeremiah 23 : 29).
In Jeremiah chapter 23, these words were spoken in relation to false prophet and true prophet. The false prophet came to confuse. But when the true prophet spoke and he spoke the word of God, it becomes like a hammer that tears down. When the hammer tears down, do you know that it also builds up? People destroy the old house with hammer, it has to be destroyed before a new house could be built. The word of God is like a hammer. It breaks down and it builds up. So, God’s word is just that powerful. When you have the word of God, you are able to have that ability to destroy falsehood but to build up good character.
And how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3 : 15-17).
To Paul, the New Testament’s icon, the darling apostle, the word is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. When Paul penned this word for young Timothy, he was referring to Timothy’s grandmother and his mother, having transmitted this word of God to this young man. Timothy was very blessed, he had a great mother and a wonderful grandmother. These two godly women transmitted in him the importance of the Scriptures. So that Timothy was what he was. As a young man he became the overseer in the region which Paul appointed him. And Paul said that the word to him is useful for rebuking. When we rebuke someone, it is not because we like it, not because of we feel that we are better than they are, not because we are more superior. No. If we have to rebuke someone, we rebuke him based on the word of God, based on the standard. Not based on what you like or what you don’t like. It’s not based on personal desire but based on the standard that God has said. The word of God is good for correcting. If you can rebuke without correcting, it’s useless. When you rebuke, do you correct? Correct is to bring it back on track. It’s like a train that goes off track. To correct is to bring it back on track so that it can goes to the destination. The word of God is useful for training in righteousness. We all seek righteousness, don’t we? The word of God can train us in righteousness. So, you see the beauty and the efficacy of God’s word. Now, we want to have faith, but faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. So, we cannot run away from God’s word. Salvation comes through faith, and faith through God’s word. Paul in verse 17 was saying, “so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work”. If we are willing to be equipped for good work, we can’t help but to have some knowledge of the word of God.
Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Ephesians 6 : 17).
To Paul, the word of God is the Spirit of God. The sword can pierce the heart. A physical sword will destroy, will kill and wound the physical body. But the sword of the Spirit i.e. the word will wound not the body but it will wound to give life. It hurts to give life, so to speak. When the word of God pierces us, it gives us conviction. Sometimes when we are struggling and then the word of God revealed to us, at that point, it’s like the Spirit of God, the sword piercing us but that piercing is not to harm us. Well, there may be some “bleeding”, so to speak, but it is not to harm us but to build us. The Lord Jesus himself said that a vine need to be pruned. The pruning is painful. When you are “pruned”, you are cut and it’s painful. When the vine is trimmed, it will then produce more fruits because with a lot of branches the grapes will be spread out. With less branches, it will be concentrated. That’s why trimming, pruning is so important. And the word of God acts that way. The word is the Spirit of God that trim us. Jesus when He was in the wilderness use the word to rebuke the devil. When Jesus was tempted, He did not use His eloquence or conduct a debate, in fact He simply quoted the word of God and rebuke the devil. The word of God must be unleashed and it must not lie either.
Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror, and after looking at himself , goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. (James 1 : 21-24).
To James, the word of God can save you. James looks at man’s heart like ground. Before you plant, you need to break the ground using a plough. And after you have softened the ground then you begin to sow seeds and then you water. In good time you will reap a harvest. He was talking about the human’s body that has this moral filth and we need to break it up. How to break it up? Sometimes counselling may not help. It is the word of God that brings conviction. When people study the word of God, they realized that the word of God is really like a plough that breaks up their life, removes the guilt and the filth and then they are restored. And the word of God in that sense saves you. That’s why James talk about do not listen to the word of God and then walk away. Many times we are all guilty of that because we hear too many sermons, attend too many seminars and then we just hear and hear. Nowadays there’s no lack of knowledge, there’s no lack of information, but there’s a lack of reflection. After we have gathered these informations, do we reflect? Do we ponder or do we think of what it’s mean to me? Can it be applied in my life? There’s a lack in this area. How about applying the word of God, that is the key. So, when you use the word of God properly, it can save you.
6.The Author of Hebrews
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (Hebrews 4 : 12).
To the author of Hebrews, the word of God is sharper than a double-edged sword. In short the author of Hebrews is saying that God’s word exposes us. We cannot hide from God’s word. When God’s word shines on us, it brings the conviction, if we are honest. Because it is so sharp that it can divide between joints and marrow or the bones and the marrow. It judges between thoughts and attitudes. It’s all unseen. How do we judge between thoughts and attitudes? But the word of God can. It can differentiate things that we find so hard to differentiate.
7. Apostle Peter
Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation (1 Peter 2 : 2).
To the apostle Peter, the word of God helps babies to grow. Notice that Peter says milk to a baby, not to an adult. Milk to babies is to survive, not for a luxury or strengthening the body. Milk to babies simply means survival. Stop giving milk to a baby, he dies. It’s pure and simple. As an adult, we don’t really need milk. We have to eat meat because meat means survival. So, Peter is saying that the word of God literally means survival for us. And we need “milk”, the word of God. Milk is not as if it is a shallow teaching. It is not about the shallowness or about the level of difficulty. The word of God is milk to a baby. So, if we have the word of God, it’s like milk to a baby.
8. Our Lord Jesus
Jesus answered, “It is written: “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God”. (Matthew 4 : 4).
To our Lord Jesus, a man needs the word more than bread for sustenance. We know the context, the devil came to tempt Jesus after 40 days of fasting. So, Jesus was very hungry. And the devil said to Him, “tell these stones to become bread”. In the Bible times, bread and stone are look alike. The bread in the Bible is baked in an open fire and then made like pancake, flat and round. So, when it’s burned in the fire, you can’t differentiate between stone and bread. When the devil challenge Jesus and says “turn these stones into bread” make effectively the external, the visual will not change much but the content will. But Jesus answered, “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God”, He quotes Deuteronomy 8 : 3. The devil was trying to say that the Father does not love Him. And that’s not true.
Jesus said in John 4 : 32, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about”. The source of bread is more important than the bread itself. Jesus is saying, beside bread for sustenance, there’s a bread of life. It is more important than sustenance. Feeding on and obeying God’s word is more important than physical food. It is not that physical food is not important, because we need to eat to live but not live to eat. But the source of bread is important. Beside this physical source, do we go for a spiritual source? Why is the word of God so important? Studying the Bible, is it exciting? For some people, studying the word was tough. When we study the word, we realize that we are struggling with our own self. There is a tussle between you (your flesh) and your spirit. The spirit is willing but the body is weak. Whenever you open your Bible, you fall asleep. So, it’s a struggle. But you need to discipline yourself. You need to doggedly do it and keep doing it. And overtime you will gain confident, the more you know the less difficult it becomes. The more you study the word, it become easier.
Gold price can go up but we cannot bring the gold when this life is over, no matter how high the price goes. But the word of God is more precious than gold, sweeter than honey, it can last us for eternity. Let us desire the word of God because it changes life. Amen.